The modern computer world abounds in a great number of fonts in various font formats from different vendors. The most popular font formats today include:

  • Type1 is the font format for single-byte fonts for using with the Adobe Type Manager software and with PostScript printers. Type1 fonts use a special subset of the PostScript language optimized for better performance and a more compact representation. The Type1 operator set includes hinting information which helps font rasterizers create more accurate bitmaps for smaller sizes and lower resolutions.
  • Type2, or Compact Font Format (CFF) is a font format that offers a compact representation of the character description procedures of Type1 or CID-based fonts. CFF fonts contain just the same information as the corresponding Type1 or CID-based fonts but achieve significant space reduction due to binary storing format. The CFF/Type2 format is the basis for OpenType fonts, and is commonly used for embedding fonts in Adobe PDF files.
  • TrueType is a digital font technology designed by Apple Computer, and now used by both Apple and Microsoft in their operating systems. Microsoft has distributed thousands of quality TrueType fonts in hundreds of different styles. These TrueType fonts are included into all Microsoft products and the popular TrueType Font Packs.
  • OpenType font format, jointly developed by Microsoft and Adobe, offers a new generation of typographic features and benefits for users, type designers, and application developers. OpenType users enjoy easy access to advanced typographic features and extended character sets.
  • Type42 fonts consist of a PostScript language “wrapper” around a TrueType font. A Type42 font is usually generated by a printer driver for downloading TrueType fonts to a PostScript printer.
  • The Multiple Master and CID-based font formats are extensions to the Type1 format. Characters are still expressed using standard Type1 operators, but the file organization is different.

The corresponding information and specification of these font types can be found in the following sources:

  1. Adobe Type 1 Font Format
    http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/pdfs/tn/T1_SPEC.PDF
  2. The Compact Font Format Specification
    http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/pdfs/tn/5176.CFF.PDF
  3. The TrueType Font Format Specification
    http://developer.apple.com/fonts/TTRefMan/RM06/Chap6.html
  4. TrueType Fundamentals
    http://www.microsoft.com/typography/OTSPEC/TTCH01.htm
  5. OpenType Specification
    http://www.microsoft.com/typography/OTSPEC/default.htm
  6. The Type 42 Font Format Specification
    http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/pdfs/tn/5012.Type42_Spec.PDF
  7. Type Technology: Multiple Master Fonts
    http://partners.adobe.com/asn/tech/type/mmfonts.jsp
  8. Type Technology: CID-Keyed Fonts
    http://partners.adobe.com/asn/tech/type/cidfonts.jsp

See also Altsoft FTMaster