the quick brown fox jumps... example of a font for powerpoint

Everyone has experienced this problem. You prepare a nice Word document or PowerPoint document and you open it on another computer or send it out to someone else. On the second computer, your document or slides are looking differently. A common problem is the lacking of  fonts that you used on your original computer, that are not present automatically on other computers.

There are some very general fonts like Arial, Courier and Times New Roman. Some people, especially in PowerPoint, are using (too) many fonts and exotic fonts that they use on the slides. We recommend to use 2 different fonts, or better to use only one consistent font, but vary in the font family.

A font can be set to normal, bold and italic. But next to this font, there are variations in the font family like Myriad Pro, Myriad Pro Black, Myriad Pro Black Cond, Myriad Pro Light, etc. We recommend to use the same font like Myriad Pro here for normal text, and use Myriad Pro Black for titles, and Myriad Pro Light for comments, etc. This brings more stability on your slide.

Missing Fonts in PowerPoint Presentations

But OK, back to the problem. So you used a non-standard font on your slide. It looks fine of course, on your slide because you have this font on your computer. Now, you open this presentation on another computer, but the textboxes are not looking the same way as you designed, just because of the fact that the font is not there. PowerPoint is just using another font, present on your computer, and is not giving a warning about this.

This missing font here is a problem when you use this presentation on another computer. Maybe you are giving your presentation on a computer at your customer or at a convention, and that surprise you don’t want to happen.

Or you have a digital signage system like iPoint, where you schedule and display PowerPoint presentations on television or computer screens. There too, you have to make sure that you are using fonts that are installed on the systems.

Solution to Missing Fonts

As with most problems, there are a few solutions.

1. Use common fonts

Stay on the safe side. Use common fonts only like Arial, Segoe, Times New Roman, Courier etc. This will allows you to know what standard fonts will  come with your operating system. So when you do not install additional fonts on your design computer, then you cannot use the uncommon fonts in your presentation. This is a safe option for all the computer in your network.

2. Set up a company-wide font list

This is a variation on the previous. Whenever you add new fonts to your system, make sure that you distribute the font to all other computers. This can be a tough job when you are working in a large company, or when you need to send out presentations to customers and prospects. So when you control the fonts installed on all the other computers in your network, then you can add safely additional fonts to your computer and other computers.

3. Embed the fonts in your presentations

The safest and the easiest solution is to add your fonts used to your presentation. PowerPoint has the option to embed fonts in your presentation. So when you would open your presentation on a foreign or new computer, and without the used fonts installed, then this option will always work since the fonts are embedded.

There are a few disadvantages when you embed fonts:

  • your presentation gets larger in file size
  • saving takes significantly more time
  • opening the presentation takes more time too

How to install a new font on a computer?

To install a new font, go to your Control Panel and click Appearance and Rationalization. Then choose Fonts.

This opens a new window with all your current fonts.

list of fonts installed

Drag the new font here on the list. The font will be added to your fonts now.

installing-a-new-font

The computer user can also remove a font when it is not needed anymore.  Go to the font  in the list and right-click it. Choose Delete from the popup menu.  This will delete the selected font.

How to embed all fonts in your presentations?

Open your presentation on your design computer and click File Options. On the form that opens, select Save in the left menu. At the right, scroll down to the Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation.

powerpoint options save embed fonts

Check the option to Embed fonts in the file.  Then you have the option to only embed the characters used in the presentation, or all characters. Best and most convenient way is to select Embed all characters.

Hit OK to close and save your presentation.

To stop PowerPoint from embedding fonts in your presentation, just go back here and uncheck the Embed fonts in the file option.

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