PowerPoint 2007 character spacing

  Ptolemy 13:27 22 Feb 11


In PowerPoint 2007 on XP I am getting huge character spaces after each letter and noticably larger ones after wider letters.

For example, FEWER looks like F E W E R both when editing and running slide show.

The same ppt file on Vista looks normal. This problem stops if I use a font with non-variable character spacing like Courier New, but that's wasn't really the appearance I was aiming for.

What have I got turned on and how do I stop it?


  Woolwell 14:19 22 Feb 11

Are you running the same resolution?

  skeletal 14:22 22 Feb 11

One thing to look out for in all versions of PP and Windows, is that whatever font you are using on the computer upon which you are designing your presentation, is present on the computer used to display your presentation.

This is not usually a problem with “Standard” fonts like Arial and Times New Roman, but occasionally, you may have a non-standard font introduced by a software package that is only on your computer (or possibly Vista has a font that XP does not).

PP does its best to reproduce the font on every machine, but if it can’t find it, it will substitute what it thinks is a near equivalent. Sometimes this can lead to all sorts of mysterious problems because you may not notice that the font is not exactly the one you originally used.


  Ptolemy 14:58 22 Feb 11


Thanks for the replies

I'm not using a non-standard font. Originally wrote in Arial then I've experimented to test what happens.

Every font has ridiculously large spacing, I'd say the maximum space possible, and those which are space adjustable increase the gap in relation to the width of the letter - W looks like it's followed by two spaces (the forum spellcheck must have removed it from my example).

The laptop with Vista has a higher resolution than my XP pc, but I don't think that can explain the difference.

  skeletal 16:30 22 Feb 11

Curses...the font problem as I’ve described is not well known and often cures problems like yours. Now it’s back to the drawing board, except I can’t think of anything else!

If you like, PM me (yellow envelope).

If you get a new presentation and copy a sample of your dodgy text into it, you could then send it to me to see what it does on my computer.

I’m running Office 2010 on Windows XP, so the problem may show up.

Meanwhile I'll keep thinking.


  Woolwell 17:08 22 Feb 11

I assume that you have checked the font character spacing.

As a matter of interest what are your resolutions? I can try on my desktop and laptop but both are Vista.

  SparkyJack 17:43 22 Feb 11

In what context are you using the text?
That is as captions within a frame/image or as a separate frame?

I am not a PP user[though I have oft thought of doing so]
But I do use another slide show program. and it too has a somewhat limited font range and shunting lines back and forth across a frame to get it to look right can be a pain.
So if the text is a complete frame- I now compose the piece in Word and cut and paste straight into the frame.
Or on occasion make a screen shot of the piece and import it as a .jpg file.
Hope it helps.

  Ptolemy 21:28 22 Feb 11

The pc is 1024 x 768 Vista is 1280 x 800, but I don't think that's it at all.

The spacing is setting the characters their full True Type adjusted distance apart. Word, Outlook and Excel don't do anything like this, and I think this may be the first time I've used PowerPoint since I updated from Office 2003 about 18 months ago.

It's affecting all text typed in, whether the title or the main body.

I can adjust the spacing to an extent, and have had to make the large gaps even, but it still looks like there's at least space between each letter.

My original concern was how stupid it would look when I make the presentation, but as other machines don't spread the text out I think that will be OK. It is, however, rather difficult to create the presentation as it will look quite different when used in anger.

I've had a good Google and found a few others with a similar problem, but no solutions.

How is Open Office's version of PowerPoint?

  johnnyrocker 21:55 22 Feb 11

very good but is called impress


  Woolwell 22:11 22 Feb 11

I gather that this problem is present when you are editing and in slideshow mode. Regret that I haven't come across this problem before.

  Ptolemy 09:01 23 Feb 11

I've installed Open Office and Impress shows the text spacing normally, as it should be.

The problem is obviously something to do with PowerPoint.

Annoying, but not the end of the world. Looks like I'll be using Open Office for all my presentations until I can be bothered to remove and re-install everything and see if that solves the problem.

PS I'm now particularly poorly disposed toward Apple TV Converter now.

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