version: 3.4, last changed Saturday, August 11, 2012

What is OpenType?

→While this font format is still relatively new and the support across operating software and applications is still somewhat spotty OpenType has a number of major advantages over its predecessors PostScript and TrueType that make it the font technology of choice for us:
One font, one file
Just like the TrueType format OpenType makes it possible for just one file to contain a complete font. In contrast PostScript technology always required at least two documents to reside in the same directory to function as a font. This made it easy to lose one or to accidentally move one into a different folder which effectively stopped the font from being recognized by the system.

Cross platform compatibility
OpenType is a cross platform document format which means that the same OpenType font will work under Windows as well as on a Mac or on Unix platforms which is great for the workflow. Despite all efforts to create one single standard there are two different flavors to the OpenType format. OpenType-PostScript (OTF) and OpenType-TrueType (TTF). We sell OpenType-PS exclusively. Check at the bottom of this page for the minimum system requirements.

Language support
Instead of the 256 glyphs which until recently used to fit inside a normal font now OpenType fonts are able to contain over 64000 glyphs and thus support the Unicode® standard to which all known written languages have been admitted. This is possible because OpenType is a 16 bit technology while PostScript and TrueType were just 8 bit. Read more about the languages supported by our Basic Character Set.

Advanced typographic and layout features.
While not every feature that is technically supported by this new standard will automatically be present in every new font we do try to make use of these extensive options whenever it makes sense for a particular design. The Layout-Features like ligatures, small caps and alternative glyphs are made possible by context sensitive replacement features and more advanced typographic features like different writing directions are supported in OpenType. Writing from right to left or top to bottom make languages like Asian or Arabic scripts possible. Read more about these features in detail.

Minimum system requirements for PostScript flavored OpenType fonts

Macintosh with PowerPC" processor
Mac OS 8.6 through Mac OS 9.2, or Mac OS X
ATM" Light 4.6 (4.6.2 for Mac OS X Classic)
ATM updater to 4.6.1a/4.6.2a, if using AdobePS 8.8 or later
If using a PostScript" printer, the latest AdobePS printer driver is recommended
16 MB of RAM (32 MB recommended)
NOTE: Mac OS X provides native support for PostScript flavored OpenType fonts (as well as PostScript" Type 1 fonts), and does not require ATM Light for use with native and carbon applications. Applications running in Classic mode in Mac OS X still require ATM Light.
PC using a Pentium" processor
Microsoft Windows" 95, 98, ME, NT 4 (with Service Pack 4), Windows 2000 or Windows XP
ATM Light 4.1 (not required for Windows 2000 or Windows XP)
If using a PostScript printer on Windows 95/98/ME, AdobePS printer driver 4.3 or later is recommended
If using a PostScript printer on Windows NT4, AdobePS printer driver 5.1.2 or later is recommended
16 MB of RAM (32 MB recommended)

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