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Presentation Font Embedder: Conversation with Ari Leviatan

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
posted by Geetesh on 9:30 AM IST





Ari LeviatanAri Leviatan is the co-creator of Presentation Font Embedder, a PowerPoint font embedding app for Mac. Leviatan has over 14 years of experience creating presentations, speaking, and guiding others on presenting. He gained his experience while presenting in front of executives, investors, entrepreneurs, and students, at Disney, Dell, Techstars, the University of Michigan, and others. Leviatan holds a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

In this conversation, Ari talks about Presentation Font Embedder.

Geetesh: Ari, why did you find a need to create Presentation Font Embedder? Can you tell us more about how this evolved?

Ari: Let's face it, unique fonts are the easiest way to quickly upgrade your presentation with a professional look. Even on a solid-color background with no design elements - a special font will stand out immediately. With this kind of potency, I was surprised when I recently made my switch to PowerPoint on Mac and discovered that the font embedding feature, which I loved and used while engaging audiences for years, was missing!

It's not only that fonts could not be embedded on the Mac. If you manage to get your finished presentation file on a Windows machine that has a copy of the same fonts that you used on the Mac, and you embed those fonts there (a workflow many designers reluctantly adopted), the fonts would then not show up on other Macs or iOS devices.

For some time, I was looking for a workaround to this problem. After searching for a while, I learned that some designers convert their entire slides to images, but that took a lot of manual work and time, it increased the sizes of my files significantly, and it also disabled all of my carefully cued animations. It was time for an elegant solution to the problem, and I decided to build it. I reached out to my friend Sahar Radomski, who is an experienced cross-platform software developer, and together we created Presentation Font Embedder.

Today, Presentation Font Embedder is the only way to embed fonts in PowerPoint on Mac. It works with both PowerPoint 2011 and 2016 versions, and it actually features two separate embedding methods to select from. This is one more method than what the Windows PowerPoint even offers, which makes this extra method completely exclusive to Mac users.

Presentation Font Embedder

Geetesh: Can you give us a quick idea of how people are using Presentation Font Embedder? Tell us more.

Ari: The two font embedding methods and the simplicity of use allow for a wide range of use cases for the app. It is not a surprise therefore that our users include graphic designers, branding professionals, business analysts, presentation consultants, teachers, speakers, and more.

For example, we have a user who is a sales professional that shares presentations with potential clients on a daily basis. Her clients obviously own a wide range of devices running different platforms, so it's important for her that her presentations could show up exactly as she designs them on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, Android devices - you name it.

She uses our Universal embedding method, which automatically and selectively converts all text elements into transparent images. You can actually see the conversion of each element happening right in front of your eyes and it's really cool to watch. The converted images are supported everywhere, and what's truly amazing is that we are able to preserve most of the animations of the shapes so that the flow of her sales-pitch stays intact.

Another user of ours is a consultant who uses a Mac even though most of his clients are big corporations with Windows-only networks. He uses our Editable embedding method to generate PowerPoint files with custom fonts for his clients, which they can then fill-in and edit on their own without installing anything. This method is actually similar to the method that the Windows PowerPoint uses for embedding, so our app allows him to complete his entire workflow on his Mac without switching over to Windows every time just to embed the fonts.

So far we are really excited about the responses that we are getting back from our users. People tell us that the app is a big help; it saves them great amounts of time, enables them to offer their clients better services, and enhances their presentations. Thanks to the Feature Request button in the app we are also learning a lot about new ways that we can improve the workflows of our users as we continue to add new features.

Presentation Font Embedder

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