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Teammate 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.
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:
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.
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 Office.com. Mary manages presentations for senior executives.
Great post, Doug; I wrote a post about "limiting your carry-on" by, what you suggested, embedding only the characters needed (http://bit.ly/blygaj).
And just yesterday I also learned something new about the KIND of fonts you can embed: Yes, you can embed TrueType and OpenType fonts, but only OpenTYpe fonts with a TTF file extension work; the ones that have the OTF file extension are Adobe OpenType fonts and we don't support embedding those.
Ah ha that's where the option is.
Or simply, make a PDF…
Excellent post. A lot of people have no idea this is a feature... or even WHY it's not the default.
It's also important to know that some fonts, on rare occasion due to copyright, won't allow simple PPT embedding and while actually bring up a dialog saying "Can't embed font because blah blah blah..." There's not much you can do about this other than to copy the .TTF with you if you're a legitimate licensee of the font.
It might also be useful to mention that another Powerpoint element than can get lost in migration between presentation systems and cause "pre-show panic" as you call it: Embedded videos. Videos that are embeded into Powerpoint presentations need to be manually copied over along with the PPT document for most versions of Powerpoint however with the release of Powerpoint 2010, the video file is packaged into the .PPTX file format eliminating the need to keep track of straggling .WMV or MP4 files that go along with the presentation. While this blows up the size of the document, it makes portability much more convenient and these days, fidelity trumps storage requirements for most users especially with the advent of multi-GB USB thumb drives.
@Toto Convert the PPT to an PDF? Riiiiiiiiiiiiight. Cuz we all just love doing presentations while paging through "Acrobat Reader" without animations, transitions, embedded objects, videos. Lackluster way to make an impression on your audience. You're not a professional speaker, are you?
I have just read that people using a mac to create a ppt presentation cannot embed fonts. If this is true, why did you decide not to mention it?
Sharon: this post is of Office for Windows. You can ask the Office for Mac experts at: http://blog.officeformac.com/
Along these lines, when it comes to embedding an object, specifically another PPT presentation, how would you get the following scenario to work:
If you embed PPT File A into PPT File B, then make an update to PPT File A, how can you get those updates to auto-populate PPT File B?
:) Thanks for any help you can provide here!
Are the fonts permanently installed on the receiving machine or are they only used whilst that PowerPoint is running?
@Phil, it depends on how you embed the font. In most cases, the font will be visible only in the document into which it was embedded (and that document will be read-only because often times only the characters included in the document are embedded).
For more information, take a look at msdn.microsoft.com/.../ms533034(VS.85).aspx
Hope this helps, and thanks for writing in.
Sometimes embedded fonts seem to "poison" a file, i.e. cause it to be so slow in saving that I get a "not responding" on the title bar, and up to a minute for the save to actually complete. So I'm trying to reduce the number of embedded fonts. The font replacement trick is a good one, but I've found an odd limitation: If I try to replace "Arial Unicode MS" with simply "Arial" (because I'm not using the extra characters that unicode would enable, and this is one of two fonts with an MS suffix that I suspect are the cause of my bloat), it fails, with the following error message: "You have selected a single-byte font to replace a double-byte font. Please select a double-byte font." Well, of course I did, that's exactly what I wanted to do. That looks perfectly safe and reasonable to me, so why doesn't PPT 2010 let me do it?
Is there any alternative, e.g. a search that lets me go through all the places where a font is used, and manually delete/replace those text strings? A kludge, but better than waiting a minute (or more) each time I save or autosave kicks in.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
@conser, thanks for writing in about your issue. Where was this functionality located in your previous version of PowerPoint? If you can give us some detailed steps on how you reached that error (along with the names of the fonts), we might be able to help out.
I am in need of some HELP from a powerpooint guru!! How can I take images that are on a current Master slide and drop the image into a seperate powerpoint....then have it appear on all slides on the other powerpoint (the one that doesn't have the original image). Am I making sense? Please help!!
@harrisburgAndy, I suggest asking your question at Microsoft Answers (answers.microsoft.com/en-us). Over a half a million people go to Microsoft Answers every day for help. For more info about it, take a look at this quick video by our own Doug Thomas -- blogs.office.com/.../how-microsoft-answers-can-help-you-video.aspx.
This was just the information I was looking. Well, almost...Can you provide the step for MSO 2003, too? Please? I realize that this is a shrinking population, but they could benefit most by making good decisions on when to embed and when not to embed. Only 1 more year until everyone one is on W7 and MSO 2007 or 2010 in my company.
what does it mean when I've selected embed fonts, saved the presentation and shared it - and the recipient sees a mess of replacement fonts?