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About fonts

What is TrueType?

TrueType is a digital font technology designed by Apple Computer, and now used by both Apple and Microsoft in their operating systems. Microsoft has distributed millions of quality TrueType fonts in hundreds of different styles, including them in its range of products and the popular TrueType Font Packs.

TrueType fonts offer the highest possible quality on computer screens and printers, and include a range of features which make them easy to use.

The history of TrueType's development is discussed briefly in our History of TrueType document, which explains the various incarnations of the technology, as well as some of the reasons TrueType exists at all.

What do I need in order to use TrueType?

The TrueType font technology consists of two components: the TrueType fonts themselves, which come in many thousands of different styles, and can be purchased individually or in collections from font manufacturers; and the TrueType rasterizer, a piece of software built into System 7.x on the Apple Macintosh range of computers, and also into Microsoft's Windows family of operating systems.

Both components - the font and the rasterizer, are necessary to display and print TrueType fonts on a computer system. It is the interaction between the TrueType fonts, the TrueType rasterizer and the software program in which the TrueType font is used that determines the appearance of the letterforms in the font.

Where can I get TrueType from?

If you're using a Mac or a Windows machine, the chances are that you're already using the TrueType rasterizer and the TrueType fonts both Apple and Microsoft include with the basic operating system. In fact, unless you've actually installed another font technology, everything you're now seeing on the screen and on your printer will be TrueType!

If you're using Apple Macintosh or Windows based computers, all you need to do is purchase the fonts you want to use. Our Links, news and contacts section provides World Wide Web addresses for vendors of TrueType fonts.

Last updated 30 June 1997.


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