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The Case of the Mysterious Changing Fonts

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help, MS PowerPoint

The Case of the Mysterious Changing Fonts

Have you ever given a presentation on a computer different from the one you used to create it?

When you opened the file, did you face the basic nightmare of all your fonts being different and just a huge mess on each slide?

Text that used to fit perfectly on the slides is now spaced all wrong and nothing seems to fit in the text boxes anymore.

In a moment of panic, the voice inside your head is screaming, “What’s going on here?!”

Besides your worst presentation fears becoming reality, the problem is most likely related to the font you chose to use. If the computer you’ve moved the presentation to doesn’t have that font, it’s going to substitute a different one and cause you all sorts of problems.

If you’re like me, you probably like to use fonts with a little flair, which is often great for the presentation, but it can be a problem as you move it to different computers.

Looking for a solution?

Good, because I’ve got one and it’s not nearly as complicated as you may think!

What you’re looking to do is embed your fonts into the presentation. That way, when you open it on a different machine, it has all the fonts it needs right along with the presentation file.

When you’re ready to save your presentation, use the File menu, Save As choice. (In PowerPoint 2007, you need the Office Button to get to the Save As choice).

Once you’re in the Save As window, you need the Tools menu, Save Options choice. In older versions of PowerPoint, you’re looking for this:

In the Save Options window, locate the “Font options for current document only” section.

Select the “Embed TrueType Fonts” choice.

In PowerPoint 2007, what you’re searching for is in the bottom right corner near the Save button.

Next, you’re looking for the bottom section of the Save Options window.

Select the “Embed fonts in the file” choice.

In all versions, when you do this, the two options below become active.

This is when you need to make a choice.

As you can see, one option embeds only the characters currently in use. That does help to reduce the file size, but it also causes a problem if you try to edit on a different machine. If, while editing, you need a character that’s not embedded, you’ll be out of luck if the computer doesn’t have that same font.

The other option embeds all the characters of the font, which allows for easy editing on different machines. This choice does have the drawback of causing larger file sizes though.

For a point of reference in regards to these two choices, I took a presentation that originally had a file size of 210KB and saved it with both of these choices. The choice of characters in use made the file jump to a size of 320KB and with all the characters, the file was 428KB.

When you’ve made your choice, simply click OK.

Now, back in the Save As window, continue to save the file as normal.

With this new skill in your “bag of tricks,” hopefully there will be fewer presentation nightmares in your future!

~ April

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