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TrueType Hinting (1 of 5):
Introduction

Microsoft Typography
June 1997

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.

Next section:  what is hinting?

introduction | what is hinting? | why is it necessary? | how does it help? | TrueType hinting vs. other methods


Last updated 30 June 1997.


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