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An overview of TrueType
Originally designed by Apple Computer, the TrueType font technology was first seen fully implemented in 1990 on the Macintosh System 7 operating system. The technology was subsequently used by Microsoft in 1991 in the Windows 3.1 operating system and both companies have used the font technology in their main operating systems ever since.

The technology consists of two components, firstly a TrueType font which contains all the required information about a specific font and secondly a TrueType rasterizer which interprets the information stored in the TrueType font and enables it to be displayed on any suitable output device, such as screen or printer. TrueType fonts have been commercially available for many years and are available in thousands of different typestyles. The TrueType rasterizer is a piece of software built into the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Since 1991 Microsoft have refined the rasterizer to include new features such as font smoothing (anti-aliasing) which was introduced with Windows 95. Microsoft are currently working with Adobe to produce a new specification called TrueType Open which will work on both Microsoft and Apple machines allowing both TrueType and PostScript data to be stored in a single font.

TrueType Fonts

Each character within a TrueType font is defined as a precise mathematical outline. The advantage of using this method over a simple bitmap or graphic is that the outline can be mathematically scaled to any size with no loss of quality. With the bitmap approach you would need an image for every size required whereas a single TrueType font can be used for all sizes.

The letter 't' from the font Verdana
the letter 't' from the font Verdana defined as a mathematical outline

In addition to the font outline information it is also possible to store instructions (often called hints) which are acted upon whenever the font is rendered to an output device. These instructions ensure that the image produced is of the highest quality by making slight adjustments to the outline to fit the resolution (or grid) of the chosen output device. See the TrueType hinting section for more information.

TrueType fonts are easy to install, easy to use and produce high quality results on both screen and printed output. Historically TrueType fonts have contained just typefaces, but now Formula Solutions have utilised the TrueType technology to be able to offer fonts containing company logos, symbols, quality marks and signatures.

For more information please visit our products page.

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