Hinting is an essential part of the production of a quality font. It is
indispensable in every font intended to be legible at small sizes on low
resolution output devices. A well-hinted font offers the quality only provided
in the past by hand-tuned bitmaps - but with all the speed and reduced memory
requirements which characterize outline font formats. Moreover, because the
bitmaps are still produced by an outline font, text can be rotated, scaled and
viewed at different sizes, and even printed out while maintaining high image quality.
The TrueType font format offers far more power and flexibility in its hinting
capabilities than other font formats. Well-hinted TrueType fonts are
consequently the best fonts when it comes to displaying text on the screen.
This paper explains exactly what hinting is, why it is necessary, and how the
TrueType approach to hinting differs from the approaches adopted by other font
formats. As a means of demonstrating the power of the TrueType format, several
examples are shown here which compare TrueType fonts side-by-side with
equivalent PostScript Type 1 fonts rendered by the ATM rasterizer.