What’s That Font?! A mini-guide to identifying fonts from digital presentations

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You’ve decided.. You’re going to try using non-default fonts like Arial, Times New Roman and Comic Sans ( Blech! ) for your presentations.

Now you have a new problem… You’re unsure where to start. You have that ‘A-Hah’ moment and decide to trawl SlideShare for some inspiration.

Lucky you, you find a presentation design style you’d really love to emulate, but you don’t know how.

I empathize with your problem completely, so here’s a mini-guide on how to find the name of that elusive, sexy font.

Method 1: PDF Properties

The steps and rationale for this are simple:

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  • Download the deck you like off SlideShare ( if the author has been nice enough to allow it ).

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  • Open up the PDF file in Adobe Reader ( IMPORTANT because this doesn’t work on Mac’s Preview ).

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  • Click on File>Properties and click on the ‘Font’ tab.

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  • Therein lies your answer!

Note: This method only works if the author has embedded the font file into the pdf when exporting. In some ( very rare ) cases, the author may export slides as images instead. In that case, you’re out of luck.

Method 2: WhatTheFont

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This is a superb service used when you want to find the name of the font off almost ANY picture. ( This works best if you don’t have PDF access ).

font screenshot

  • Screenshot the portion of the typeface you want to identify.
  • Upload to web service.

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  • Identify the relevant letters that correspond with the word.

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  • Walah! Magic.

Note: This method is excellent but may not be fool-proof. There are instances where the fonts are not identified correctly, but the services typically finds a really close match as a result.

And there you have it! Now you can emulate the designs of your favourite presentation designers, no-holds-barred.

Please use with care and avoid plagiarising the work of others.