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You must have seen our last post where you can find some great free fonts to use in your presentations. If you were paying attention, you should have noticed the difference between OTF and TTF in how you download it at the end.
Sometimes it’s .otf, sometimes it’s .ttf, and sometimes it’s both.
You may ask yourself the following question:
“What’s the difference between these
and which one should I use for slides? “
I’ll explain it to you in this article, and don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Some fonts don’t install either.
TrueType fonts (TTF).
Let’s start with TTF because it was the first one. Well, that’s not entirely true. PostScript predates TTF by several years, but it’s not particularly common today, so we’ll ignore it for the sake of relevance.
TTF was a joint effort between Apple and Microsoft in the early 1980s. The goal was simple: you needed a format that Windows and Mac could use initially, and a format that most printers could read. by default. TrueType fonts are what you need.
The font package contained screen and printer font data in one file. This made it easy to install new fonts and served as an early cross-platform font format that could be used on most consumer devices.
OTF (OpenType .oft) format
An OTF file is a font format developed by Adobe and Microsoft. It combines aspects of both PostScript and TrueType font formats and is fully scalable so that the font size can be changed without loss of quality. The OpenType font format is supported by Mac OS X and Windows 2000 and above.
OTF is likely to be the “best” font because it supports advanced typesetting features (small capitals, alternates, ligatures, etc. etc. Actually in a font, not in a carefully subdivided expert typeface). It can also contain spline curves (TTF style) or Bézier curves (PostScript Type 1 style). So, hopefully, you get the shapes in which the font was originally designed, not a lower quality conversion.
OTF and TTF are extensions that indicate that the file is a font that can be used to format documents for printing. TTF stands for TrueType font, a relatively old font, and OTF stands for OpenType font, which is based in part on the TrueType standard.
The main difference between the two is in their capabilities. TTF depends entirely on glyph tables that determine what each character looks like, whereas OTF can use glyphs in combination with Compact Font Format (CCF) tables. The cubic Bézier splines used by CCF allow fewer points to define the appearance of a character than the square Bézier splines used by TTF fonts. OTF, in addition to the sfnt structure used by TTF, adds some Smartfont features to add additional language support to fonts. While this may not have much impact on your computer, it should also be noted that using CCF in OTF can result in significantly smaller files, since no special features are used in the font.
The main advantages of OpenType are:
- better cross-platform support
- Better support for international character sets specified by the Unicode standard.
- Ability to specify advanced typographic controls.
- Smaller file size
- Ability to add a digital signature to the font to ensure file integrity.
OTF vs. TTF fonts: which is better?
OTF is probably the more reliable of the two options. It has other features that allow composers and designers to make incremental changes to improve the overall look of the room.
However, for typical end users like you and me, who probably won’t use these features anyway, it won’t matter. If you have an option, OTF is always better, but if you’re in a crash situation and can’t find an OTF version of a font, TTF is no problem.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.