Embed, subset or remove embedded fonts in PowerPoint or Word

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.

Please take a look at the following FAQs for help when working with fonts in PowerPoint and Word.

How to embed fonts in PowerPoint or Word

When you share your document or presentation with others there’s a chance that text may appear differently on their computers, if they don’t have access to the same fonts as you. This becomes more likely if you use less-common fonts.

If you want to save your presentation without changing or losing the fonts, then you should consider embedding the fonts in your file. Embedding the font means including a copy of the font file within your document, so that other people who open the file can use the font, even if they didn't have it themselves. This will increase the file size but ensures that any recipient can open the document on their computer and see/edit it as you intended.

To embed fonts on Windows follow these steps:

  1. Click the File tab in the ribbon and then select Options.
  2. In the Options dialog, select Save.
  3. At the bottom of the right panel, select the Embed fonts in the file check box.
    Embed_Fonts.PNG
  4. Choose either Embed only the characters used in the presentation (Subset) or Embed all characters.
    If you choose to Subset then users without the font will not be able to properly edit the text as they don’t have the full font embedded.
    Your options in Word are slightly different, as there is a third option of Do not embed common system fonts, which PowerPoint does by default. This ensures fonts like Arial will not be embedded, even if they are used, as they are commonly available on most computers.
    Do_not_embed_fonts.PNG

To embed fonts on a Mac follow these steps:

  1. Click PowerPoint in the menu bar and select Preferences (or alternatively hold ⌘ + ,).
  2. Click Save, in the middle-left.
    Embed_Fonts_Mac.PNG
  3. Under the Font Embedding heading, check Embed fonts in the file.

Some additional things to consider before embedding fonts:

  1. Embedding fonts will ensure your file looks the same when it is viewed or edited by others but it will also make your presentation or document larger, in some cases by a lot!
  2. Check how common your fonts are. If it is likely that the people you share your presentation/document with already have the fonts on their system then it is probably not worth increasing your file size by embedding them.
  3. If you don’t embed fonts and someone opens the presentation without having the font, PowerPoint will just automatically select a similar font to display the text, so it will look different for them. However, it will not change which font is referenced, so they will be able to edit the file and send it back. When you open it back on your computer with the font available it will display correctly including the new edits.

How to subset or remove fonts in PowerPoint or Word

If your file size gets too large after embedding fonts in Office files, or you are using a template that came with embedded fonts that you don’t want, you might want to consider removing them to reduce size.

You have a few options here for removing/reducing the size of fonts:

  1. Stop embedding fonts - but leave the existing font selection in place, which will reduce the size of your file but when you share it with others you risk having the layout change when PowerPoint substitutes certain fonts.
  2. Change the embed settings to only include characters used in the file. This is called subsetting and it ensures that any parts of a font that aren’t in use can be left out. This can make a big difference to the size but it gets in the way of other people making extensive edits to the text as they are potentially missing parts of the font that they need.
  3. Replace the font(s) you want to stop embedding in every object, template or theme - choose commonly available fonts, or alternative/smaller fonts that you are happy to embed. This way you can reduce file size but at the same time be confident that your file will appear the same on other computers.

Please note as soon as you remove all references to a font it will cease to be embedded in the file.

How to stop embedding fonts in PowerPoint or Word

To remove embedded fonts follow these steps:

  1. In PowerPoint (or Word) click on the File tab and select Options.
  2. Click on the Save option on the left-hand side
    Save_Mac.PNG
  3. In the Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation section disable the Embed fonts in the file check box.
    Preserve_fidelity.PNG
  4. Click OK and then save your file, which will immediately remove the fonts from your presentation.

Please note that this will not update/change the fonts used in objects, notes or themes within your presentation; it will just stop including the font files with your presentation/document.

How to stop embedding all characters in a font

To subset or only include required characters in embedded fonts follow these steps:

  1. As above, except in step 3, make sure that you enable Embed fonts in the file and choose Embed only the characters used in the presentation.
    Embed_fonts2.PNG

How to replace fonts to force them to unembed

If you replace all references to an embedded font it will drop out of the file. Follow these steps to replace fonts in use in your presentation:

  1. Click Home tab and then select the down arrow alongside the Replace button at the end of the ribbon.
  2. Choose Replace Fonts…
    Replace_fonts.PNG
  3. From this dialog you can choose the fonts you no longer want to use in your presentation and replace them with others. Select the font you want to replace in the top dropdown and then the font you’d like to replace it with in the second dropdown list.
    Replace_fonts2.PNG
  4. Then click Replace and PowerPoint will change all of the objects using the font.
  5. Click Close
  6. Save your file and the font that was previously in use and embedded will now be removed from your document.

How to check if fonts are embedded in your document

If you are not sure whether fonts are embedded and how much space they are taking up inside your file, here’s some instructions on how to dig up that information.

April 28, 2020: We will shortly be releasing a free Add-In that will display a list of the embedded fonts in a PowerPoint presentation along with the size of each. To be notified when it’s available please leave your email address with us over on the Slidewise product page.

Are fonts embedded?

To check this follow the instructions above for embedding or removing embedded fonts and just check the Embed fonts in the file setting to confirm if it is enabled or disabled.

Which fonts are embedded?

To see which fonts are included in your file, you can use the Replace Fonts… feature to get a list.

Windows

  1. Click Home tab and then select the down arrow alongside the Replace button at the end of the ribbon.
  2. Choose Replace Fonts…
    Replace_fonts.PNG
  3. All of the fonts in use in your presentation will appear in the top dropdown.
    Replace_fonts2.PNG

Mac

  1. Click the Format menu, then Replace Fonts...
    Mac_replace_fonts.PNG
  2. On the Replace Font dialog, click the Replace dropdown to see a list of all the fonts currently in use within your presentation.
    Mac_replace_fonts2.PNG

How large are the embedded fonts?

Windows

To see how big an embedded font is you can view this in the font manager on Windows - access this by pressing the Windows key + R to open the Run box and then entering the command shell:fonts which will bring up this custom control panel view for your fonts.
Large_fonts_windows.PNG

If size isn’t showing you need to right-click in the column headings and select Size from the list of options.
Select_size_Windows.PNG

Mac

On Mac fonts are stored in System, Computer or User font folders - you can find them under these locations:

/Library/Fonts
/Users/{username}/Library/Fonts

There is just one file for each font and you will be able to see the size of it there.

Finally…

To get a breakdown of size for embedded fonts and all other media in the file you can use the Analyze function on wecompress.com which will tell you if fonts are embedded and how large in total they are.

Common Errors and Limitations

Embedding fonts is only possible with TrueType fonts (TTF) and OpenType fonts (OTF). They also have to allow embedding within the terms of their license.

If you try to embed a font with license restrictions you will encounter a save with fonts error telling you that Some of your fonts cannot be saved with the presentation.
Save_with_Fonts_mac.PNG

If you see this warning the font in question will not be embedded within the file. You will also see this warning every time you save the file as long as you leave Embed fonts in the file enabled and you continue to use this font.

Any objects, notes or themes that you have configured to use this font will continue to do so. However, if you share the file with someone else who doesn’t have the font, those objects will have their font substituted. The other person will also see this warning whenever saving the file.

To stop this happening you can either use the Replace Fonts... feature to change the font in all objects, notes and themes that make use of it - or disable font embedding completely.

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