PowerPoint 2013: Embedded Fonts


To wrap up our discussion of fonts, let’s try to decide whether we should embed fonts within our presentation when we save.  You may want to present on another computer than the one you used to develop the PowerPoint presentation, and each computer’s font set may be different.  To be sure you will have the correct fonts so that your presentation will look as expected on another computer, embedding may be necessary.  Before launching into the discussion, however, you need to know that you can only embed TrueType fonts in a PowerPoint presentation (.ttf) and that embedded fonts in a Windows version of PowerPoint will not work on a Mac version.  A thorough discussion of this topic can be found here.

The option to embed fonts found on the File tab, Options group, Save group.  You have the choice to embed either the specific font characters used in your presentation, or all characters, in case you need to edit on a computer that does not have the font.

Embed Options

Let’s open a presentation and find out what effect embedding the fonts has.  Here is a screenshot from the Windows Explorer showing the file size of our basic presentation, without embedded fonts, 935KB.

Embed File Size 01

Now let’s save the file with embedded fonts, choosing “embed all characters” and check the file size.  (The fonts referred to are only the Century Gothic font used by the Ion theme for this particular presentation.

Embed File Size 02

Quite a change; an additional 1822 KB to embed the theme font.

What if we add another font to the presentation.  I will edit the presentation, and change one of the text boxes to use Algerian font, and then save with fonts embedded, choosing to embed all characters.  Here are the results.

Embed File Size 03Very little change this time, only 42 KB more.  Algerian contains only regular characters with few variations.

Does this mean that for each additional font I embed, I will only incur a small file size gain?  Let’s tray a different font.  Instead of Algerian let’s try an Adobe Open Type Font  called Adobe Gothic STD B.  (Note: in the font drop-down list you will see an O next to Adobe OpenType fonts, but the font will only be embeddable if it is a TrueType font developed in cooperation with Microsoft.  Pure .otf files will not embed).   Here is the result.

Embed File Size 04

This time we see an enormous jump, akin to the jump when we first embedded our theme fonts.  Why?  Because the font is extensive.  Not all fonts are created equally.  Some contain glyphs, ligatures and other variations that others simply do not have.  Some Asian fonts are truly enormous.  On my system I have TrueType fonts, from my initial Windows 8 install, my Office 2013 install (among other Windows programs); I have TrueType Adobe OpenType fonts (.ttf) and I also have non-TrueType Adobe Open Type fonts (.otf) from the installation of various Adobe products; I have PostScript fonts from the installation of yet other Adobe products; and I have yet other system fonts and purchased fonts.  Remember that PowerPoint can only embed TrueType fonts, and that not all TrueType fonts will successfully embed.  It depends on the licensing restrictions placed on the font, of which you will usually be unaware.

In the case of some fonts you will be warned that it will not embed.

Embed Cannot Save

Unfortunately, PowerPoint does not always inform you that a font will not embed or completely embed a font.  Even some TrueType fonts will not embed, once again, because of licensing restrictions.  It is usually worth embedding fonts, just to be sure spacing and layout will remain consistent regardless of the computer you are presenting on (assuming it is a PC and not a Mac).