Re: ATM vs TrueType

Subject: Re: ATM vs TrueType
From: "Donald J. Plummer" <donp -at- BGNET -dot- BGSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 07:41:04 -0400


I have followed this thread with interest for some time.

The original purpose for ATM, as I understand it, was to improve screen
renderings of fonts to display cleanly at any size. I worked for several
years in a graphics/prepress environment. When I started there, ATM didn't
exist. Fonts had to be loaded with bitmap files of several sizes for each
face: 8, 10, 12, 18, and 24 points were common. Screen displays of fonts
at precisely those sizes were good, but any "in-between" sizes were jaggy,
to say the least. Also, WYSIWYG was non-existent, as far as screen
placement vs. printout placement was concerned. ATM was a huge improvement
for all of us who were manipulating type on a daily basis.

Adobe made a big mistake with Type 1 technology. They failed to license
the technology to other font producers. (Other font technologies at the
time were significantly inferior to Type 1.) The result was that Microsoft
created TrueType so they wouldn't have to buy their font technology from
Adobe. When Adobe finally did license Type 1 technology, there was a new
kid on the block to contend with. It would have been better for all of us
if there were only one font technology.

Prepress and graphics people, especially those who have been around long
enough to have experienced the entire DTP revolution, tend to hate
TrueType. They consider it to be a hassle-a monkey wrench in the DTP
gears. Also, the general consensus among graphics people is that Type 1 is
superior for DTP/graphics/prepress purposes. I guess it's all a matter of


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Donald J. Plummer
Department of English
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, Ohio

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