Huge news for Office Mac users – font embedding finally arrives!


It’s taken over a decade, but Office for Mac has taken a huge step towards true document compatibility.  Font embedding was not possible until now and it’s been too long coming.

This is HUGE Office for Mac news but it’s got almost no mention, with attention focused on the superficial ‘Dark Mode‘ instead.

Font embedding adds the font details into the document itself.  When another computer opens that document, it can use the embedded font if the font isn’t already installed on the computer.

For too long, Office for Mac customers heard Microsoft’s promises about ‘document compatibility’ with Office for Windows.  Then discovered that compatibility is noticeably limited.  A document made in Office for Mac could look very different opened in Windows, unless special care is taken with font choice.

Font Embedding has been in Word for Windows for a long time, as long as we can remember.  It’s finally come to Office 365 and Office 2019 for Mac.

Let’s try to overlook Microsoft’s extreme lateness with this feature and embrace the fact they’ve arrived at all <sigh>.

See Common Fonts: Office for Mac & Office for Windows

Office 2019 also gets font embedding

Office 2019 with the December 2018 update package (go here and choose ‘Word update package’ in the right column).

That’s somewhat surprising given the ‘feature locked’ assurances about Office 2019 but is still most welcome.

Word 365 and Word 2019 for Mac

The font embedding options is available under Word | Preferences | Save

Font embedding

Preserve fidelity when sharing this document:

  • Embed fonts in the file
  • Embed only the characters used in the document (best for reducing file size).

The ‘characters only’ option does make the document file smaller but it also reduces compatibility for the document receivers.  If the document is edited elsewhere to include characters not in the limited embedded font, the extra characters won’t display properly.

PowerPoint 365 and PowerPoint 2019 for Mac

The font embedding options is available under PowerPoint | Preferences | Save

Font embedding

Preserve fidelity when sharing this presentation

  • Embed only the characters used in the presentation (best for reducing file size).
  • Embed all characters (best for editing by other people).

The ‘characters only’ option does make the document file smaller but it also reduces compatibility for the presentation receivers.  If the presentation  is edited elsewhere to include characters not in the limited embedded font, the extra characters won’t display properly.

See Common Fonts: Office for Mac & Office for Windows


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