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Microsoft Selects Agfa's Lossless Font Compression Technology for TrueType for the Web

Agfa's MicroType Express to be Part of Industry Standard TrueType Font Technology

Wilmington, MA, April 30, 1996 - Agfa Division, Bayer Corporation announced today that it has reached an agreement with Microsoft Corporation which allows Microsoft to include Agfa's lossless font compression technology in its TrueType for the Web publishing solution. MicroType Express is a lossless, on-the-fly font compression technology which enhances electronic document communications by reducing file size and maintaining character quality. MicroType Express will be integrated into Microsoft's recently announced TrueType for the Web publishing solution.

"The selection of MicroType Express extends TrueType's position as the industry leading solution for Web documents," said Robert Givens, Vice President of Agfa's Typographic Systems. "The power of the Agfa and Microsoft partnership has created an industry standard that not only produces uncompromising character quality, but also significantly reduces the time required to transmit an electronic document."

"With the growth of the internet, millions more people are now reading on the screen, where TrueType provides the highest quality fonts," said Bill Hill, Director of Microsoft's Typography group. "Agfa's compression solution reduces the download time for TrueType fonts without compromising their quality."

MicroType Express is a lossless, on-the-fly font compression technology targeted at World Wide Web text generation systems. When combined with Microsoft's embedding and character subsetting technologies, MicroType Express compresses Latin fonts by as much as 90 percent. Kanji fonts can be compressed by as much as 99 percent.

MicroType Express preserves typeface information, including all hint algorithms (e.g. Delta Hints used with TrueType fonts) for high quality on low resolution displays. One of the leading benefits of MicroType Express compression and decompression is the generation of a 100 percent binary bitmap match. MicroType Express can be used with any typeface design, including non-Latin and novelty fonts (e.g. Kanji, Chinese, Korean and unique headline fonts and scripts).

Compression of a single font requires just 3 seconds, with only 0.4 seconds required to decompress a single font on a 120 MHz Pentium based platform. Written in industry standard C++, MicroType Express's compressor and decompressor modules require only 65KB when included in drivers. MicroType Express is a cross platform solution, compatible with Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT, Macintosh and Unix systems.

The Agfa-Gevaert Group is a leading worldwide manufacturer of imaging products and systems, with 1995 annual sales of $4.5 billion. Agfa-Gevaert manufactures and markets products and systems for the electronic and photographic prepress, medical and technical diagnostic, and amateur and professional photographic markets. Headquartered in Europe, Agfa-Gevaert is wholly owned by Bayer AG. In the United States, Agfa operates as a division of Bayer Corporation, with headquarters in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. Bayer, headquartered in Pittsburgh, has major businesses in chemicals, health care and imaging technologies. Bayer employs 24,000 people and had sales of $8 billion in 1995.

MicroType Express is a trademark of Agfa Division, Bayer Corporation. TrueType is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft. All other names are trademarks of respective holders.


Greg Porell, Marketing Manager, Typographic Systems, AGFA. (508) 657-0232 Ext. 2015.

Cheryl Walsh (for Agfa), Brodeur & Partners, (617) 622-2845,

this page was last updated 30 June 1997
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Microsoft Typography | About fonts | Press Release - Microsoft selects...