What is TrueType?
TrueType is a digital font technology designed by Apple Computer, and now used by both Apple and Microsoft in their operating systems. Microsoft has distributed millions of quality TrueType fonts in hundreds of different styles, including them in its range of products and the popular TrueType Font Packs.
TrueType fonts offer the highest possible quality on computer screens and printers, and include a range of features which make them easy to use.
What is OpenType?
OpenType is a scalable format for computer fonts, initially developed by Microsoft, later joined by Adobe Systems. OpenType was first announced in 1996, with a significant number of OpenType fonts starting to ship in 2000–2001. Adobe completed conversion of its entire font library to OpenType around the end of 2002. As of early 2005[update], there were around 10,000 fonts available in OpenType format, with Adobe’s library making up under a third of the total. As of 2006, every major font foundry and many minor ones were developing fonts in OpenType format.
OpenType uses the general “sfnt” structure of a TrueType font, but it adds several smartfont options which enhance the font’s typographic and language support capabilities. The glyph outline data in an OpenType font may be in one of two formats: TrueType format outlines in a ‘glyf’ table, or Compact Font Format (CFF) outlines in a ‘CFF ‘ table. CFF outline data is based on the PostScript language Type 2 font format. The table name ‘CFF ‘ is four characters long, ending in a space character. However, OpenType specification does not support the use of PostScript outlines in TrueType Collection font.
For many purposes, such as layout, it doesn’t matter what the outline data format is, but for some purposes, such as rasterisation, it is significant. The term “OpenType” doesn’t specify outline data format. Sometimes terms like “OpenType (PostScript flavor)”, “OpenType CFF”, or “OpenType (TrueType flavor)” are used to indicate which outline format a particular OpenType font contains.
OpenType has several distinctive features:
• The font character encoding is based on Unicode and can support any script (or multiple scripts at once).
• OpenType fonts can have up to 65,536 glyphs.
• Fonts can have advanced typographic features that allow proper typographic treatment of complex scripts and advanced typographic effects for simpler scripts, such as the Latin script used in writing English.
• Font files are intended to be cross-platform, and can be used without modification on Mac OS, Windows and some Unix systems.
• If no additional glyphs or extensive typographic features are added, OpenType CFF fonts can be considerably smaller than their Type 1 counterparts.