PowerPoint 2013: The Replace Fonts Command


Here is a practical tip that can help you redeem a presentation when someone (not you, of course) has used an outlandish font in text boxes or even in bulleted lists.  Remember, your goal in placing words on a PowerPoint slide is to communicate a point, and to do so the text you use must be legible.  Therefore, weird, hard-to-read fonts should be avoided at all costs.  Unfortunately, humans being what they are, many people seem drawn to cursive, fantasy, gothic, or otherwise nearly illegible fonts.  PowerPoint provides a quick remedy for this, however.  It’s called the Replace Font command.

Let’s say you have inherited a presentation that contains a number of text boxes that use a cursive font, like this:

Cursive Text Box

The original author has compounded the problem by using yet another outlandish Old English Gothic font for a bulleted list, and Algerian in yet another text box.

Old English

Algerian Text Box

Do you need to go through this entire presentation and reformat all these text boxes and lists to use the normal font theme?  No.  Here’s what you do.

On the Home tab, in the editing group, click the drop-down for Replace and select Replace Fonts…

Replace Fonts Command

A Replace Font dialog box will appear.  The Replace drop-down will contain ONLY the fonts used in the current presentation, making it easy to spot the culprits.

Replace Font Dialog Box

The With drop-down contains all the fonts available on your system.  What you want to replace the offending fonts with is the font used by the font theme in the design theme you have chosen for your presentation.  In this case, I have chosen the Ion theme, which uses the Century Gothic font set.  So to get rid of those horrible cursive text boxes, I choose to replace Brush Script Std with Century Gothic, the pleasing sans serif font used by my design theme.

Replace With Command

PowerPoint responds by running through the ENTIRE presentation, replacing Brush Script with Century Gothic.  Font sizes remain the same.

Now repeat the process for Old English Text MT, and Algerian.

Replace Old English

Easy.  Done in just a few clicks rather than laboriously searching through the presentation and reformatting each instance of an illegible font.

Here is a video that demonstrates the technique.