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Difference Between Opentype and Truetype

web_fontsOpentype vs Truetype

We often do not concern ourselves with what type of fonts are installed in the computer as long as we have the fonts we like and need, and for most uses it doesn’t matter. But there are differences between font types that might affect certain applications. Truetype was developed by Apple during the 80s and has been widely used in desktop computers since. Opentype was developed by Microsoft and Adobe to compete with the success of Truetype. It was developed as a smartfont like Adobe’s Type 1 font but still incorporating some features of Truetype. This made Opentype ideal for simple desktop use and for large scale publishing jobs.

When it comes to how it operates, Truetype uses a glyph table for the characters and how it is drawn properly on screen. Truetype also uses hinting that modifies the control to some degree so that the rasterizer can create a better image of the characters. Opentype inherits these characteristic from Truetype while incorporating another method of creating the characters. Compact Font Format or CFF uses cubic Bezier spines instead of quadratic, which is what Truetype uses. Opentype is also capable of more advanced typographic features that lets it be used in a much wider range of applications.

Despite the clear superiority of Opentype fonts, it has still not superseded Truetype as the most prominent font type in use. This is because of its early market penetration. A lot of people already know how to create Truetype fonts and the number of free and downloadable Truetype fonts in the internet is almost uncountable. Some of these fonts are not even built very well. Opentype fonts are a little bit more difficult to create and as a consequence, there are much fewer Opentype fonts available. But this would soon change as more software companies switch to Opentype fonts. Users would undoubtedly follow suit and Truetype would gradually fade into the background in favor of the more superior Opentype font.

1. Truetype was developed by Apple while Opentype was developed by Microsoft and Adobe
2. Opentype is a more recent font compared to Truetype
3. Opentype was developed based on Apple’s Truetype and Adobe’s Type 1
4. Truetype uses a glyph table while Opentype can use both glyph tables and the more advanced CFF
5. Truetype is the most popular font in use today even if Opentype is superior
6. Truetype fonts are easier to create compared to Opentype

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