Font Types

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Font Types

Over the years support for several different font types has been developed and evolved:

Raster Font (Legacy)

In a raster font each glyph is defined as a little bitmap designed for a specific resolution. They are not scalable like vector based fonts. Nowadays raster fonts are hardly used, except for specific tasks like booting your system, running MS-DOS-based applications and onscreen display in user interface elements.

Vector Font (Legacy)

Vector fonts contain glyphs that are defined as a set of points that define line segments. Although they can be scaled to any size, both quality and performance are poor compared to modern font types like those mentioned below. Your system might still contain one or two of these fonts but we strongly suggest to ignore them.

PostScript Type 1 Font (Legacy)

Adobe launched PostScript Type 1 together with PostScript Type 3 in 1984. This scalable font technology became very popular among desktop publishers, but is now being phased out.

TrueType Font (Legacy)

TrueType is a scalable font technology designed by Apple Computer, available since 1991 (Apple's Macintosh System 7). Apple traded the technology with Microsoft and became available on Microsoft Windows 3.1 in 1992.

OpenType Font Collection (formerly known as TrueType Collection)

An OpenType Font Collection file is one or more OpenType fonts combined into one file. Usually these fonts share many glyphs in common which result in a significant saving of file space.

OpenType Font

The OpenType font format is an extension of the TrueType font format, allowing support for PostScript font data. Technically there are two OpenType Font flavors; TrueType based (contains glyph outlines made out of lines and quadratic Bézier curves) and PostScript based (contains glyph outlines made out of lines and cubic Bézier curves). OpenType was developed jointly by Microsoft and Adobe to produce a hybrid between Type 1 and TrueType fonts, with additional features that work on Macintosh and Windows computers. OpenType fonts can include OpenType Layout Feature tables, which allow font creators to design better international and high-end typographic fonts.

OpenType Color Font

In 2013 color support was added to the OpenType specification. There are several color formats, and FontCreator is the first commercial font editor with support for the new multi-color font extension which Microsoft added in Windows 8.1.

OpenType Font Variations (also known as Variable Font)

In 2016 support for font variations was added to the OpenType specification. It allows multiple font faces within a font family in a single font resource, thus for example thin, regular, bold, and heavy along with condensed and expanded can be included in a single font file, and additionally, it allows for continuous variation along the included design axes.