Windows Font Types

Windows operating systems support multiple font formats and allow you to store them in several different places, which can make dealing with fonts a bewildering experience. FontAgent® eliminates this confusion by keeping all of your personal fonts in a central, organized location and enabling you to manage system fonts at the same time. As explained below, best practices call for using OpenType and Windows TrueType fonts in your Windows font collection.

TrueType Fonts

After its introduction by Apple and Microsoft in 1991, TrueType rapidly became a popular cross-platform font format because it stores all information for a font in a single .ttf file. There was some initial resistance to TrueType adoption due to the use of old imaging devices that depended on PostScript Type 1 fonts. But after a few years, TrueType became the leading font format throughout the 1990s. However, since the introduction of OpenType in 2000, TrueType has been steadily losing ground to the more modern OpenType format in sales and popularity. Today, TrueType fonts still represent a large percentage of fonts in use worldwide. One of the advantages of TrueType format fonts has been the ability of Microsoft Office applications to embed them in documents and presentations.

TrueType Collections

A TrueType Collection combines multiple fonts into a single .ttc file that organizes related family fonts and saves disk space for collections of fonts that share many of the same glyphs.

OpenType Fonts

Introduced in 2000, the OpenType font format was adopted by Microsoft and Adobe. It can be used on Windows and Mac systems, providing a great deal of flexibility for enterprises, designers, service bureaus and printers. In addition, OpenType is not a font outline format, but a standard for encapsulating font components into an .otf file—so most OpenType files contain TrueType or PostScript outlines for printing. OpenType is the most modern font-file format for desktops. It can support more than 65,000 character glyphs in one file, so it can support extended character sets, dingbats, ligatures, ordinals, old-style, symbols and worldwide languages.

Windows PostScript Type 1 Fonts

PostScript Type 1 is an old font format comprised of an outline font (filetype .pfb) used on printing devices, and a series of bitmap fonts used for on-screen display. To make the unwieldy Type 1 fonts more manageable, they often include a suitcase folder (filetype .pfm) that contains multiple bitmap sizes that make up the screen font. Operating systems require you to keep a font's outline and bitmap files in the same folder. Type 1 fonts do not support more than 256 glyphs in a single font, they lack Unicode encoding and advanced typography extensions and they work only on Windows systems.

Type 1 fonts were introduced by Adobe in 1984, but it stopped developing them in 1999. A few years later, Adobe stopped selling Type 1 fonts altogether. Over the years, software vendors have steadily been abandoning support for Type 1 font files. With the introduction of MS Office 2013, Microsoft dropped Type 1 support, and it no longer supports Type 1 fonts in .Net C# applications developed in Visual Studio, So increasingly, Type 1 fonts don't appear in Font menus or render correctly in modern Windows apps. FontAgent allows you to import and manage Type 1 fonts, but in keeping with modern Windows conventions, it does not provide WYSIWYG previews for them.

Mac TrueType Fonts

There are also legacy Macintosh versions of TrueType fonts, but Windows does not support them. Therefore, FontAgent for Windows does not import them into your FontAgent catalog.

dfont Fonts

The dfont format is an old font format used by Apple for Macintosh system fonts. These fonts are similar to Mac TrueType, but store their information in the data fork instead of the resource fork of the file system. Windows does not support dfonts, and accordingly, neither does FontAgent for Windows.


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