If, like me, you’ve been following the presentation revolution that’s been championed on Twitter by people like Natalie May (@_NMay) and Ross Fisher (@ffolliet and www.prezentationskills.blogspot.co.uk) then you’ll know that bullet points are out, and punchy images and fonts are in. You might even have tried something like Canva (www.canva.com) to make creating stylish presentations even easier. But there can be some problems in translation of your masterpieces to the iPhone and iPad.
I like to create and edit presentations on my Mac. I tend to use a mix of Keynote and Powerpoint depending on what I’m doing. Sometimes I’ll take my MacBook with me to deliver the presentation, but a lot of the time I prefer to travel light and attach my iPad or iPhone to the projector. This works really well in all regards except one: fonts.
While it’s easy to install fonts on the Mac itself, there’s no easy way to transfer these to an iOS device. iOS has a limited set of built-in fonts, and if you try to open a presentation containing another font then it will be substituted. The impact of your slide can easily be lost because of this.
Custom fonts can be installed into iOS, but only through the use of a ‘configuration profile’. A profile is a way of installing pre-configured settings onto the device, for example WiFi network details, security certificates or – in this case – fonts. There is no font manager app, but the Settings app deals with installing and managing profiles.
To create the profile that you will need to install the fonts, you’ll need an app. I use AnyFont (http://www.anyfont-app.com) which is available from the Apple App Store here. It costs £1.49 and is well worth the investment. (Other font apps are available).
There are several steps involved in getting a font into iOS:
Step 1: Transfer the Font Files to iOS
This can be done in several ways:
- Transfer the files to AnyFont via iTunes when your iOS device is plugged in via USB
- Open a font file in AnyFont by using the ‘Open In…’ menu in another app, for example Mail or Dropbox
AnyFont supports TTF, TTC and OTF fonts and will also accept a ZIP file of fonts (useful when transferring a whole font family or a number of fonts together). It will automatically expand the ZIP file and extract the fonts from it.
I use Dropbox to transfer the font files. I save the fonts I want to Dropbox, and then open them in the Dropbox app.
I then use the ‘Open In…’ menu to open them in AnyFont.
Once opened in AnyFont, the fonts appear in the list.
Step 2: Choose which Fonts to Install
A single font can be installed in AnyFont by tapping on its name. The configuration profile will be named after the font.
To install multiple fonts, there is a checkmark button at the top of the font list which allows you to select multiple fonts when tapped.
You can then choose a name for the multiple font profile.
Step 3: Install the Fonts
The fonts can then be installed by tapping the configuration profile icon.
This opens the Settings app, which will show you details of the profile.
Tap ‘Install’ to install it. A confirmation message confirms that you will be installing a font.
Tap ‘Next’. As the profile has not been digitally signed, a warning dialog appears to tell you about this. Tap ‘Install’ to accept this warning.
Tap ‘Install’ on the final dialog to install the fonts.
Safari will open with a ‘localhost’ address – this is the way that the Settings app retrieves the font and profile from AnyFont. It will then be installed and a confirmation dialog displayed. Tap ‘Done’ to exit the profile installation.
Step 4: Use the Fonts
The fonts that you have installed can now be used. They will show up in saved presentations and will also be available to choose from the iOS font picker when you are changing text in iOS.
Note: If you have already opened a Keynote presentation and a font has been substituted before you install the fonts you need, then you will have to open your presentation in Keynote for iOS and reset the desired font for the text in Keynote. The substitution does not automatically recognise that the font is now available. Powerpoint will recognise the new font if it is closed and restarted.
You’ll now be able to deliver your presentations from your iOS device the way that you designed them on your Mac!