About choosing fonts for presentations

When you choose fonts, consider the following factors:

  • The font that you use affects how your message is received. Choose a more serious font (such as Times New Roman) for a formal audience or a serious message. Choose a "fun" font (such as Comic Sans MS) for a more lighthearted message.
  • Sans serif fonts (such as Arial and Verdana) present a cleaner appearance, and they therefore tend to make a better choice for slides that contain large amounts of text. Serif fonts (such as Times New Roman and Bookman), on the other hand, often make attractive titles and headings.
  • When designing slides for online viewing, use fonts that look good online. The Verdana, Tahoma, and Bookman fonts are designed specifically for online viewing. Arial and Times New Roman also work well in this context.
  • To ensure readability, choose font colors that stand out sharply against the background.
  • Use bold and italic effects sparingly. Overuse diminishes their effectiveness.
  • Because each font has its own personality, consistency is important. If you are changing fonts frequently, you might not be presenting a consistent message to your audience. Aim to use no more than three or four separate fonts in a single presentation.
  • If your presentation will be run on computers other than the one that you created it on, you can avoid unexpected and unwanted font substitutions by using TrueType fonts (TrueType font: A font (typeface) that appears on a printed document exactly the way it appears on the screen. TrueType fonts are scalable to any font size. Several of these fonts are installed automatically when you install Windows.), and by embedding those fonts into the presentation. Doing this guarantees that the presentation is always shown with the fonts that you want.

Learn more about about embedding fonts.

Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003