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You are here: Home / Conferences / 2011 Reykjavik / Programme

CFF on the web

A case for equal citizenship
When Thu 15 Sep 1720
Where Track 1
What Presentation
Who Christopher Slye

Digital type outlines are described, for the most part, in either of two fundamental formats: PostScript or TrueType. Today, OpenType fonts convey PostScript outlines with CFF (the Compact Font Format), which is an optimized successor to the original Type 1 font format.

Although the world of print output has been dominated by PostScript Type 1/CFF, the TrueType format has prevailed in the Windows and Mac OS operating systems. TrueType is well known for its accommodation for extensive hinting instructions, evident in many Windows core fonts which have become de facto standards on the web.In the explosion of web fonts during recent years, TrueType's reputation as a screen font format and its superior rendering in Windows browsers has made it a virtual requirement for those seeking consistency and quality in type rendering with web fonts. However, with recent improvements in text rendering from Microsoft's DirectWrite, CFF rendering quality will soon be comparable to TrueType in the next generation of Windows browsers.

Despite its second class status on the web today, CFF still possesses advantages worth assessing as its rendering quality on screens approaches parity with TrueType. For example, CFF is inherently compact, and its PostScript (Bezier) paths are the default format for virtually all font designers.This presentation will explain the technical and practical advantages of the CFF font format and compare them to TrueType. It will examine what the future holds for CFF as a web font format, and make the case for CFF as a worthy, if not superior, solution for web typography.

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