Remove or subset embedded fonts from Office Files to reduce file size

Apr 28, 2020: We will shortly release a free PowerPoint Add-In that lists all embedded fonts in the open presentation, making it easy to see which fonts you are using and how big they are. This will be followed by a professional paid Add-In called Slidewise that will be super-helpful with tracking and managing fonts amongst lots of other fantastic features.
— Find out about both Add-Ins on the Slidewise product page.

Non-system fonts used in Office files will be embedded by default when the file is saved.  So a full copy of the entire character set of each non-system font is stored in the file. This ensures that when the file is shared the content looks the same to each user no matter what fonts they have on their system.  However, this does mean that the file size may increase dramatically especially if many different non-system fonts have been used.

There are 2 options to consider when removing fonts:

1. Subset the fonts

Subsetting fonts ensures only those characters that are actually used in the content are stored in the Office file. If the "$" character doesn’t appear anywhere in the text, that character is not included in the font. This means that Office files with subsetted fonts are smaller than Office files with fully-embedded fonts

2. Remove fonts entirely

Removing fonts entirely will change where that font is used to a system font, which may mean that the layout and spacing change. It also means that you are not guaranteed the same layout on other user's computers as they may have different fonts again. However, removing fonts can significantly reduce the file size.

How to subset or remove fonts in PowerPoint or Word

To remove or subset the embedded fonts follow these steps:

  1. In PowerPoint (or Word) click on the File tab and select Save As
  2. Select the location to save
  3. In the save dialog click on the Tools drop-down control (next to the save button) and select Save options.
    Unembed_fonts.PNG
  4. Click on the Save option on the left-hand side
    Preserve_fidelity.PNG
  5. In the Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation section there are a few options
    • To subset the fonts: enable Embed fonts in the file and choose Embed only the characters used in the presentation.
    • To remove fonts entirely: disable Embed fonts in the file
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