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How to embed fonts in PowerPoint and make sure everyone can open them

Use custom fonts and make sure they read well


You will find many articles that cover the basics, but few that actually explain how embedded fonts work on PowerPoint. We tell you everything in this article.

After reading our article on the most beautiful free fonts to use in your presentations, you may be wondering what the point of using custom fonts is if they won't be displayed to people who open your presentation without first installing the fonts. However, with just three clicks, you can embed most fonts directly into your PowerPoint file.

How to embed your font files in your PowerPoint presentation

Let's start with the simplest part of this article: you only need to check a box in your PowerPoint file options to incorporate all your fonts into your presentation. You don't even need to go and get your font files from your computer, PowerPoint will take care of all the fonts you used in your slides.

In PowerPoint, open the File tab and click on Options (at the bottom of the left-hand column). Select Save in the window that just opened and then click on the Embed fonts in file checkbox. Then make sure you also check the Embed all characters box, to avoid missing characters at the slightest change in the text (the difference in weight is negligible, as typography files are generally very light unless they contain extensive glyph tables (sinograms, for example).

That's it, you now have all your fonts embedded in your PowerPoint file. That's how I would have liked to end this article, but unfortunately there are several cases in which other people will not be able to see your embedded fonts.

Incorporate non-free speech typography?

Since PowerPoint embeds the font files in the presentation, it somehow allows embedded typography to be distributed. Non-copyrighted fonts are usually digitally protected and therefore cannot be embedded. If you use paid fonts, it is very likely that they are protected. You can check in Windows if a typeface is protected by right-clicking on your font file (usually a .ttf or .otf), then on Properties. Finally, go to the Details tab and you'll find a Font Embedding Faculty line. If it says Installable or Editable, you should have no problems. However, if it says Preview/Print, you can only embed the font for reading and not for editing (a user who does not have the font will get a message when opening the file allowing him to choose between opening the presentation in read-only mode, or deleting the protected typography). Finally, in some cases the font is marked as Restricted, in which case it simply cannot be embedded (not even in read-only mode).

If you are working on the Adobe suite and you sync your fonts via Creative Cloud, be aware that they will not be embedded in PowerPoint. We recommend using Google Fonts, which are royalty-free and the vast majority of which can be incorporated into your presentations. This is the case for all the fonts we recommend in our guide of fonts to use in PowerPoint in 2022.

The case of missing administration rights

When you embed fonts in your presentation, each time another user opens it, PowerPoint will temporarily install the files on their system. But you need to have administrative rights on the computer to do this. In some companies with a strict IT policy, you may not have administrative rights on your session (you cannot install software on your computer without the intervention of the IT manager). If this is the case for someone you share your PowerPoint file with, they will not see the typography you have embedded.

Software other than PowerPoint and Mac

Although PowerPoint has always offered this feature, it is not compatible with other software. Even if the fonts are saved in your file, the software must still be able to temporarily install them on your computer. Since other programs such as Keynote do not offer font embedding, they do not provide for temporary installation on your computer when you open a presentation. On the other hand, Google Slides allows you to use most of the Google Fonts natively, so it will be able to read them without any problem whether you have embedded them or not. Finally, this feature only appeared in 2021 on the Mac version of PowerPoint. So make sure you have the latest version of PowerPoint (or an updated Office 365) if you work on a Mac.

Change theme fonts in mask mode

After choosing your typography, you can change the theme fonts by accessing the slide mask. To do this, go to the View tab in PowerPoint, then click on the Slide Mask button. In this new tab, click on the Fonts button, then on the Customize Fonts option...

Here you can configure two fonts: one for your titles and one for your body text. They will always be displayed at the beginning of the list in the font selection drop-down menu.

Note: Whenever you create a text box in PowerPoint, the default font used will be the body font.

In summary

  • First, check the embeddability of your font. If you downloaded it via Google Fonts, you can be sure that it can be embedded.
  • Consider the administrator rights of your employees in their company.
  • Check the version of PowerPoint especially if you are on a Mac.