My copy of Outlook 2011 is behaving oddly with respect to font sizes.

When I compose an email and set the text to be, for example, 12pt, the text I get when I type within the email composition window is actually 9pt. Moreover, when I send the email to myself and read it on a Windows computer the email is, again, 9pt.

Outlook 2011 therefore seems to be inacurately reporting/setting the font size. Does anyone know why it does this or have a solution?

Edit with some more information about my specific circumstances:

Outlook is set to default at 12pt Calibri, and this is what I am trying to compose in (i.e. its set to this size before I start typing).

The same issue affects all the other fonts in Outlook, but does not affect MS Word.

Outlook and Safari are both up to date.

I am running Mountain Lion on a Retina Macbook Pro 15".

  • Are you setting the font size before or after you type your message? I know sometimes Outlook gets a little fussy in reverting back to the default font/size if it's changed before typing instead of after.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 14, 2013 at 18:23
  • What is your default font setting in Outlook preferences?
    – Ruskes
    Aug 14, 2013 at 18:46
  • Does this happen with every font, or just a specific one? Are you up-to-date with your Outlook service packs (as of right now, the most current version is 14.3.6)? Is this new behavior, or has Outlook always behaved this way? Have you updated Safari recently? (The last question is relevant because Outlook uses WebKit for rendering email, and updating Safari updates WebKit.)
    – nadyne
    Aug 14, 2013 at 22:05

3 Answers 3


As far as the difference in versions of outlook, MS actually has an official statement about that:



Email messages that are sent from Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011 to other operating systems may have with a different font size than the original email message font size. For example, when text that has Calibri font size 14 is sent from Outlook for Mac 2011 to Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Web App, the text may be displayed as a font size other than 14 when the message is received on the other operating system.

More information

This is caused by the pixel-to-point or point-to-pixel conversion that happens between the Mac and Windows operating systems.

In other words they're using points in OSX and pixels in Windows.

  • 1
    That doesn't explain why the font size is appearing incorrectly before the author ever sends the email.
    – tubedogg
    Aug 14, 2013 at 20:18
  • 1
    @tubedogg yeah that's why I put the first sentence at the top. Sort of a nice way of explaining that I was only answering half the question. :D Aug 15, 2013 at 0:33
  • 1
    Thanks: I hadn't seen this info. However, if this is indeed the same issue then I find MS's explanation somewhat unsatisfactory. 12pt -> 9pt is a 25% discrepancy, which seems a bit big to attribute to what is essentially a rounding error.
    – Ubiquitous
    Aug 15, 2013 at 6:58

You may check your ZOOM settings on the tool bar when the email editor is opened - should be set to 100% to display properly the corresponding font size.


It's an embedded problem at the top of the page in Outlook. Skip down about 5 lines and your email will be fine.

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