Re[2]: PostScript.

Subject: Re[2]: PostScript.
From: "Arlen P. Walker" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 1996 08:30:00 -0600

I'm going from a distant memory here, but aren't TT fonts a bitmapped
type, while Adobe fonts are vectored? I seem to remember the
technical difference being something similar to that, in concept at
least.

No. I'm going from memory here, as well (it's been years since I read the TT
font specs) but I recall that characters in Adobe fonts are represented by a
set of points, and a set of Bezier curves which pass through those points.
Characters in TrueType fonts are represented as a set of points and a set of
cubic polynomials which pass through those points.

This mathematical difference means that a TrueType character can, as I
understand it, be accurately drawn with fewer points and equations than an
equivalent Postscript character, because of the nature of the curves
produced by cubic equations. And, I believe the "hinting" system ("hints"
are used by both PS and TT to help a system accurately scale the fonts, but
it wasn't until *after* TT was released that Adobe told anyone else how the
PS hinting worked) in TT is more extensive than in PS.

Cheap fonts are usually cheap because the designer uses more points to
represent the character (it's easier to use more points and less complicated
curves than it is to use a few points and precise curves) and doesn't
include extensive "hinting." The end result is a font that doesn't scale as
well (because of the fewer hints) and which takes longer to DL to the
printer and print (more points means a longer font definition and more
equations need to be loaded, parsed and executed). The larger font
definition can also reduce the number of fonts it is possible to use in a
given document (but this is probably not a valid concern, unless you're
printing a ransom note).

In other words, you get what you pay for? :-)

Usually, though a more precise way of saying it might be that you don't get
what you don't pay for. :{>}

There are actually a lot of really well-done Adobe fonts lurking
about on shareware/freeware sites. Check ftp://hobbes.nmsu.edu/
multimedia/fonts forexample...

There's also a lot of dreck. YMMV.


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
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