What is the Difference Between OTF and TTF Font Formats

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Maybe you have seen our latest post where you can find some excellent free fonts to use in your presentations. If you paid attention, you must have noticed a difference between OTF and TTF, and that’s in the way you finally load it.


Sometimes it’s .otf, sometimes it’s .ttf, and sometimes it’s both.

You could ask yourself that question:

What is the difference between these and the slides I need to use? “

I’ll explain it to you in this article, and don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it sounds. Some fonts don’t install either.

TrueType fonts (TTF).


Let’s start with the FTT, because that was the first one. That’s not entirely true. PostScript predates the FTT for a few years, but it is not very common today, so we will ignore it for reasons of relevance.

The FTT was a joint project of Apple and Microsoft in the early 1980s. The goal was simple: They wanted a format that Windows and Mac could use initially, and a format that most printers could read by default. You need TrueType fonts.

The font set contained the screen and printer font data in a single file. This simplified the installation of new fonts and served as an early cross-platform font format that could be used on most consumer equipment.

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OTF (OpenType .often) format

An OTF file is a font format developed by Adobe and Microsoft. It combines aspects of both PostScript and TrueType fonts and is fully scalable, so the font size can be changed without loss of quality. The OpenType font format is supported by Mac OS X and Windows 2000 and later.

OTF is probably the best font because it supports advanced writing functions (small caps, alternative letters, ligatures, etc. etc.). In fact, it is the font, not the carefully divided expert handwriting). It can also contain spline curves (TTF style) or Bézier curves (PostScript Type 1 style). We therefore hope that you get the shapes in which the font was originally designed, and not an inferior conversion.


OTF and TTF are extensions that indicate that the file is a font that can be used to format documents for printing. TTF stands for TrueType font, a relatively old font, and OTF stands for OpenType font, which is partly based on the TrueType standard.

The main difference between them lies in their capacities. TTF relies entirely on glyph tables to determine the appearance of each character, while OTF can use glyphs in combination with CCF (Compact Font Format) tables. The cubic Bézier spines used by the CCF reduce the number of points that determine the appearance of a character, compared to the square Bézier spines used by the TTF fonts. OTF adds some smartfont functionality in addition to the sfnt structure used by TTF to provide additional linguistic support for fonts. Although this will not have much effect on your computer, it should be noted that using CCF in OTF can result in much smaller files as no special functions are used in the font.

The main advantages of OpenType :

  1. better multiplatform support
  2. Improved support for international character sets defined by the Unicode standard.
  3. Ability to specify advanced font controls.
  4. Smaller file size
  5. Possibility to add a digital signature to the font to ensure the integrity of the file.

OTF versus TTF fonts: What’s best?

OTF is probably the most reliable of the two options. It has other features that allow composers and designers to make incremental changes to improve the overall appearance of the piece.

But for typical end users like you and me, who probably won’t use these features anyway, it doesn’t matter. If you can, OTF is always better, but if you’re in an accident situation and can’t find an OTF version of a policy, TTF is a no-brainer.

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CCNA, Web developer, PC Convenience Store

I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing computer professional. I have years of experience in computer programming, troubleshooting and hardware recovery. I specialize in web development and database design. I also have CCNA certification for network design and troubleshooting.

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