Custom fonts are becoming increasingly popular as companies begin to conduct more business online. Using a unique font catches the attention of potential customers and can effectively differentiate an organisation from competitors in their industry. Your company most likely has a specific style guide or manual which specifies the use of particular logos, colour palettes, and typography for content creation and any internal or external communications.

Using custom fonts in PowerPoint for work presentations can become tricky if you need to present using an external computer or off-site at conferences or client premises. For example, if you share your presentation file with someone outside the business who does not have that particular font installed, PowerPoint will automatically substitute the custom font with another standard one. This substitution could be similar or a font with a completely different size and shape, wreaking havoc on your carefully constructed deck. You can also face font compatibility issues internally when employees are working with company and personal computers that may not share the same updates, or use different operating systems like PCs and Macs.

So, if you have an external conference or presentation coming up which uses custom fonts, here are four easy ways to ensure that you won’t run into any font compatibility issues:

CONSIDER USING YOUR PERSONAL COMPUTER TO PRESENT

This first solution will obviously depend on the situation and technology available to you on the day, but the easiest way to ensure that your PowerPoint can be shown as intended is by using your personal computer to present. The sense of confidence that is gained by using your own device could make your delivery more effective and help you to overcome any anxieties around public speaking.

If you do plan to use your own computer, it’s always better to be prepared by bringing your own power cord and HDMI cable in case your device needs to be connected to an external monitor or screen.

EMBED THE CUSTOM FONT INTO YOUR PRESENTATION

Another way to ensure that the fidelity of your presentation is preserved when you share or open your PowerPoint file on another device is to embed the custom font into the presentation itself. Keep in mind that this method can significantly enlarge the size of the file, making it more difficult to send or open.

Microsoft does give you the option of embedding all characters or only the characters used in the presentation. Choosing to embed only the characters used in the presentation will result in a smaller file size, but does not allow for the presentation to be edited or added to afterwards, so make sure that you’re happy with all aspects of your presentation before enabling. Check out our blog post on saving and embedding fonts to find easy step-by-step instructions for this process.

PROVIDE THE CUSTOM FONT ALONGSIDE YOUR POWERPOINT

Our third solution is to send the custom font through to be installed on whichever device will host your presentation. Once the font has been installed, you will be able to present without the risk of any slide display issues. You should be able to track down a zipped version of the custom font in the style guide resources, or request them from a member of the graphic design team.

Make sure that you send through the presentation and the custom font together so that the recipient understands the relationship between them. The custom font may not be able to be installed due to timing or security issues, so it’s a good idea to determine whether this is an option as far out from the day of your presentation as possible.

USE THE STANDARD FONTS PROVIDED IN POWERPOINT INSTEAD

Our final piece of advice is to consider whether using custom fonts is really necessary for your presentation. Different companies will have different opinions regarding the importance of consistent branding, but if your focus is on effective communication with your audience then remember that font choice is only one design element of many that combine to create a memorable presentation.

As we mentioned in our discussion on when to use built-in PowerPoint themes and templates, Microsoft has a range of default fonts which you can freely utilise such as Times New Roman, Arial, Verdana, Calibri, and many more. These fonts are simple to decipher and familiar to most audiences, and the best part is that they’re pretty much guaranteed to be available on whichever device you end up using.

Obsessed with pushing the boundaries of PowerPoint’s creative potential like the folks here at Synapsis? Check out our post on the most popular fonts in history or download our free eBook on PowerPoint Slide Design for more of that sweet typography knowledge!

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