What are the differences between font formats?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by eggy3, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. eggy3 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2008
    Now that I have found a great font manager (linotype fontexplorer, thanks to all on the forum for your great advice) I am trying to refresh my flailing memory regarding font format.

    Why mac needs truetype of its own??
    Is opentype as good for printed work as postscript? What are the differences?
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    TrueType is a format in which each character is composed of quadratic splines. Each TrueType glyph is an executable routine within the TrueType font renderer. The format was developed by Apple and adopted by Microsoft. The difference between Mac and Windows version of TrueType is that the font information is in the resource fork of the file, whereas the Windows is a flat file.

    PostScript is shorthand for Adobe PostScript Type 1. In the early days of PostScript printers, Adobe made Type 3 available as a public format. Type 2 never saw the light of day. PostScript fonts use cubic splines to form each character. Each PostScript character also pure data. All intelligence resides in the font renderer.

    Apple developed TrueType after Adobe refused Apple's request to improve the hinting for low-resolution devices like laser printers and computer displays. Adobe justified its refusal by saying that its primary market was professional typesetting. Microsoft joined Apple in a TrueType partnership. It was supposed to develop a PostScript clone print engine as its contribution to the partnership. Rather than develop its own, Microsoft purchased a PostScript clone which it named TrueImage.

    The TrueType alliance routed Adobe among personal computers. However, Apple and Adobe kissed and made-up a bit. Years later, Adobe went hat-in-hand to Microsoft. The result was OpenType. OpenType is a format with PostScript and TrueType in a single file.

    As a MacOS X user, you are set. MacOS X natively handles PostScript Type 1, PostScript Multple-Master, PostScript GX, TrueType, TrueType GX, and OpenType in either Mac or Windows format. You do not need a special Mac format.
  3. lag1090 macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2007
    ^ You can't get a much better answer than that.

    Kudos for the comprehensive explanation.

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