How to Fix PowerPoint Fonts Not Displaying Correctly

fix powerpoint fonts featured image

Sharing PowerPoints with fancy fonts doesn’t always work properly. Learn how to fix PowerPoint fonts not displaying correctly here.

Choosing the right fonts can make the difference between a good PowerPoint presentation and a great one. Another ‘funny’ presentation in Comic Sans may not win over your audience, but using stylish fonts combined with tricks such as hiding your text until it’s clicked can definitely make your PowerPoints pop.

The trouble is, if you’re using unusual fonts, you may find that when you send your presentation to someone else, the fonts look very different. That’s because if the recipient doesn’t have the font you’ve used installed on their computer, PowerPoint will replace it with something else.

Thankfully, there are ways around this. If your fonts don’t like quite how you expect them to, then here are a few ways to fix PowerPoint fonts not displaying correctly.

Use Common Fonts

The majority of issues with PowerPoint fonts not displaying correctly is because the person who has received the file doesn’t have the required fonts installed on their computer. When PowerPoint looks for the font and can’t find it, it will instead choose a replacement font. Whilst this may look similar to the original font, in some cases, it may affect your formatting, or just look out of place.

One simple way to get around this is to only use popular fonts such as Times New Roman in your PowerPoint files—you can be sure that whoever receives the file is likely to have those fonts already installed on their computer.

This reduces your options when it comes to creating unique presentations, but vastly increases the compatibility of your presentations when sending them to other people.

Using web-safe fonts is a simple way of ensuring that your fonts will be compatible across devices. Popular web-safe fonts include:

  • Times New Roman
  • Arial
  • Comic Sans
  • Impact
  • Georgia
  • Verdana
  • Courier New
  • Palino Linotype
  • Tahoma
  • Trebuchet
  • Lucida Console

Embed the Fonts

If you want to use more interesting fonts in your PowerPoint presentations, you’ll need to put in a little more effort to ensure that they display correctly no matter who is opening your presentation.

One method of doing so is by embedding fonts. This includes the information about the fonts in your PowerPoint file itself, meaning that they will display even if the recipient doesn’t have those fonts installed on their own computer.

This method works well when sending presentations from a Windows computer to other Windows computers. However, if you’re sharing Windows to Mac or Mac to Windows, embedding fonts may still not work correctly, as the same font can have different names on the two operating systems.

If you’re only sharing from Windows to Windows, try the steps below to embed your fonts. If you’re sharing between different operating systems, however, then you’ll need to try one of the options below instead.

To embed fonts in a PowerPoint presentation:

  1. Click the File menu.
  2. Select Options.
    powerpoint options
  3. Click Save.
    powerpoint save menu
  4. Check Embed Fonts in the File.
    powerpoint embed fonts
  5. If the PowerPoint isn’t going to be edited by any of the recipients, select Embed Only the Characters Used in the Presentation. This will reduce the file size by only embedding the letters that appear in the document.
    powerpoint embed only used characters
  6. If other people are going to edit your file, select Embed all Characters to ensure that any letters that are added will display in the correct font. This will lead to a larger file size.
    powerpoint embed all characters
  7. Click OK.
  8. You can now share the file, and the fonts should display as intended on other computers.

Share the Fonts With the Presentation

If you’re sharing a PowerPoint file from Mac to Windows or Windows to Mac, embedding the fonts may still not work.

In this case, to ensure that the fonts display correctly, you’ll need to share the fonts that you’ve used with the recipient so that they can install them on their own computer.

That way, you’ll know that they have the correct fonts installed to be able to view your PowerPoint presentation the way you designed it.

To export fonts on Windows:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to C:\Windows\Fonts.
    windows fonts folder
  3. Select and copy the fonts you are using in your PowerPoint presentation.
    windows fonts
  4. You can now paste these fonts to a thumb drive or share them over email.
  5. Once the recipient has the files, they will need to copy them into their own C:\Windows\Fonts folder.
  6. Once installed, open the PowerPoint document, and the installed fonts should appear.

To export fonts on Mac:

  1. Open Spotlight by pressing Cmd+Space.
  2. Type Font Book and open the Font Book app from the results.
    mac font book search in spotlight
  3. Select the font or fonts you want to export.
    mac fonts
  4. Click the File menu.
    mac file menu
  5. Select Export Fonts.
    mac export fonts
  6. Choose the name and location for your exported fonts.
    mac exported fonts location
  7. Once the fonts have exported you can share them alongside your PowerPoint presentation. The recipient will need to install the fonts on their own computer before they open the PowerPoint document.

Convert Text to Shape

If sharing and installing fonts feels a little too much work, or you’re sharing your PowerPoint presentation with someone who isn’t that tech-savvy, you can convert your fonts into shapes within your presentation.

This means that the text will look exactly as you see, no matter what fonts are installed on the recipient’s computer, because the text will no longer be a font—it’ll be a shape instead.

To convert text to a shape in PowerPoint:

  1. Click the Insert menu.
    powerpoint insert menu
  2. In the ribbon, click the Text Box button.
    powerpoint insert text box
  3. Enter your text in the font you want to use.
  4. In the Home ribbon, select a Shape such as a rectangle.
    powerpoint select shape
  5. Draw the rectangle so that it covers all of your text.
    powerpoint inserted shape
  6. Right-click the rectangle and select Send to Back so that you can see your text again.
    powerpoint send to back
  7. Select your text box, hold down Shift, and select your shape so that they are both selected.
    powerpoint selected shapes
  8. In the Shape Format menu, click the Merge Shapes button.
    powerpoint merge shapes
  9. Select Intersect.
    powerpoint merge shapes insersect
  10. Your text is now converted to a shape and will appear exactly the same on any computer.
    powerpoint text as shape

Convert Text to Picture

An alternative to converting your text to a shape is to convert it to a picture. This works in a similar manner; the text is converted into an image in your PowerPoint document, so it will always display correctly on any computer, regardless of which fonts are installed.

To convert text to a picture in PowerPoint:

  1. In the Insert menu, click the Text Box button.
    powerpoint insert text box
  2. Enter your text and select the font you want to use.
  3. Right-click on the border of the text box, so that the text box itself is selected, rather than the contents.
  4. Select Cut.
    powerpoint cut
  5. Right-click anywhere on your slide and select the Paste as Picture button.
    powerpoint paste as picture
  6. The text will be pasted into your slide as a picture.
    powerpoint text as shape
  7. You can reposition or resize the text just like with an image, but you will no longer be able to edit the text.
  8. The picture will appear the same on any computer, regardless of the fonts that are installed.

Do More With PowerPoint

If you’ve been having problems with PowerPoint fonts not displaying correctly, hopefully one of the suggestions above can help. Using these methods, you can use the perfect font for your needs without worrying about compatibility.

There are plenty of other useful PowerPoint tips to learn, such as how to turn off rotation snap, or how to remove animations from your PowerPoint. You can even learn how to find your PowerPoint presentation word count.

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