Difference Between True Type Font And OpenType Font – In Details

Fonts form a crucial part of our digital lives. They help us convey meaning, mood, and intent with our creations. Two formats are commonly used for fonts- TrueType Font (TTF) and OpenType Font (OTF).

While they might seem similar, the two formats have plenty of differences. This article will discuss everything you need to know about TTF and OTF fonts, their unique features, and their differences.

From glyphs to ligatures and alternate characters, we will break down everything involved in each font format. By the end of the article, you will know the pros and cons of each format and be able to make an informed decision on which one to use. Let’s get into the details!

OpenType Font

What Is A True type Font (TTF)?

What Is A True type Font (TTF

TrueType Font (TTF) is a font format developed by Apple in the 1980s and later licensed to Microsoft for free. Nowadays, TTF is a widely used font format compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems.

TTF files store screen and printer font data in the same file, simplifying installation and ensuring compatibility across different devices. These fonts are readily readable at any size, making them perfect for various designs, from headlines to the body copy. However, TTF files do not compress, resulting in larger file sizes.

Previously, people exclusively used TrueType fonts for screen display and a separate PostScript file for printing. But today, thanks to advancements in technology, TrueType fonts and OpenType fonts can handle screen and print display equally well. Additionally, TTF files allow for basic digital rights management, making it possible to protect the font’s intellectual property.

What Is An OpenType Font (OTF)?

OpenType Font (OTF) is a vector-based format for advanced digital document typography. Developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft, it is an extension of the TrueType font format. In addition to offering advanced typesetting features like ligatures and stylistic alternates,

OTF fonts fully support Unicode character encoding, supporting various languages. Unlike TrueType fonts, which can only support a limited set of typographic features, OTF fonts offer more advanced functionality, making them a popular choice for professionals in the design industry.

Furthermore, they maintain their quality without loss while being fully scalable due to being vector-based.

Difference Between True Type Font And OpenType Font – Explore

Difference Between True Type Font And OpenType Font - Explore

Apple developed TrueType font, while Microsoft and Adobe developed Open Type. The main difference between the two fonts is their format and capabilities. TrueType fonts are easy to install and have a better screen quality, making them an ideal choice for electronic documentation. They are affordable and most commonly used in business offices.

Developers developed OpenType as an elegant font with advanced digital layout technology. It incorporates Adobe’s Type 1 and TrueType features, making it versatile and modern. They are the preferred format for graphic designers and artists due to their expanded character sets and typographic innovations.

OpenType vs. TrueType is a common point of confusion, but their limitations and differences are unclear. While both types of fonts have their uses, if you are a business user who frequently works with electronic documents, TrueType fonts will suffice.

However, if you are a graphic designer or typographer, OpenType is the format to choose, as it provides advanced features and expanded character sets.

1. Glyphs

The most fundamental difference between the TrueType and OpenType fonts is their developmental origins. Apple and Microsoft co-developed TrueType, while Adobe and Microsoft jointly developed OpenType.

The “ESQ” marked trueType font is an ideal choice because it is easier to install for electronic documents. On the other hand, OpenType font is an elegant font incorporating features from TrueType and Adobe’s Type 1 font.

In addition to their development origins, OpenType font offers typographic refinements such as small caps, different figures, ligatures, and accented characters. OpenType is an extension of TrueType and has solved compatibility issues between Macintosh and Windows computers. Moreover, OpenType has supported Compact Font Format and font variations since 2016.

OpenType fonts can support upwards of 65,000 glyphs for glyph support, while TrueType is restricted to 256. This makes OpenType font more versatile than TrueType for designers and typographers who require a broad range of glyphs for their graphic work.

Understanding the differences between TrueType and OpenType font can help designers make informed project font choices.

2. Ligatures

Regarding fonts, there are two main types: TrueType and OpenType. While they share some similarities, each has unique features that make it ideal for certain situations. One major benefit of TrueType is its ability to “hint,” which improves the legibility of fonts when viewed on screens.

On the other hand, OpenType goes above and beyond by including extensive sets of ligatures and alternates for greater typographic refinement.

OpenType is also a superset of TrueType and Type 1 formats, making it ideal for fast downloading on the internet. All platforms reliably support both TrueType and OpenType fonts. While TrueType is great for basic, everyday use,

OpenType is the choice for those needing high-quality typography for large-scale publishing jobs or adding extra polish to their designs. Understanding the differences between these two font types can help you make the right choice for your specific needs.

3. Alternate Characters

Alternate Characters

Regarding fonts, there are two main types: TrueType and OpenType. Apple invented TrueType, which is widely used on desktop computers, while Microsoft and Adobe developed OpenType to compete with the success of TrueType.

One main difference is that TrueType fonts are easier to install and allow for “hinting” to improve on-screen legibility. On the other hand, OpenType fonts include typographic refinements and a unified registry for reliable support on all platforms.

Another difference is in their formats to render fonts, and there may be limitations in their use depending on the application. OpenType is ideal for simple desktop use and large-scale publishing jobs, while TrueType is a good choice for those with limited experience working with fonts.

One added advantage of OpenType is its subsetting and compression technology, making it especially relevant to the internet and the world wide web, allowing fast font downloads. It’s important to note, however, that both types have their strengths and limitations, and the choice depends on the specific needs and requirements of the project.

OTF Vs. TTF Fonts: Which Is Better?

OTF and TTF are the two most popular font formats. And OTF fonts are the better choice for professional typesetters and designers, as they offer more advanced typographic features and better readability at smaller sizes. They also have superior support for multilingual typography.

However, TTF fonts are more than adequate for most users who do not need advanced typography features. TTF fonts are more straightforward and compatible with most operating systems.

So, which is better? In general, OTF is the preferred choice for designers, but TTF is fine for average users who don’t require advanced functionality. Knowing both is essential to choose the best font format for your specific project. And keep in mind that many people commonly use WOFF, an increasingly popular font format, on the web.


When choosing between True Type Fonts (TTF) and OpenType Fonts (OTF), many factors come into play. While TTF is a reliable and efficient option for daily use, OTF fonts offer more advanced typographic features and better readability. However, the difference may not be noticeable for non-designers.

For designers, the advanced functionality OTF fonts provide makes it a better choice over TTF, offering a wider range and better detail. However, for Mac users, there is a choice between OTF and TTF when downloading fonts, and it is worth considering if there is any difference in the way ligatures work or anything.

While OTF fonts are more robust and offer advanced typographic features, TTF works fine for daily use, and both options have pros and cons.

Which Is Your Favorite Social Media Platform?

Which Is Your Favorite Social Media Platform

When choosing between TrueType (TTF) and OpenType (OTF) fonts, it’s important to consider which will work best for your needs. TTF and OTF have advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice will depend on your personal preferences and requirements.

For those interested in social media and graphic design, following on LinkedIn may provide valuable portfolio and job opportunities.

We recommend conducting additional research to learn more about the differences between TTF and OTF fonts. By weighing the pros and cons of each, you can determine which type of font will best suit your specific needs and design preferences.

Artificial Intelligence

When choosing between the TrueType (TTF) and OpenType (OTF) fonts, there are certain differences to consider. Typographers prefer OTF fonts because they are vector-based, smaller, and offer more advanced typesetting features than TTFs. They support cubic Bezier splines and CCF tables, while TTFs use quadratic Bezier splines.

Moreover, OTFs can contain around 65,500 glyphs and support Unicode character encoding. They offer more advanced typesetting features such as small caps, alternates, and ligatures, which make them versatile and fully scalable.

Interestingly, Adobe and Microsoft developed OTF fonts to upgrade to TTFs in the mid-1990s, and many designers and typographers preferred them. Artificial intelligence has made these fonts more accessible, and designers can now easily use them in digital and print design projects.

Online Privacy

Online Privacy

When choosing between True Type Fonts (TTF) and Open Type Fonts (OTF), it’s important to consider your specific needs. True Type Fonts are primarily designed fordesktop publishing software, such as Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Word. On the other hand, Open Type Fonts are specifically designed for use in web browsers and other online applications.

One key consideration when choosing between TTF and OTF fonts is online privacy. TTF fonts may not have the same level of encryption and security as OTF fonts because they are intended for desktop use. This means that if you are working with sensitive or confidential information. An Open Type Font specifically designed for online use may be safer.

Ultimately, the choice between TTF and OTF fonts will depend on your specific needs and preferences, whether you are working on a desktop publishing project or designing a website. Choosing a font that is visually appealing and well-suited to your specific application is important.


True-type fonts create text that looks identical on different devices, such as computers, tablets, and phones. On the other hand, open-type fonts allow for more flexibility and customization when it comes to font appearance.

This is useful for designing webpages that look good on different devices and creating fonts that can be used in print media. In conclusion, we can see that both TrueType Fonts (TTF) and OpenType Fonts (OTF) have their strengths and weaknesses.

While TTF is more widely used and supported, OTF offers more advanced features like glyphs, ligatures, and alternate characters. When it comes to choosing between OTF and TTF, it ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is OpenType The Same As True type?

Different companies developed OpenType and TrueType, two different font formats. Apple developed TrueType in the 1980s and it is available on both Macintosh and Windows platforms. On the other hand, OpenType is a newer standard jointly developed by Adobe and Microsoft that supports more characters and languages.

Which Font Is Better, OTF Or TTF?

Fonts use both TTF and OTF file extensions, and average users who don’t need extra features still prefer TTF as a good option. Professional designers prefer OTF due to its advanced typographic features and smaller file sizes.

When buying a font online, you may receive one or more formats, including TTF, OTF, or WOFF. Although there is no significant difference between the way ligatures work or the two formats. Those who require more advanced typographic features generally prefer OTF.

What Is The Difference Between True type Font And OpenType Font For Cricut?

TrueType and OpenType fonts differ in several ways for Cricut users. TrueType fonts are easier to install and can improve on-screen legibility through the “hinting” process.

OpenType fonts can contain either PostScript or TrueType outlines in a common wrapper and have many advantages over previous font formats, including support for rich typographic features.

Apple and Microsoft jointly developed trueType fonts in the late ’80s. And many fonts included with both Mac and Windows operating systems are TrueType.

Should I Use TTF Or OTF On Mac?

Both TTF and OTF formats are compatible with Macs, but some fonts may offer better readability and advanced typographic features in OTF format. When downloading desktop fonts, installing only one format at a time is recommended to avoid unexpected collisions.

What Does OpenType Font Mean (OTF)?

OpenType (OTF) is a font format created jointly by Adobe and Microsoft based on the TrueType format. These vector-based fonts offer advanced typographic features like ligatures and alternates. OTF fonts support many languages and provide a modern look and feel. Additionally, they are fully scalable and can be resized without losing quality.

David Egee

David Egee, the visionary Founder of FontSaga, is renowned for his font expertise and mentorship in online communities. With over 12 years of formal font review experience and study of 400+ fonts, David blends reviews with educational content and scripting skills. Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and a Master’s in Typography and Type Design from California State University, David’s journey from freelance lettering artist to font Specialist and then the FontSaga’s inception reflects his commitment to typography excellence.

In the context of font reviews, David specializes in creative typography for logo design and lettering. He aims to provide a diverse range of content and resources to cater to a broad audience. His passion for typography shines through in every aspect of FontSaga, inspiring creativity and fostering a deeper appreciation for the art of lettering and calligraphy.

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