OpenType® is the primary font format that Ascender supports. OpenType is a font format developed by Adobe and Microsoft.
OpenType is cross-platform compatible with support for the Unicode® standard, and offers extensive typographic and multilingual character sets.
OpenType fonts come in two flavors, distinguished by their file extension:
- .TTF files have TrueType® outlines
- .OTF files have PostScript outlines
OpenType TT fonts are popular with the vast majority of home and business computer users, and are the default font format for Windows and Macintosh systems. These files have a .TTF file extenstion.
OpenType PS fonts are popular with creative professionals and desktop publishers who work with Adobe® software applications and PostScript® workflow environments. These files have a .OTF file extension.
OpenType font icons appear differently on Windows and Macintosh systems. The icon is same for both TrueType and PostScript flavors of OpenType fonts.
Advanced OpenType Features
OpenType fonts may or may not have advanced typographic features or multilingual characters. The feature set can vary from font to font, and the support of those features will vary from application to application and across different platforms. For example, older operating systems and application programs may not provide access to advanced typographic features or multilingual characters that are built into the font.
About Type1 Fonts
TheType 1 font format was developed by Adobe Systems. Type 1 fonts are commonly used by desktop publishing and creative professionals who work in PostScript workflow environments. A Type 1 font consists of more than one file.
On the Macintosh there are two files: a suitcase font and a printer font.
In Windows there are four files that make a Type 1 font: .AFM, .INF, .PFB and .PFM.
In older operating systems Adobe Type Manager® (ATM), was used to install and display the fonts on screen. Type 1 fonts have a limited character set: typically a Type 1 font only contains the Latin-1 characters. To support additional languages and scripts, or typographic features, it is necessary to build additional Type 1 fonts. This typically creates a challenge to use and manage all the variations of fonts in a Type 1 font family.
Because of these limitations OpenType is becoming the natural "upgrade" for Type 1 fonts for desktop publishing and creative professionals.
For a chart of how applications support the different font formats, click here
For a Q&A on OpenType prepared by Adobe, click here