• Visual TrueType (VTT)
  • What is Visual TrueType?
  • Microsoft Visual TrueType (VTT) is a professional-level tool for graphically instructing TrueType and OpenType TM fonts.

    For an overview of hinting, see

    The raster tragedy at low resolution, which contains excerpts from a presentation given by Beat Stamm.
  • What's new?
  • Version 6.20 [March, 2017 release]
  • The following are the changes since the 6.10 [February, 2016 release] release of VTT:
  • Support for Open Type Font Variations. You can use VTT to hint variable fonts using the new Variation CVT and Variation Windows, described below. VTT will generate a cvar table based on CVTs shown in the Variation CVT window. Currently, VTT only supports varying CVTs for masters at the extrema of variable font axes. Support for intermediate cvar variations (e.g. for named instances) is in the plans for a future release. Documentation is forthcoming, but a blog post with workflow and instructions is available at http://aka.ms/vtt-variations.
  • Variation CVT Window. You can use this window to select which variable font instance you would like to proof in the Waterfall, Text Sample, and Variation Windows (see below). When you select a master instance, you can adjust the CVTs for that instance; just type a change and hit Ctrl-R to recompile. The Variation CVT window will show you which CVTs vary across the font and how they differ from the default instance. If you select an intermediate instance, you can inspect the interpolated CVTs for that instance. VTT does not yet support editing intermediate instance CVTs.
  • Variation WindowThe Variation window shows you the current glyph outline and hints, just like the Main window, for the instance selected variable font instance (see above). With both the Main and Variation windows up, you can edit hints in the Main window and see the impact on variations in the Variation window. Because hints in a variable font are associated with the default instance and merely follow interpolated CVTs for other instances, you can only edit hints in the Main window.
  • Exporting Control Program to XML. VTT 6.01 added the ability to dump a fonts hints to an XML file for import into other fonts. Unfortunately, this did not include the Control Program. VTT 6.20 will now include the Control Program in XML export and import.


  • Version 6.10 [February, 2016 release]
  • The following are the changes since the 6.01 [August 31, 2015 release] release of VTT:
  • Autohinter for Latin and East Asian fonts. The new Autohinting modes makes use of a new lightweight hinting strategy, that is best suited to today’s rendering environments, such as DirectWrite. Most Autohinters generate low level hinting instructions that you cannot easily edit or improve. This new Autohinter generates high-level hints that you can easily edit via VTT’s graphical user interface.
  • Ability to automatically generate a “Control Value Table” for Latin fonts, saving you time, so that you can begin adding “Visual hints” to your font straight away, without the need to measure the font, and manually fill in the relevant CVT entries.
  • Error and Warnings Limit. When you open a font, VTT will show a list of errors and warnings it detects in a font. If there are many errors and warnings in the font, this may slow down the process of opening a font file. To speed up opening time, you can set a limit on how many errors and warnings to display.
  • Legacy Compile. Set this option to ensure that your font will compile exactly the same as it did in Versions 4 and below of VTT.
  • Check box added to allow future suppression of Import binary hints message when opening a font with no source data.
  • Brand new Icon for VTT, & new icons for the Graphical Hinting interface.
  • Various bug fixes related to performance.


  • Version 6.01 [August 31, 2015 release]
  • Now available via the download center! This and future releases will be freely available on the Microsoft Download Center. No more faxing in license agreements
  • Color font support (COLR/CPAL tables). Glyphs with color layers defined in the COLR and CPAL tables render in color throughout VTT so you can proof color glyphs.
  • Updated rasterizer. The rasterizer has been updated to be even more accurate, and now includes the ClearType Grey rendering mode used by default in Windows 8 and 10.
  • Export / Import hints from XML. Export or import VTTTalk and all low-level code to/from an XLM file. Handy for doing global find and replace operations in a text editor, or for moving hints to another point-for-point compatible font. See the help file within VTT for more details.
  • Import binary font hints. When opening fonts without VTT source data, you can import the binary data to low-level code you can edit.
  • Unicode sample text. Sample text and test strings now support Unicode characters, including surrogates. You can also jump to any character by entering its Unicode value in the Goto Character dialog, or by typing or pasting in the main window.
  • New keyboard shortcuts. You can press Ctrl + Up arrow and Ctrl + Down arrow to quickly change resolutions. We also added shortcuts to turn off many of the rasterization options (e.g. Ctrl + Shift + G for ClearType Grey, Ctrl + Shift + F for subpixel positioning, etc). For details, see the keyboard shortcut section of the online help within VTT.
  • Use the space bar to pan. Like many other font design applications, you can now hold down the space bar and drag the mouse cursor in order to pan the main window. The left shift key continues to work for panning as in past versions of VTT.
  • Single test string. The main window now only shows one test string. This test string shows text with hinted advance widths. The second test string, which showed text with unhinted advance widths (i.e. metrics), has been removed.
  • PostScript names now visible. If present, the PostScript name for the current glyph is shown in the status area at the top of the main window.
  • New pixel grid display. The Show Grid display option now shows a border around all pixels, not just activated pixels
  • Support for high-dpi display. VTT renders everything without any operating system display scaling, so that the rasterizations you see are exactly what you would get.


  • Is Visual TrueType an appropriate tool for you?
  • Although the graphical user-interface of VTT dramatically simplifies the task of font hinting, the tool is not for the novice. The learning curve is fairly steep, simply because hinting requires professional skills regardless of the tools. Even accomplished type designers who have been using font editors for years to design fonts have evaluated VTT and decided that professional hinting is not for them.


  • As VTT is not a tool suitable for everyone, we recommend that you review the tutorials and instructions posted in our VTT resources section.


  • Downloading Visual TrueType
  • You can download VTT from the Microsoft Download Center. Just click the download button and run the file you downloaded.


  • VTT now includes a standard End User License Agreement. You no longer need to fax in a EULA as in past versions of VTT.         

Last updated 18 February 2016.