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PostScript TrueType OpenType

TrueType

TrueType is a digital font technology designed by Apple Computer and now used by both Apple and Microsoft in their operating systems.

The TrueType font technology consists of two components: TrueType fonts themselves and TrueType rasterizer - a piece of software built into Apple Macintosh Systems and into Microsoft's Windows family of operating systems.

Both components - a font and a rasterizer, are necessary to display and print on a computer system. It is an interaction between TrueType fonts, TrueType rasterizer and software program in which a TrueType font determines an appearance of letterforms.

If you're using Mac or Windows machine, you're already using a TrueType rasterizer and TrueType fonts that both Apple and Microsoft include in their operating systems. In fact, unless you've actually installed another font technology, everything you see on your screen and printer will be TrueType!

TrueType font can contain over 65000 printable characters and map them in accordance with the Unicodestandard. In reality not too many fonts contain extended character sets, most of manufacturers just supply standard fonts with Western code page. For most of its fonts ParaType has the so-called Multilingual version that beside Western covers Central European, Cyrillic, Baltic and Turkish code pages.

TrueType uses a special technique of preserving quality for representation on low-resolution devices, like a monitor screen. It uses powerful and flexible set of hinting instructions that gives a tool to achieve the same quality as you can have with bitmap fonts. On the other hand hinting process is rather time consuming and that is why an average TrueType font demonstrates lower screen quality then the corresponding PostScript one.
Bestsellers of ParaType font library are carefully hinted and correspond to ESQ (Enhanced Screen Quality) level.

TrueType font is a single file. It has .TTF extension in Windows and it's a suitcase file with SFNT resource in Macintosh.
Mac OS X has sophisticated font processor and understands Windows TTF files, so you may use the same font file in Macintosh OS X and Windows.

If you're using Macintosh or Windows based computers, all you need to do is to purchase the fonts you want to use and to install them using standard means of your operating system.

To read more about History of TrueType, which explains various incarnations of the technology, as well as some of the reasons of TrueType existstence, click here or here.