Digital typography plays a crucial role in design, and TrueType and OpenType fonts are two popular font formats widely used in various software applications. Understanding the technical differences, file size, and design application support between these formats is essential for designers, developers, and users to make informed decisions when selecting fonts for their projects. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the history, key differences, and compatibility of TrueType and OpenType fonts.
TrueType fonts were developed jointly by Apple and Microsoft in the 1980s as a response to Adobe’s PostScript font technology. The goal was to create a font format that could be easily scaled and rendered on both screen and print. TrueType fonts quickly gained popularity and became widely adopted.
OpenType fonts were developed by Adobe and Microsoft in the 1990s as an extension of the TrueType format. This new format aimed to address the limitations of TrueType fonts and offer more advanced typography features. It also provided better cross-platform support and allowed for a larger character set.
- File Structure and Typography Features: TrueType fonts have a simpler file structure and do not support advanced typography features such as ligatures, glyphs, or alternate characters. OpenType fonts have a more complex file structure and support these advanced typography features, providing designers with greater flexibility and control over their text.
- File Size: TrueType fonts typically have smaller file sizes compared to OpenType fonts because they contain fewer advanced features. However, the difference in file size may not be significant enough to impact performance or storage concerns for most users.
- Compatibility and Support: TrueType fonts are more widely supported by software applications and operating systems, making them the go-to choice for many users. OpenType fonts have gained popularity among designers and typographers since the 2010s due to their advanced features and have become increasingly popular.
Design Application Support
Adobe’s design applications, such as Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, have excellent support for OpenType fonts, allowing users to take full advantage of the advanced typography features. Other design applications, such as Sketch and Affinity Designer, also provide good support for OpenType features.
While TrueType fonts are still supported by most design applications, their more limited feature set makes them less appealing to professional designers and typographers who require advanced typography capabilities.
OpenType fonts are designed to be cross-platform compatible (between Windows and macOS, for example). This compatibility allows for more consistent font rendering across different devices and platforms. However, they may require specific software or operating systems to work correctly.
In summary, the key differences between TrueType and OpenType fonts lie in their file structure, typography features, file size, and design application support. TrueType fonts have a simpler file structure and are more widely supported, making them an ideal choice for general use. However, OpenType fonts offer advanced typography features, cross-platform compatibility, and extensive support in design applications, making them the preferred choice for professional designers and typographers. We at YouWorkForThem typically suggest that all users go with OpenType formats when licensing from us, as this will generally provide the best and most enhanced version of the font design. When selecting a font format for your projects, consider these factors to ensure the best results and compatibility across platforms and applications.