PowerPoint Notes: September 2004
Info-things on PowerPoint usage including tips, techniques and tutorials.
Let us assume you received or created a presentation in a version earlier than PowerPoint 2003 for Windows (97, 2000, 2002). You probably have fonts embedded within the presentation.
Now you open it in PowerPoint 2003 and you find you cannot edit the presentation. PowerPoint tells you that "This presentation cannot be edited because it contains a read-only embedded font".
Why does this happen? Is there a solution?
Let's start at the very beginning by discussing font licensing. Fonts are created by various companies (also known as font foundries). Some of these companies do not mind if their fonts are embedded in presentations - others do not like that idea too much. To identify which fonts allows embedding or otherwise, most fonts have some code attached to them which allows an application to know whether the font can be embedded or not. If you want to know if a particular font allows embedding, you can download Microsoft's free Font Properties Extension.
PowerPoint on Windows has always enabled font embedding and versions before 2003 allowed you to open and view presentations even if you did not have the actual restricted and embedded fonts installed on a local machine. You could then replace the fonts and edit the presentation as required - and finally save the presentation to a new file.
In PowerPoint 2003, Microsoft implemented an algorithm that does not allow you to edit any presentation that contains a restricted, embedded font that is not installed on your system. You cannot even replace the fonts and save a presentation to a new file.
Not surprisingly, this creates so many issues for users of PowerPoint everywhere.
Here are some solutions:
1. Open the presentation again in PowerPoint 97, 2000 or 2002 and remove the "font embedding" option. Also change the font to something more generic using the Format | Replace Fonts... option. Resave to a new presentation. If you do not have access to an older version of PowerPoint, request a friend or colleague to do it for you.
2. If you have an older version of PowerPoint on CD-ROM, you can install more than one version of PowerPoint on the same system. The only caveat apart from using extra hard disk space is that you will have to uninstall Office (or PowerPoint) 2003, then install the older version. Then reinstall PowerPoint 2003. This way you have access to more than one version of PowerPoint on a single system.
3. If you own a license for the missing font, install it on your PowerPoint 2003 equipped system.
You Cannot Edit or Save a PowerPoint Presentation if It Contains an Embedded Read Only Fonts
I have slides with questions that need to be answered. If users provide the correct answer, they should be shown the next question slide. On the other hand, users who respond with the wrong answer should be made to go back to the last question to retry.
I could insert "correct" and "incorrect" slides between each question slide and triple my presentation file size. Can I do it with only only one "correct" and one "incorrect" slide for the entire presentation?
Kathy Jacobs, PowerPoint MVP provides a solution:
1. Put the "correct" and "incorrect" slides at the end of the show and hide them.
2. Now, set up two Custom Shows (Slide Show | Custom Show), one for the correct slide and one for the incorrect slide.
3. Set the "correct" and "incorrect" hyperlinks to the shows instead of the slides. When you set the hyperlinks up this way, you will get an extra option "Show and Return". Activate it by checking the box for each link.
4. When you run the show, the appropriate slide will come up. On the next click, it will close and you will return to the main presentation. Since the actual slides reside at the end of your presentation, but are hidden, they will never play except when called via the Custom Show.
Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.