2009-03-28

Make Office 2007 look like Office 2003 or XP (Tahoma on Office 2007)

I began using MS-Office 2007 just yesterday, after my work machine was upgraded from Office 2003. (still running Windows XP, thankfully). I couldn't stand the look of Office 2007 for two seconds. I think antialiased fonts are very hard to read on LCD screens, so I always run to disable antialiasing on any machine I need to work with for more than 1 hour straight.

Unfortunatelly, MS-Office 2007 only has a setting to disable the use of "ClearType", but nothing more. After disabling it you do get a cleaner interface, without antialiased fonts, but you are left with an ugly font. After some snorkeling around the 'net, I learned that the font used in MS-Office 2007 is called "Segoe UI", but there is no switch to select a different font, as you can do with the rest of the Windows XP user interface.

The goal: To have Office 2007 use non-antialiased Tahoma 8pt in its user interface, like the rest of the standard Windows XP interface (with "ClearType" disabled).

The solution: This solution could be labeled as "brute force", but I couldn't find another one (if someone knows a better way, please leave a comment on this post). It basically consists of replacing Segoe UI font files with another copy of the Tahoma file, and this requires some tweaking on the font files:

1) Disable "ClearType" in Office 2007 applications. Open Word 2007, and click on the "Office button" and then on "Word options". Under the "Popular" section, disable "Always use ClearType", and hit OK.
2) Close Word 2007.
3) Make a new folder on your Desktop, called "segoe_fonts", and two subfolders: "segoe_real" and "segoe_fake"
4) Make a back-up copy of these two Segoe UI font files: SEGOEUI.TTF and SEGOEUIB.TTF (copy them from C:\windows\Fonts to ...\Desktop\segoe_fonts\segoe_real
5) Copy tahoma.ttf and tahomab.ttf from C:\windows\Fonts to ...\Desktop\segoe_fonts\segoe_fake
6) Under "segoe_fake", rename tahoma.ttf and tahomab.ttf to SEGOEUI.TTF and SEGOEUIB.TTF respectively.
7) Use a font editing utility (for instance, FontCreator by High Logic). Open the font files using "Open"->"Font File", and select the files under "segoe_fake". The fileds should be changed on those fonts as follows (under "Format", "Naming" in the FontCreator tool):





8) Save the two font files after the changes.
9) Copy the two font files from "segoe_fake" to C:\windows\Fonts (first you will have to delete the original SEGOEUI.TTF and SEGOEUIB.TTF files in there)
10) Open MS-Word 2007 or other Office 2007 application to enjoy the same Tahoma 8pt font used by Windows XP in general, on the Office 2007 interface. It probably does not make a big difference on Word or Excel, but it does make a very big difference in Outlook, where the list of messages is shown using the interface font (Segoe UI vs. Tahoma).

Here are some screenshots of Office 2007 before and after this "brute-force" change:

The regular look of Office 2007 on Windows XP:



Office 2007 with the fake Segoe UI font file installed on Windows XP, with Tahoma on the interface:


Conclusion
Is there another way to do this? I would prefer not to fiddle with font files, but my attempts at changing the Office 2007 user interface font using the Windows XP registry were unsuccessful. There is a key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes that contains some mappings from one font to another. I tried entering "Segoe UI"="Tahoma" in there, but that did not work. If anyone reading this post knows how to do it differently than my brute force method, I'd love to hear about it.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Pedro,

    Thank you for your post, I can finally use Office 2007 without a headache! (Well, visually speaking that is...)

    Before editing the fonts I tried your trick with the Fontsubstitutes registry entry and guess what? It works!

    First I removed all Segoe UI fonts via Control Panel > Fonts.
    Second I added a new String Value to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes key. I entered Segoe UI as Value name and Trebuchet MS as Value data. Then I restarted Windows XP.

    After the restart I launched Word 2007 and saw that the Segoe font had been replaced by Trebuchet. I still had to uncheck 'Always use ClearType' in the options to disable ClearType.

    I then double checked that it worked by entering Courier New as the Valua data in the registry. Restarted Windows and that worked too. Looked even less modern :-)

    Bye,
    Ron.

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  2. Pedro, can you send me please modified segoe ui font files, you have changed? Thanks a lot. Send me them to panoramix@pretaktovanie.sk please.

    best regards

    Panoramix

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  3. Hello my friend,

    You idea is very good, congratulations.

    Can you see other method for Windows Vista and Windows 7 on this page:

    http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/890802-windows-aero-tahoma-font/

    Greetings

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  4. Hi!

    Thanks for advice!

    With Windows XP and Office 2010, the FontSubstitutes registry entry did it's job well. The Segoe UI font got substituted with Tahoma, and everything looks nice now.

    Thanks again :)

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  5. Hi!
    thanks a lot for making me able to re-use tahoma fonts in Office 2013 for Windows 7 !
    The registry trick that did work for me :
    - Open the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts
    - check every values' name that begins like "Segoe..." and replace value with "tahoma.ttf" when it is not bold, replace value with "tahomabd.ttf" when it is bold.
    - restart computer and then menus + ribbon of office programs changed from Segoe to Tahoma.
    Sorry for my bad english.
    Nicolas

    ReplyDelete