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OpenType - Overview
OpenType is a font format developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. This technology has become the new worldwide standard for font development. There are 3 major advantages over older formats such as TrueType and Postscript Type 1:
1. Cross-platform compatibility. OpenType fonts come in a single file which can be installed on a PC as well as on a Mac offering absolute compatibility between the two platforms.
2. Multilingual support. It is now possible to include multiple language character sets in one font (i.e. Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, etc.) and be able to access all these without having to choose a different font for every language. This is particularly useful to advertising agencies, publishing houses and multinational corporations. All Parachute fonts come complete with a full range of characters to support all European countries. Some of them support Arabic as well.
3. Advanced layout features. OpenType fonts may contain special character sets which provide access to advanced typographic features such as small caps, ligatures, oldstyle figures, swashes, etc. They enable designers to set text professionally and add a touch of class to the page. Parachute openType fonts that contain advanced layout features are distinguished from the other “simple” openType fonts by the word “Pro” which is part of the font name. The advanced layout features cannot be accessed unless they are supported by your programs. The OpenType palette in Fig. 1 displays all the Advanced Layout Features supported by Adobe InDesign.
All opentype features supported by Parachute fonts may be accessed by activating the appropriate option in your application. For an explanation of how they are used, as well as a complete list of all available alternate glyphs, ligatures, etc., you may visit the Parachute test driver of a specific typeface online, or download its appropriate pdf file.
There are two possible forms of OpenType fonts: OpenType TT (TrueType-flavoured) and OpenType PS (Postscript-flavoured or CFF-flavoured). Both formats offer the same functionality, having only a few technical differences. Both formats work well on Mac and PC. Parachute fonts are shipped as OpenType PS which is recommended for prepress/publishing applications, providing better rendering quality and postscript compatibility. They contain postscript outlines (3rd-order).
Windows 7/Vista/2000/XP and MacOsX support both OpenType flavors. For older systems the following applies: In order to get basic Latin support for OpenType PS in MacOs 8.x/9.x and Windows 98/ME/NT, you need to install the Adobe Type Manager (ATM). On MacOs you need ATM 4.6 or later and ATM 4.1 or later on Windows. Of all programs, only InDesign 2.0 supports well other languages (such as Greek) in MacOs 8.x/9.x with OpenType PS fonts. OpenType TT fonts are not supported in MacOs 8.x/9.x systems. Instead they work well in a Windows 98/ME/NT environment since OpenType TT fonts are basically the same format as Windows TrueType fonts.