Tag Archives: formats

Buyer’s Guide: Font Formats

A couple weeks ago, we talked about how TrueType works with Macs — but what about the other formats, you ask? Let’s take a look at the different font formats:

OpenType, TrueType, and PostScript are the various formats that you might find fonts available in. OpenType and TrueType are compatible on both Macs and PCs while PostScript fonts are computer-specific. Webfonts come in two formats — EOT and WOFF — that you can read more about in our “What is EOT and WOFF?” post. If you’re deciding which format is the best option for you, here are some points to remember:

OpenType fonts are usually the best option, as they work on both Mac and PCs. However, not all applications are “OpenType-savvy”, so there might be some cool OpenType features like swashes and stylistic alternates that you may not be able to access if you don’t plan on using design tools such as Adobe Creative Suite programs.

TrueType fonts are a better choice if you plan on using Microsoft Office programs such as Word or Powerpoint. MS Office programs have little to no support for OpenType and tend to have issues accessing those cool swashes you want to use.

PostScript fonts are a legacy format that tend to cause issues on newer computers, which is typically why we suggest choosing OpenType or TrueType whenever possible. PostScript fonts are computer specific, meaning they will only work on either a Mac or PC, not both.

Webfonts cannot be installed on your computer but are instead used in coding for websites, typically using the @font-face CSS rule.

While browsing the fonts on FontShop, you’ll notice that they’ll have some kind of indicator of what format they’re available in, similar to the icons in the Font Format guide above.

Theresa’s Tips: Choosing the Correct Format

Welcome to a new series from Theresa at our Sales & Support Desk. Any support questions you want answered in the future? Let us know in the comments section.

When purchasing fonts, you want to make sure that you choose the correct format. Here’s a brief overview of the different formats that we have available at FontShop.

OpenType fonts are cross-platform and will work on both Macs and PCs. This format is best used with applications that support OpenType features, such as InDesign. Some OpenType fonts are created with PostScript metrics and others are created with TrueType metrics. Postscript flavored OpenType have .otf ending while TrueType flavored OpenType have .ttf endings.

TrueType fonts will also work on both Macs and PCs. Certain Windows-based applications, such as MS Office, work best with this format because these applications have limited OpenType support.

PostScript fonts only work on either a Mac or a PC, not both. This format is also referred to as Type 1 font. It is an older format that can be difficult to install in newer operating systems.

Webfonts come in EOT/WOFF formats, which use @font-face to embed the font into your site.

To make things easier we’ve added icons on all our products so that you know what format a typeface is available in. Use the guide below to help you navigate through our site.

To learn more about formats visit Help Topics/ Font Format Questions

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