How to Add Fonts to Powerpoint

by Filonia LeChat

If the phrase, “Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge makes you think of the many fonts included with PowerPoint that don’t make the grade for your next presentation, take heart. Although every installation of Microsoft PowerPoint comes with a huge package of fonts from typewriter looks to handwriting scribbles to graphical characters, you can download as many additional fonts as you like and add them into your PowerPoint slides. The process is actually done outside of the PowerPoint interface, which means you can use the fonts to make a powerful point in your other programs, too.

You Want a Font

The first step in adding fonts to PowerPoint is finding what you want. Once you’ve found that perfect typeface or font package, download it to an easily accessed place on your computer such as the desktop. Open your computer’s Font window, which you can search for from the Search charm and is found in the Control Panel. Click “View Installed Fonts” when searching in Windows 8. Resize the window so you can see both the window and the newly installed font. Drag the font into the Font window. Once it’s installed, you can delete it from your desktop. Repeat to add additional fonts.

Fully Loaded Fonts

If you closed PowerPoint before the installation process, open it back up again. Open a presentation and click a text box or click the “Click to add title” box on the main screen. This enables the Font drop-down menu. If you don’t have a text box selected, you won’t see the Font drop-down menu. Scroll down the list, which is organized alphabetically with the exception of the Recently Used Fonts section at the top, to check that your new font or fonts have been added.

Just Your Type(face)

Click the new font and type some text in a text box on the slide. You also can highlight existing text on the slide, then click the "Font" drop-down menu and change the font to the new font. If you’re ready to make a real commitment, you can add the font into your Slide Master or one of the themes. For example, use the Slide Master to dictate that all of the slide sub-heads will appear in your new font. By changing the font formatting in one place, it translates over to all the slides in the deck.

Playing Against Type

There are a few things to keep in mind when adding fonts to PowerPoint. Make sure what you choose is relevant for the presentation you’re working on. It may give you great giggles to format a slide header in Candy Bits, where each letter appears to be a chocolate-coated candy piece, but it may not go over so well in the board room. Also, all of those fonts you downloaded are on your computer only. This means that someone who opens your PowerPoint may have your perfectly chosen font rendered in an entirely different font. You can get around this by packaging your presentation as a portable document format file, PDF, for example, but doing so takes editing options away as a tradeoff.

About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.

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