If you’d like to have an edgier, moe sophisticated looking PowerPoint template, I’d suggest not using one of the following fonts:  Arial, Calibri, Tahoma or Verdana.  Everyone uses them.  The benefit to using them, is that anyone can then edit your pages.  If that’s not the concern, then consider using a different font.

When selecting that font, you’ll want to make sure that it’s a font that can be rendered on both Macs and PCs, typically with a .ttf file extension (though some .otfs work on both as well).  Either way, you’ll have to test them.  Some fonts render perfectly in Adobe products, but get altered in Microsoft products.

If you’re looking for a nice cheap or free place to source fonts, I’d suggest Google fonts or try one of the font foundry sites, like fonts.com or fontgarden.com and look around for free fonts.  Make sure you’re getting the desktop versions.  There are different technical concerns between desktop and web fonts.  Remember, whatever font you use, also needs to be on every machine that will be opening your file.  So, be sure to purchase licenses of your fonts for everyone working on your new template.

Once you’ve downloaded your fonts, install them.  For Macs, it’s simple, you’ll just open the font file and click on the lower right “Install font” button.  For PCs, it’s also simple.  Here are the steps:

  1. Put the font file somewhere that’s easy to find, like your desktop
  2. Go to your Start menu, then into your Control Panel
  3. From Control Panel, open the “fonts” folder
  4. Drag the font file from the easy to find place form step one into the “Font Folder”

In both cases, you will need to log out of PowerPoint and restart it for the fonts to load.  In rare cases, you’ll need to restart your machine (usually you don’t).

For on-screen, it’s wise to use sans-serif (meaning the simpler fonts or as an old co-worker said, sans-feet) fonts.  They are easier to read on screen (ex. Calibri vs. serif font Times New Roman).  If your documents will only be printed, you have more flexibility.

Happy font using!