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Using Character Spacing in PowerPoint

Powerpoint: Making the Difficult Fonts More Readable

When putting together a document and using some more interesting fonts, I’m sure that you’ve run into the same thing that I have… the font is cool, what you want, but not very readable for some people.

The design of the font just makes it feel “squished” together.

For you and me, not a problem… after all we chose the font… but for some of our audience it just isn’t going to work. The spacing of the characters is just too close together for them to easily read your message.

If they can’t read it, why did you bother with all the work to make it?

Obviously you want them to be able to read your font, so we’ve got to find a solution.

Most people would choose another font – definitely a great option, but what if your heart was really set on the other one?

Is there no way to use it?

Maybe, maybe not. It all depends upon the look you’re going for, but I do have a suggestion that may work for you.

Sometimes adjusting the spacing between characters will pull the difficult to read characters apart just enough to make it work, without you sacrificing your font choice.

In other words, a little bit of extra space between characters turns this:


into this:


Definitely a subtle difference, but for some people it makes all the difference.

OK, so now that we know what we’re going to learn and why we are learning it, let’s take a look at how to make it happen.

We need to get into the Font dialog box via the dialog launcher located in the bottom right corner of the Font group on the Home tab of the Ribbon. (FYI: Ctrl + D will open the Font dialog box too.)


Once there we need to be on the Character Spacing tab.


In the Spacing field, use the drop down list to choose Expanded.

(Obviously you could choose to work this whole tip the other way with the Condensed choice… but back to our purposes…)

To the right of that, there is a field for you to choose how far to separate the characters. It may take some playing around with this setting, to decide on your preference but there’s a preview at the bottom to help you out.

Click OK when you’re done.


Previously not so readable text just became more manageable.

Yeah :)

~ April