How to Embed Fonts In Your Presentation

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One of the most popular question asked by our attendees during our Laura Foley webinar on May 18th was, “How do you embed fonts in a presentation.” Laura liked the question so much that she provided a more detailed answer.  Enjoy!

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You can use beautiful font types that make a statement when you create your presentations. But, if the audience doesn’t have the same font installed on their computers, it will not display correctly and PowerPoint substitutes a similar font. How do I embed fonts in a presentation so I can fix this?

Laura FoleyLaura Foley
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Why embedding fonts is a great idea…

Using non-standard fonts in your presentations makes them stand out. With the right fonts, presentations can look fresh and modern (even if the non-typographically inclined can’t exactly figure out why). But you’ll know why…it’s because you took the initiative to spend a few minutes locating and installing a fresh-looking font!

There’s nothing inherently wrong with Calibri, the humanist sans-serif typeface so familiar to users of Microsoft calibiri noOffice. But everybody’s using it, so if you are too then your presentations might look the same as everyone else’s. Here’s how to stand out from the crowd.

Calibri, you’ve overstayed your welcome.

In The Incredibles, the main villain, Syndrome, declares, “When everyone’s super, no-one will be!” It’s the same with Calibri. When everybody uses it, it ceases to be special. So if your presentations feature Calibri, which was once fresh and new, then they look like millions of other presentations. That whole “blending in with the crowd” thing might work for some people. But if you’ve read this far, I’m confident that you’re not satisfied with going with the flow. It’s time to customize your presentations with a non-standard font.

Google, your main source for awesome fonts!

There are loads of websites where you can find free fonts. Ignore them all and head right on over to Google Fonts. Here, you’ll find well-thought-out font families that contain boldface, italics, ligatures and all kinds of amazing typographical goodies. But the main thing is that here you will find a typeface that 10 billion other PowerPoint users AREN’T using. Oh, and did I mention they’re all free?

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1. Follow the instructions on Google Fonts to download your chosen font.
2. Unzip the file
3. Double click on the .TTF file.
4. Click on Install

These are the steps I follow to install fonts on my PC. Your operating system might be different, so if this doesn’t work for you then you’ll need to look up how to install fonts on your own PC.

Embedding a font in your PowerPoint presentation

It’s very easy to embed fonts into individual presentations. By embedding the fonts, you ensure that they will look the same when opened on other systems even if they don’t have your custom font installed.

  1. Click on the File tab in the ribbon then select Options.
  2. Click Save on the left side of the dialog box that appears.
  3. Under Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation on the right, put a check next to Embed fonts in the file then choose Embed only the characters used in the presentation (best of reducing file size) or Embed all characters (best for editing by other people).
  4. Click OK and continue saving normally.

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The bad news for Mac users

The Mac version of PowerPoint doesn’t allow you to embed fonts. I guess it’s just too complicated to ensure that embedded PC fonts display the same on a Mac and vice versa.

About Laura Foley:
As the Cheater of Death by PowerPoint, Laura Foley provides training and presentation design services to help people communicate their ideas and be better presenters. She has worked with Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, General Dynamics, Juniper Networks, Harvard Business School, DST, Eloqua, EMC, TE Connectivity, and VMware and has conducted training sessions at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Simmons College, the Central Mass Business Expo, and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Her speaking engagements include HOW Design Live, the largest conference for creative professionals in the world. A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Laura has over two decades’ experience in presentation design, marketing, and copywriting. She lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. Laura serves as Cubmaster and Den Leader for Hubbardston Cub Scouts Pack 12. It’s like herding cats, but more rewarding.

 

 

Webinar Wrap-Up: More Q & A with Laura Foley

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In our May 18th webinar, Cheating Death by PowerPoint with presentation designer Laura Foley, the questions were coming faster than we could share them with both Laura and the attendees. Our presenter was kind enough to answer many of the webinar questions so we could share them with you.

To watch the webinar and get the handouts, click here


Question:
Do you have any tips for a “welcome” slide that might be used during opening speeches, etc. but not actually referenced directly?

Answer:
It’s always a good idea to have your organization’s logo, the name of your presentation, your name and your contact information on your opening slide. Repeat this at the end of the presentation so people know how to get in touch with you if they have questions.  See example below:

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Question:
Do you have font recommendations? Including size

Answer:
Think of a slide as a billboard. If you have to slow down to read it, then the type is too small. While I have no set and fast rule for point sizes of type on a slide, I try to make the text very large so that people can read it no matter how far away from the screen they may be.

Question:
I notice you use a lot of Orange against a white background. Has this combination been proven successful or just your preference?

Answer:
It’s one of my corporate colors.

Question:
How do you work with (around?) a mandatory company template or one that is a very generic company background?

Answer:
I use the typeface and colors specified in the template, but I’ll usually never use the established text boxes and bullet points. I prefer to use very large text on a slide and no bullet points. Also, you can make text bold, italic, or all caps to give it many different looks while still using the same typeface.

Question:
Are gradients opportunity or threat?

Answer:
Now that flat design is the rage, I don’t use as many gradients. When I do, they’re very subtle. Any gradient and highlight that makes a graphic look three-dimensional or glasslike also make it look dated.

Question:
Could you comment on using company logos and names, etc. in the footer?

Answer:
Do it if the client demands it. Otherwise, you can just use it at the beginning and the end of the presentation. By deleting the standard header and footer, you free up a lot more slide real estate to be used for information.

Question:
What do you think about decorative themes? For example, if we create a title slide that looks like a movie poster (maybe an ocean theme to discuss a “deep dive” into a subject)…do you think keeping ocean imagery on every slide is cohesive and engaging, or purely decorative and distracting?

Answer:
There’s nothing wrong with being creative with your slides. But if the theme is as you suggest a “deep dive,” that’s just another way of saying an in-depth view of a subject. I wouldn’t carry the “deep dive” analogy through every slide, maybe just the title. Make sure that the design of your slide reflects the content of the presentation, not the type of presentation it is.

Question:
What is the best font to use for numbers (like in charts)?

Answer:
The same typeface that is standard for the template you’re using.

Question:
What are your thoughts on using custom (non-standard) fonts?

Answer:
It’s amazing! Your presentations will look different from everyone else’s, which helps make them memorable. For more ideas, and step-by-step instructions on how to do it, click here.

About Laura Foley:
As the Cheater of Death by PowerPoint, Laura Foley provides training and presentation design services to help people communicate their ideas and be better presenters. She has worked with Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, General Dynamics, Juniper Networks, Harvard Business School, DST, Eloqua, EMC, TE Connectivity, and VMware and has conducted training sessions at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Simmons College, the Central Mass Business Expo, and the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst. Her speaking engagements include HOW Design Live, the largest conference for creative professionals in the world. A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Laura has over two decades’ experience in presentation design, marketing, and copywriting. She lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband and two sons. Laura serves as Cubmaster and Den Leader for Hubbardston Cub Scouts Pack 12. It’s like herding cats, but more rewarding.

How to Create Color Themes for PowerPoint Presentations

When creating PowerPoint decks you need to know how color themes work in PowerPoint, how many and what colors you need for your custom color theme, as well as how to quickly add more colors. A great PowerPoint color theme that is properly saved can be reused across your slide decks – and even in your Word and Excel files.

The structure of a PowerPoint color theme.

A PowerPoint color theme consists of 10 colors; four text and background colors and six accent colors. The colors should be used as intended – don’t define accent colors as the first four text/background colors and make sure you have six distinctive colors as your access colors.

The PowerPoint Color Scheme
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The order of the ten colors is important. The order of the text and background colors defines what color will be used as the default text color and default background. Light 1 and Light 2 should always be light colors and Dark 1 and Dark 2 should always be dark colors. The text and background colors also define the automatic background styles available in PowerPoint. Good practice is to keep white and black among the first four text and background colors. You will most likely need to use white or black at one point when creating your PowerPoint, so keeping them handy is a smart move. If another color than black is defined as a default color (maybe you are using a dark gray or a significant brand color as your text color (Dark 1)), make black the Dark 2 color to keep it accessible.

The order in which you add accent colors to the color template is equally important. The order they are added is the order in which PowerPoint will automatically use them in charts and smart arts. Most organizations set their main brand color as the Accent 1 color. However, when you use SmartArt, for some reason the Accent 1 color is not used. So if you do a lot of SmartArt and want the main brand color to be used, avoid setting it to Accent 1. Custom shapes and lines are automatically using the Accent 1 color. You can, however, change this if you don’t want to overuse your Accent 1 color.

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Creating colors for PowerPoint – the order of the PowerPoint theme colors

If you need more than six accent colors, you can add custom colors to your color theme by adding them to the XML code or using an add-in (this book is a great resource on how to add custom colors to PowerPoint).

PowerPoint automatically generates tints and shades in the 10 colors. You cannot control how the tints or shades are defined, but you can adjust them by using the HSL color settings to alter the RGB code (this is a link to a great article on how to do this). Sometimes the automatically generated tints (color + white) can be too “neonish”.

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Creating colors in PowerPoint – the automatically generated shades and tints

How to add colors to PowerPoint?

So knowing the basics of a PowerPoint color theme, how do you add your own colors to PowerPoint to be used in your next deck? Here are three ways of adding colors:

  1. Use the standard color palette
    • PowerPoint’s built-in standard color palette gives you 127 colors, plus white, black, and shades of gray to choose from (to read more about combining colors, read this article).
  2. Use the RGB color model
    • PowerPoint uses the RGB model to define colors (as PowerPoint was designed to be shown on a screen). Each RGB color has three values, each ranging from 0-255, where BLACK is 0-0-0 and WHITE is 255-255-255. By adding RGB numbers into PowerPoint, you can add your own colors.
  3. Use the HSL color model
    • You can also create colors in PowerPoint using the HSL model. The HSL model is available under the custom dialog box. Using the HSL model you can create colors by defining the hue, saturation and luminosity of a color.

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Click here to read more about the color models.

How to add and save a custom PowerPoint color theme?

Once you have your colors, you need to define them as theme colors. You need your four text and background colors and six accent colors. You also need to define the colors for hyperlinks and visited hyperlinks.

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How to add and save a custom                                            PowerPoint color theme

This is the procedure to add your colors to your color theme in PowerPoint (using PowerPoint 2013 or 2016 for PC as demo):

  1. Open the Customize Colors dialogue box clicking on the “Design Tab”, “Variants menu”, “Colors drop-down arrow” and then go all the way down to “Customize Colors… “
  2. Define each color in the color theme by using the drop down boxes for each of the ten + hyperlink colors (using one of the three methods for adding colors described previously).
  3. Name your new color theme and save.

Your color theme is now saved as a custom color theme (an .xml file) locally on your computer. It will be available in the colors menu as a custom color theme throughout Office (PowerPoint, Word and Excel) and you can apply this color theme whenever your want. The colors will “travel” with your file, so anyone opening it will see the colors you defined. If you save your PowerPoint as a theme/template, the color theme will be saved with the theme/template as well.

Need more accent colors quickly?

You can add custom colors to a color theme – but if you quickly want to use more accent colors, here are four quick ways to use your six accent colors in multiple ways.

1. Use automatically generated tints & shades

Use the already defined tints and shades of your accent colors. PowerPoint will give you five tints and hues for each color.

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2 Use the custom RGB color settings

Use the RGB color settings to quickly generate your own tints and shades by adding white or black to a hue. Click on Custom colors in the Colors dialog box and Drag the tint/shade arrow up for a tint and down for a shade.

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3 Use the HSL color model

Use the HSL color settings to create more colors by adjusting the hue, saturation and luminosity. Click on Custom colors in the Colors dialog box and choose the HSL color model. Move the cross hair horizontally to create a new hue, vertically to create a new color by adjusting saturation. Move the vertical bar up (add white) or down (add black) to add or decrease luminosity to a color.

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4 Use the transparency bar

Use the transparency function to add a transparent white or black object on top of a hue.

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What if I want an even faster way to create a color theme?

If you don’t have time to create a color theme, PowerPoint has a number of built-in color themes. You apply these color themes via the Design Tab, Variants menu, and the Colors Drop-down.

Click here to get an overview of all built-in color themes in PowerPoint 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016.

Example of PowerPoint color themes

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What if my favorite colors or brand colors are HEX or CMYK?

PowerPoint can only handle RGB codes (and HSL codes, but those are not as widely used when it comes to defining hues). If your brand book defines colors as CMYK or if your web guidelines use HEX, you need to convert them to RGB. There are multiple services online that can help you with this – just Google.

Click here to read more about the relationship between HEX, CMYK, RGB and HSL.

A quick summary of how to create your own color theme for PowerPoint:

1. Define 6 accent colors in RGB
2. Define 2 light + 2 dark colors for text & background in RGB
3. Define hyperlink colors in RGB
4. Add color theme to PowerPoint using Design Tab
5. Name and apply color theme
6. Use shades and tints to create more colors

jr_300JOHANNA REHNVALL is the Founder and CEO of Presentitude™ and was born curious. She is passionate about visual communication and has helped organizations structure their information into strategic presentations for almost 18 years. She was most recently one of the original Partners of the communication agency Prime International, the most awarded independent communication agency in the world. She is also the founder of the communication and insight agency VisionJar™.

Test Drive: How To Use Pre-sized Templates to Create Graphics

Editors note

Like many of our readers, we have to do presentation design or graphics for our magazine.  With the complex landscape of social media and the lack of standardization, you have to get creative for how you can implement and represent your brand across multiple platforms. Not an easy task.

So take a test drive with us and experience how we created our own branded graphics across branded graphics style and extensions.  We share the steps we took to create banners for Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and even the “Editor’s Note” image we created for this article. Using pre-sized templates to create branded banners across platforms is efficient and saves you lots of time (and less gray hair!)

 

For this test drive, we choose to use Canva, an online graphic design platform. They offer a wide range of pre-sized templates, images, and typefaces to choose from. Their drag and drop feature makes it easy to create multiple versions – I like to do that to see visually what I like, and it stimulates others ideas.  So let’s have fun!

I have seen Guy Kawasaki demonstrate Canva and how he uses it at The Presentation Summit in New Orleans and at two other conferences here in the San Francisco Bay area.  His passion and imagination for designs bring alive the power of what you can do. He says, “Canva is democratizing design.” What he means is that Canva is a technology that enables the everyman to do graphic design with customizable templates and industry standard templates for social media and marketing materials   We can now add banners to our social media profiles.  But creating them is simple and easy to do.  That is where the power of Canva shows how smart their technology is.

First, they have already built custom layouts for each social media platforms with the “correct” sizes for each.  All you have to do is customize it for your brand.  First, you choose your platform, and the size is correct for where you need it – no more trying to figure it out in PowerPoint or opening a huge project file in Photoshop or Illustrator.

Just select the specific banner you will need for your social media account and start designing:

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Putting Canva to the Test:

I selected the Instagram banner so I could create the “Editor’s Note” graphic at the top of this article. Let me explain how I created it.  First, I found the graphic image I wanted to use on Big Stock.

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Next, I uploaded the graphic to the template then added two lines of text to make it mine.  I also played around with some sizes and layouts that I thought would be additional options:

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And then I decided to use a different layout and by using a variety of fonts to personalize it –

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It was easy to do, and it looks very professional. You can drag and drop individual elements so you can find the right formula for what your design goals are.

How we used Canva-designed banners in our social media:

We also used Canva to create PresentationXpert’s social media banner. We created a brand for the social media look then we implemented across all the social media platforms.

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One of the features that made it easy to create banners for Twitter, Google+, Facebook and others. Check them out below:

Sharyn G= Presentatoinxpert

PXpert Google+ Page

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Twitter Banner and Profile

In creating some these banners, I discovered that Canva offers a “magic resize” option which offers you an easy way to create different size and type banners for different projects. It is as simple as clicking a few buttons and “Abracadabra – Resize!”. You can remix and reuse your design project by accessing them in your library.

This is just one example of a “How To” tip I found on Canva’s website and their wealth of resources and idea books to get you started. They offer several “design school” online courses that are great primers for designers. You can definitely enhance your skill set with some of their well-executed ideas.

How does Canva fit with PowerPoint?

emma bannisterGood question.We asked Presentation Studio’s Emma Bannister, who is a member of Canva Experts Design Community. Their members are leaders in the design industry who are passionate about Canva and committed to changing the way we think about design. Here is her viewpoint:

“The presentation layouts in Canva are simple and contemporary. It’s super-easy to click and drag to create professional looking designs. Utilize the numerous royalty free templates (see terms and conditions) or simply using them to kick-start your creativity. All you have to do is change the text to suit your needs! Editing of imagery is simple and efficient (think Instagram). Once your presentation is complete, share finished files via email or social media. Plus you can download a print quality PDF – perfect for hosting your presentations on slideshare.com.

Canva isn’t PowerPoint or Prezi. If you want animation or interactive presentations you won’t find it here. You can’t drag files into PowerPoint. Your only option of reusing assets is to save as a PDF and import the art files into illustrator and then reconvert. Not something I would suggest – why would you need to?

Yet Canva is a great resource for Infographics and typography layouts. If you’re a designer and know what you’re doing, Illustrator has more professional features. But for the everyday user who just needs an idea, and simple tools to create layouts Canva provides so many solutions. Just take a template, and follow your nose!”

Thanks, Emma!  In my opinon, Canva is a great compliment to PowerPoint or any other design platform. The only limit is your imagination.

 

About Sharyn Fitzpatrick:

The Presentation Summit 2013Sharyn has been part of the PresentationXpert team since June 2012.  She is the host and produces all of our webinars in addition to her new duties as editor.  Her journalism background, her love of design and technology gives her a passion for anything to do with presentations.  In addition to PresentationXpert, Sharyn is the Chief Marketing and Webinar Guru at Marcom Gurus which she started the agency in 2000 and is known as the “Webinar Chick” online.  Email her at sfitzpatrick@presentationxpert.com. Follow her on Twitter, @PXpert and @themarcomguru.

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