Some fonts that I'm interested in using have both TrueType .ttf and OpenType .otf versions available. The fonts are commercial and high quality (there won't be any TTF simply renamed or re-wrapped as OTF) .

This Windows 7 support page indicates there are some distinct advantages with OTF such as "greater extension of the basic character set, including small capitalization, old-style numerals, and more detailed shapes, such as glyphs and ligatures. OpenType fonts can also be scaled to any size, are clear and readable in in all sizes, and can be sent to any printer or other output device that is supported by Windows." but also has language indicating that on-screen display might be poorer, "If you want a font that ... is easy to read on the screen, then consider using a TrueType font."

Naturally I want both: extended character sets and advanced rendering options along with good on screen display.

Which version do I install? How much "easier to read on screen" is TTF, if at all? Does it make sense to install both, or does that cause issues? If I choose only OTF, will it work universally for all programs or does the software need to be programmed specifically to take advantage of OTF?

  • Close voters please explain why you think this doesn't belong on Super User. Thanks. Jan 5, 2016 at 23:51
  • What was your primary motivation for obtaining those fonts? Are you going to use them on some quality print materials or images? Or are you primarily searching for "fresh look" of your user interface?
    – miroxlav
    Jan 6, 2016 at 22:10
  • @miroxlav the initiating spark for the research is producing documents, primarily maps, with stacked diacritics (more than one accent type for a single character, e.g. ä̀̀). This is possible without diving into OTF/TTF differences but some material I read indicates OTF is better (reference lost at the moment). Output documents, usually pdf, need comparably excellent quality printed as well as on screen. Jan 6, 2016 at 22:20

1 Answer 1


Please see the following articles to familiarize yourself with the differences between the two:

Accordingly, it appears that most people would recommend using Open Type over True Type.

  • Thanks. I found the " benefits of..." article particularly interesting. However all the posts focus on the technical differences between the files, either in how they are created or calculated, with relatively little attention given in how they differ (or not) in active use. I guess I'll just have to devote some time to running trials myself and see what comes of it. Jan 6, 2016 at 22:26
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    Please don't post answers consisting of links only. During the time, they may become unavailable and the answer will lose any value. Summarize the answer in a few sentences at least. Nov 1, 2018 at 15:36

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