What is OpenType

August 2, 2007

OpenType graphic

This is a very brief explanation of OpenType and a small PDF tutorial on accessing OpenType features in InDesign.OpenType was developed by Adobe and Microsoft. OpenType fonts are cross platform meaning you can use the SAME fonts on Mac and Windows and from the info I have there shouldn’t be any type re-flow issues when for example taking an InDesign document from a Mac to a PC. OpenType fonts are excellent for print design and support the inclusion of many more characters and special characters in a particular font. Some OpenType fonts have many special characters making them valuable for refined typographical choices. Some OpenType advanced typography features include kerning, alternate metrics, and glyph substitution. OpenType is the new font standard and most font foundries are recreating their entire font catalogs in OptenType and adding special characters to some fonts.To use OpenType fonts added abilities you need to use a program that takes advantage of them. I know Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress 7 allow you to access all of OpenType’s capabilities. If you are interested in other programs you should check to see if they take full advantage of OpenType.I personally try to buy only OpenType fonts now if available.Here are some more informational resources:

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2 Responses to “What is OpenType”

  1. Dmitri Says:

    Nice post. It pays to remember that not all OT fonts are created equal, and some are way more featured than others, so buying OT is not always the best bet. Take Sabon Next for example – you get several weights where only one weight should be. But I guess we’re all waiting on that one…

  2. patratz Says:

    Yeah maybe I should have emphasized more that not all OpenType fonts include special characters.

    It does say “support the inclusion of many more characters and special characters in a particular font. Some OpenType fonts have many special characters making them valuable for refined typographical choices.”

    But I could have emphasized it more.

    Overall I do think they are the best bet though.


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