June 4, 2010 – 1:04 am
I’m going to go through this slowly, because I’ve been having great difficulty making myself understood when I asked what I thought was a very simple question on Twitter about 6 hours ago. I’m still trying to clarify it – hence this blog post.
I’m making a PowerPoint presentation for a speech I’m giving next week.
I use PowerPoint for Mac to create presentations, and I’m making it on my Macbook Pro.
On my Mac, I have a range of lovely fonts to choose from in PowerPoint. Usually, I use Helvetica Neue. I generally use white text on a black background.
However, in this particular case, I’ve been asked to send the PowerPoint presentation as a file via email to the conference organisers, who will then pre-load it on the computer in the auditorium.
That computer is a PC.
Is there a compatible font?
I’m trying to figure out how to guarantee that the presentation I make on my Mac will look right on the projector screen when I come to give that presentation.
So my first thought is to find and use a font that PCs will be guaranteed to support.
So far the only sans-serif font (and it must be sans-serif) that I can be sure that PCs will all have – is Arial. And I hate Arial. It would be my last resort (and no, Comic Sans is not an option).
A number of people have suggested other, perfectly acceptable fonts (Lucida, Gill Sans…) – but nobody’s seemed certain that all PCs will be sure to have them.
Should I use something else?
Another solution that’s been offered is that instead of giving a PowerPoint slide show, I instead make a PDF out of the slides – and then Adobe Reader will be able to display them, full screen, on the projector.
Nobody seems 100% certain about that “fact” yet – but if that’s true, that might be the workaround to go for. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s a workable one.
But again the question remains – is it likely that every PC will have a copy of Adobe Reader?
Other suggestions have been forthcoming, but most of them require a live internet connection at the venue (unlikely) or they provide an innovative solution to a completely different problem.
Why is this so hard?
I can’t possibly be the only person in history ever to want to make a simple PowerPoint slideshow on a Mac, and worry whether it’s going to look like total typographical crap with random line breaks, dumb substitute fonts and poor layout when I actually come to give the talk.
Can someone PLEASE solve this? Thanks.
UPDATE: Just as I finished writing this, a couple of people tweeted to say that MOST PCs will have Adobe Reader – and that pressing CTRL-L on a PC will full-screen a PDF. Is that really my best option?