How to Format Fonts in APA

APA gives you a range of fonts to pick from, so let’s break it down.


Sans Serif Fonts: 

  • Calibri (11-point)
  • Arial (11-point)
  • Lucida Sans Unicode (10-point)

Serif Fonts: 

  • Times New Roman (12-point)
  • Georgia (11-point)
  • Computer Modern (10-point) for LaTeX users

Simplicity for Readability: Choose clear and straightforward fonts to enhance the readability of your APA-style document. The selection of fonts plays a significant role in how easily readers can absorb and understand your content. Options such as Calibri or Times New Roman are recommended as they strike a harmonious balance between professionalism and readability.

Maintain Clarity with Font Consistency: Ensure consistency in your APA paper by using the same font throughout. This means selecting a single type of font and sticking with it for the entire document, from the title page to the references. Avoid switching between different fonts, as it can create a distracting and unprofessional appearance.

Strategically Select Fonts for Emphasis: If your document requires emphasis or differentiation, strategically use bold, italics, or underline within the specified font. However, exercise caution to ensure that such formatting aligns with APA guidelines and does not compromise readability.


Stick to one font in the whole paper. But there are a few exceptions:

  • Figures: When inserting pictures, use a simple font without extra lines, ensuring it falls within the 8 to 14-point size range.
  • Computer Code: If incorporating computer code, a suitable font would be one where each letter and space occupy an equal amount of space, such as Lucida Console (10-point) or Courier New (10-point).
  • Footnotes: In the case of adding footnotes, it is recommended to stick with the default font settings in the word processor. Although the font may be somewhat smaller, there’s no need to be concerned about altering it.


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Hannah Berry (Ph.D.)

Hannah Berry has lectured at several colleges and teaches at the WEA. Besides publishing extensively, she has taught citation skills and written multiple style guides.

Learn how to cite in APA