Is there a way to set things so that, when I want to choose a font, I'm always taken right to the ten most recently used fonts?
There is no setting for that. If I wanted that, I'd access the font menu and choose the first not-recently-used font. (For the sake of this explanation, let's assume its name starts with the letter A.) That will cause it to become the first name shown in the "top ten" (recently used fonts). Now, each time I access the menu, a quick tap of the A key will take me right to the top. (Disclaimer: InDesign's font menu has sections that may include font names which begin with A. I can't see your menus, so it might work better with a font name beginning with a letter other than A. In any case, the key-tap delivers you to the next font in the list begining with the letter you tapped...just in case you weren't aware.)
But you really don't need all that!
Changing each instance by selecting and reassigning using the font menu is terribly labor-intensive, and there is no need to do that. It would be much easier and faster to use the Find Font or Find/Change features to change fonts.
Thanks so much John. I will try your Find Font suggestion (and save my wrist some wear and tear).
First of all: You should never write any text without a paragraph style. Use paragraph styles. It is very important. So you can change the font of the whole doument.
Then you can exchange the fonts of your document with Type > Find Font…
Using Find Font is probably overkill, and may be counterproductive, if there are defined styles. Find Font is non-discriminatory and would replace all instances of any given font, even those that you want to keep. Better to change the font in the style definition.
With search font you can go to the next occurrence easily and redefine existing styles.
Yes, BUT it redefines ALL styles, even ones where you might actually still want to use the original font.
In an ideal World, people would use Based-on styles and change the base definition to change the characteristics in the children as well.
That's exactly what I’m always recommending.