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How PowerPoint font embedding and replacement can save your presentation

fontsTeammate Erik Jensen adapts this article by Mary Feil-Jacobs.

No doubt about it, fonts can add significant visual appeal to a presentation. As long as they make it onto the screen for your audience to see, that is. If you created your presentation on one computer, but deliver it from another (say, in a conference room), you could be stuck without the very fonts you were counting on, causing some possibly acute pre-show panic. But not to worry. Font embedding in PowerPoint could be the answer to this stealthy little issue. We’ll show you how to do it, and also show you an easy way to remove and replace fonts while we’re at it. 

Font Embedding

These steps guarantee you will have the fonts you want when you move your file to any other PC, and you won’t need to load custom fonts onto the presentation machine when you arrive at your speaking destination.

Note that font embedding will increase your file’s size. To keep the file size a bit smaller, you can embed only the characters that are used in your presentation (rather than a full font set); or, you can embed all font characters, which can result in a much larger file. Unless you are sure you or others won’t make any changes to the file, we recommend embedding all characters.

To embed fonts in your PowerPoint 2010 or 2007 presentation:

1.     Install on your computer any custom fonts that you want to use. You can’t embed fonts into your presentation unless the fonts have already been installed.

2.     Open the PowerPoint presentation.

3.     Do one of the following:

  • In PowerPoint 2010, click the File tab, and then click Options in the left pane.
  • In PowerPoint 2007, click the Office button in the upper left corner, and then click PowerPoint Options.

4.     In the PowerPoint Options dialog box, in the left pane, click Save.

5.     Under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation, select the Embed fonts in the file check box.

6.     We recommend also selecting the second option, Embed all characters (best for editing by other people).

7.     Click OK.

To turn off embedding, follow the same steps above, but deselect the Embed fonts in the file check box in step 5.

Replacing Fonts

PowerPoint also enables you to remove and replace fonts in your presentation. For instance, let’s say you want to remove all the Segoe fonts from a presentation and replace them with Calbri. You might want to do this to simplify the look of your presentation by reducing the number of fonts, or to reduce the number of fonts and keep your presentation size smaller after you turn on font embedding, or to remove all custom fonts like Segoe so that your presentation only uses standard Windows or Office fonts. Whatever the reason, font replacement is easy to do. Keep in mind, however, that replacing fonts often changes text wrapping, so you should allow time check each slide in your presentation after you finish.

To replace fonts in your PowerPoint 2010 or 2007 presentation:

1.     Open the PowerPoint presentation.

2.     On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the arrow next to Replace, and then click Replace Fonts.

3.     In the Replace Font dialog box, in the Replace list, click the font that you want to remove from the presentation.

4.     In the With list, click the font that you want to replace the font you selected in the Replace list, and then click Replace.

Repeat these steps as many times as you want, until you remove all the fonts that you don’t want used in your presentation.

–Erik Jensen and Mary Feil-Jacobs

Erik writes about PowerPoint and other Office products for Mary manages presentations for senior executives.