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Comparison of TrueType and raster graphics fonts

TrueType is a standard for fonts for displaying fonts on screens and printers ( English true type : literally "real font" or "real letter"). It is integrated into the Windows and Mac OS operating systems and is available with FreeType under Unix-like operating systems.


TrueType fonts belong to the outline fonts . In contrast to bitmap fonts, they are not made up of individual pixels , but based on the principle of vector graphics from contours. In particular, these are square B- splines . The advantage of the vector representation is the lossless scalability, i. H. the size of the font can be changed as required. The contours are only filled with pixels when they are output on different devices, mostly screen and printer. The competing, older PostScript font technology from Adobe uses Bézier curves of the third degree (cubic).

The file extension for TrueType fonts on Windows is .ttfor .ttc, the latter standing for TrueType collection . TTCs are container files that contain multiple fonts; they share many TrueType tables and thus require less storage space.


Adobe's patent policy in connection with its PostScript font formats led to the development of the TrueType format. Apple developers were working on various vector font techniques as early as the late 1980s. The chief engineer Sampo Kaasila presented the later TrueType - initially under the name Bass (English for perch ), which has meanwhile been changed again to Royal (English for royal ). The standard was published in May 1991 by Apple with System 7 , later licensed by Microsoft and integrated into Windows 3.1 in early 1992 .

Further developments are so-called " Smartfont " technologies such as the TrueType GX (from QuickDraw GX ) published in 1994 , which today lives on as Apple Advanced Typography (AAT), or the TrueType Open, announced in 1995 and partially published with Windows 95 , which becomes OpenType with Adobe has evolved and is Microsoft's competing alternative to AAT. A free , more "smart font" technique in the tradition of TrueType provides Graphite represents TrueType extended backward compatible.

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