Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script

Do you know the difference between font formats? And which one is best to use? And how to enable special characters? Calm down, here you find all the answers.

Have you noticed that not all fonts installed on your computer have the same extension? Some have the extension .ttf, some other .otf, and even termination.ps, with the following icons.

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script
True Type, Post Script and Open Type

But why such a variety of files? Could not it be all one thing?Let’s understand once and for all the difference between these font extensions in a very fast and easy way:

Type 1 (PostScript)

Adobe PostScript Type 1 is a worldwide standard for fonts developed by Adobe Systems for use on PostScript printers.The Type 1 font format is recognized on all computer platforms, from microcomputers to mainframes. It prints on virtually every printer, through the built-in PostScript language interpretation.

Originally, only Adobe had the rights to the format, but soon released the extension to other manufacturers, guaranteeing more than 30,000 fonts created in this format.For more than a decade, Type 1 was the preferred format for the graphics market.Typically, there are two main components of PostScript fonts. The first file contains the actual PostScript font itself and is often called the “binary” or “printer” file. The second file contains the full name of the font, the spacing characteristics (font metrics), and information to help the computer display the font on the screen and to print the font. Both files should be displayed.

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script

What is PostScript, anyway?

Adobe PostScript 3 is the worldwide standard for printing and imaging. The PostScript programming language was developed by Adobe Systems to pass printing instructions to digital printers. An important feature of the PostScript language is that it is device independent. This means that it produces good-looking images, regardless of the resolution or color rendering method of the output device, and takes full advantage of the features built into the device. Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is a more structured and compact subset of the PostScript language. Almost everything that can be done in PostScript can be done in PDF.

PostScript calls were the first to appear at the hands of Adobe. In order to be used to print complex documents on digital printers, they are currently supported by almost all laser printers, having a high quality and being very harmonious. They are recommended for high-quality prints, such as magazines and publications. PostScript fonts for windows are made up of 4 files with the following extensions: “.afm”, “.pfb”, “.pfm” and “.inf”.

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script

Type 1 fonts are the original file format used for type display on all PostScript printers. The PostScript language was later extended to provide support for later TrueType and OpenType font standards. Any new Adobe PostScript language device made today supports all three font patterns.


TrueType is a standard for digital type fonts that was developed by Apple Computer and later licensed to Microsoft Corporation. Each company has created separate extensions for TrueType, which is used on Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Thus, as Type 1, the TrueType format is available for the development of new fonts.TrueType fonts only require a file to be sent, but need a separate file to be sent to each source instance. For example, a different file is required for normal, bold, italic, bold and italic, etc. TrueType fonts are usually intended for business office use and may be less reliable for publishing applications. Use only TrueType fonts when the font is not available in PostScript format.

TrueType fonts are more common, most fonts being free or cheaper. They were created in the 80’s by Apple and later implemented in windows 3.1 by Microsoft. They can have their scaling factor set to any size, can be readable in various sizes, and can be sent to any output device. They are recommended when you need a light source, but that prints well and has good quality on monitors; Its extension is .ttf.

TrueType fonts can have their scaling factor set to any size, and are legible in all sizes. They can be sent to any printer or other output device compatible with Windows. These fonts are indicated if you only need a font that prints well and is easy to read on the screen.

What is OpenType?

OpenType is the latest standard for fonts, developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft.

An OpenType font is a single file, which can be used on Macintosh and Windows platforms without conversion. OpenType fonts have many advantages over previous font formats because they contain more glyphs (characters that encompass more than letters and numbers, symbols and special characters), support more languages (OpenType uses the Unicode standard for character encoding ) and supports rich typographic features, such as small caps, old style, and bandages – all from a single source.

The OpenType format was developed by Microsoft in 1994 based on TrueType. First it was called TrueType Open, name that was changed to the current one after the input of the Adobe project, incorporating technologies of PostScript Type 1. OpenType has the same characteristics of its predecessor and some more advantages; It can incorporate a larger character set extension, supports multiple languages in a single file, and enables complex typographical treatments of some languages, such as ligatures between characters. It is recommended when it is necessary to cover a certain language and a more detailed typography; Its extension is .otf.

OpenType fonts are based on TrueType type fonts, but incorporate a larger extension of the basic set of characters, such as small capital letters, old-style numerals, and more detailed forms such as glyphs and ligatures. OpenType fonts are also crisp and readable in all sizes, and can be sent to any printer or other Windows-compatible output device. If you need a set of characters to cover a certain language and a more detailed typography, use this type of font.

OpenType fonts are compatible platforms making it easy to share files between operating systems. Source management is simpler since there is only one file involved. An OpenType font file contains all outline, metric, and bitmap data in a file. It can contain TrueType (.txt extension) or PostScript font data (OTF extension) and uses the ATM to process the font on the screen. Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop support OpenType that lets you use expanded layout and character sets.

In programs that do not have OpenType advanced support, only the default “one glyph is one character” is available, with no advanced capabilities or ability to access the complete set available in OpenType formatted fonts. Adobe stopped producing PostScript Type 1 fonts in 1999, although its programs still support these fonts, they have been focusing entirely on OpenType and are launching new typographic designs in this format as well as source conversions from the Adobe Type Library. The availability of its entire library in OpenType format took place in 2002/2003. Linotype, Monotype and digital foundries also adopted the conversion scheme for OpenType. Emigre recently released an OpenType version of Mrs Eaves’ typographic family. To be easily recognized Adobe fonts that were in OpenType format, have the designation “Pro” in the name. Trajan Pro, Helvetica Pro etc.

Microsoft has also incorporated the benefits of OpenType into its programs, but focusing on the use of scripting for Arabic and other forms of Asian writing, with these modifications invisible to the user. The company has also been working to include OpenType properties in order to customize the typography experience on the web via Internet Explorer.

The two companies, Adobe and Microsoft, provide free tools for developers who wanted to build OpenType fonts, and other tools like FontLab that also adhere to the wonders of OpenType fonts. At first it was hard for more conservative users and designers to join OpenType, but over time it was realized that it only had benefits in that usage, including creating a more connected generation that was able to configure digital fonts for their needs.

Starting with Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop 6.0, applications began to support the OpenType layout features.The features of an OpenType font are much more sophisticated, and cover such advantages as:

  • Platform Independence
  • Offers glyph replacement option
  • They can span thousands of characters

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script

But how do I take advantage of the features that OpenType offers me?

If you use the Adobe CC 2017 graphics software package (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop), you’ll notice some options such as:

1 – Alternates

If the Open Type font you installed offers alternates (that is, more than one option of the same letter), simply move your mouse over the character that the software will show you the other alternatives for the same glyph.

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script

This option to move the mouse over the character also works for replacing numbers by fractions, doubles of letters like “fi” and “ff” in ligatures (in addition to other possible combinations present within the same font).

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script

In the top line, source without ligatures, in the line of bass, with ligatures.

2 – Panel of Glyphs

If you need special characters to insert into the layout, such as ®, ©, £, among others, you can also view the Glyph panel, which is present in the Adobe software, inside Window in the upper menu bar.

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script

3- OpenType panel (Illustrator)

You can open the OpenType panel (Window> Type> OpenType) to specify how you want to apply alternate characters to OpenType fonts. For example, you can specify that you want to use standard bandages in new or existing text.

But be aware that OpenType fonts vary greatly in the types of features they offer. Not all options in the OpenType panel are available from all sources.

Differences Between Open Type True Type Post Script
Character position: A. Standard Ligatures B. Contextual Alternates C. Discretionary Ligatures D. Swash E. Stylistic Alternates F. Titling Alternates G. Ordinals H. Fractions I. panel menu J. Figure type K.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing such a great blog… I am impressed with you taking time to post a nice info.

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