PowerPoint Tips & Tricks

This will be a short summary of how to get the most out of PowerPoint. However the focus here will be on giving presentations, not creating them. Those that know will appreciate I am technical not artistic, hence the focus on presenting rather than designing.

This is what I plan to cover here:

  • Starting a presentation
  • Navigating during a presentation
  • Getting setup correctly
  • Using a projector

Using a Projector

One of the most important things, in my opinion, when running a presentation is making sure you use the projector (display, screen or monitor) to best effect. This applies with Microsoft PowerPoint as well as Apache OpenOffice Impress and LibreOffice Impress. My recommendation is that you extend your desktop, so that you have one big desktop spanning your laptop screen and the projector. For me duplicating your laptop screen to the projector is not professional. So take a look at Display Management for more help on this.

Using a Projector

Embedding fonts is easy, two tips, 1) embed the whole font not just used characters, 2) use the latest PowerPoint format, not a legacy one.

Handling Fonts

There are two useful things you can do with fonts in PowerPoint. Both of which help with a common problem that happens when you take a presentation and copy it to another computer. The fundamental issue is "missing fonts" and there are two ways you can deal with this, copy the fonts or change them.

Embedding Fonts

If you have used an unusual font and need it on the target machine then embedding is the best option, it is more convenient and less error-prone than asking someone else to install the correct font, as this makes sure they are all covered.

  • Click the Office Button or File Ribbon and select "Options"
  • In PowerPoint Options, select "Save"
  • Check the option to "Embed fonts in the file" and select "Embed all characters" as this works best
  • Save the presentation as a "PowerPoint Presentation", do not use one of the older, compatible file types
I have found that using the latest file format and the embedding all characters of the font helps.

Changing Fonts

This is easy as all you need to do is find the "Replace" button on the Home Ribbon, it is in the "Editing" section, you then drop down the little menu and select "Replace Fonts..." although you will need to first know which ones you are using.