Ronalds Vilciņš

Differences between OpenType and TrueType font formats

OpenType and TrueType are two popular font formats that are used to display text on computers and other devices. Both formats have their own unique features and benefits, but there are some key differences that set them apart.

One of the main differences between OpenType and TrueType is the way they store and display characters. TrueType uses quadratic curves to define the shapes of characters, which allows for high-quality rendering at small sizes. This means that TrueType fonts can be used to display small text clearly and legibly. However, the use of quadratic curves also means that TrueType fonts can be larger in file size than OpenType fonts.

OpenType, on the other hand, uses cubic Bezier curves to define the shapes of characters. This allows for even higher quality rendering at small sizes, as well as greater flexibility in design. OpenType fonts can also support a wider range of characters and languages, including support for right-to-left scripts such as Arabic and Hebrew.

Another key difference between the two formats is the way they handle typography features. OpenType fonts support advanced typography features such as ligatures, small caps, and alternate character sets. These features can be used to improve the appearance and readability of text, and are often used in design projects. TrueType fonts do not have native support for these features, but they can be added through the use of “tables”.

In terms of compatibility, both OpenType and TrueType fonts can be used on both Windows and Mac operating systems. However, OpenType has better support for web browsers and other applications, making it the preferred choice for many designers. OpenType fonts are also widely used in professional design software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

So which font format is the best? It really depends on your needs and preferences. If you need high-quality rendering at small sizes and advanced typography features, then OpenType may be the better choice. If you are working with a large number of characters and languages, then TrueType may be the better choice due to its support for right-to-left scripts.

Ultimately, both OpenType and TrueType are widely used and respected font formats that have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. It’s up to you to decide which one is the best fit for your project.

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