Consumer electronic device manufacturers often have to struggle with a number of issues that stand in the way of being able to maintain high-quality screen text across a multitude of devices and platforms. Low-resolution screens, small text size requirements and memory constraints continually challenge the abilities of a screen font, and East Asian language support requirements often compound these challenges. Chinese, Japanese and Korean typefaces typically contain thousands of characters and are packaged in large font files that can tax a device's limited memory. East Asian characters are also often intricately shaped, leading to clarity issues when text is displayed at small sizes or in low resolution environments.
To manage these challenges, OEMs are forced strike a balance between style, quality and file size - often to the detriment of all three. For example, the client might have to settle on a simpler typeface design than anticipated in order to save memory, or perhaps had to rely on a large, memory-exhausting font file in order to assure legibility at small sizes. Now, Edge™ Technology offers OEMs the ability to conquer these constraints while minimizing the tradeoffs.
Edge Technology features specific "hinting" techniques, methods for fine-tuning characters based on information stored within a TrueType font. Edge-enhanced fonts are typically based on Monotype's CATT™ (Compact Asian Technology for TrueType®) format. They are tuned for grayscale output and are engineered to preserve their style and maintain legibility at all point sizes, from small to large. Tuning a grayscale glyph does not alter its outline but instead adjusts the output to appear lighter, darker, sharper or softer. CATT also produces font files substantially smaller than standard TrueType fonts.
Functioning as a high-quality text rendering plug-in for the iType® font engine, Edge Technology supports all world languages, including the unique requirements of East Asian writing systems. Text output can be tuned according to individual language or size requirements. It provides the ability to boost overall contrast on a device. Edge Technology can modify the look of one language compared to another. For example, when Latin and Asian text are paired and must strike a more harmonious combination. Edge technology can produce a heavier or lighter looking weight of the font, depending on UI requirements, and can adjust the sharpness of the text according to the rendering size and display resolution.
Customers now have the ability to take advantage of these tuning capabilities themselves by using our iType FontTuner™ application.
Monotype's iType FontTuner allows Edge-rendered text output to be tuned for optimal appearance and to meet specific customer requirements on Windows® devices or for various output modes and displays across an entire product line. Fonts are tuned in real time, so results can be viewed immediately within the application display. FontTuner can be integrated into an existing development workflow that utilizes fonts enabled to work with Edge Technology.