O'Reilly logo

Fonts & Encodings by Yannis Haralambous

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

A.1. The Macintosh World

A.1.1. The FONT Format

In 1984, the first Macintosh was already equipped with 17 fonts, some of which, such as Venice, Athens, and Cairo, rather quickly left the scene; others, such as Chicago (which was replaced by Charcoal to give the Mac's desktop a new look), stayed around for a while; finally, two of them have survived to the present, becoming vector fonts along the way: Geneva and Monaco.

Figure A-1. The global image of the font Chicago, which was used on the Macintosh's menus for more than 15 years. It is an up-to-date version of the font, as we can see that the euro sign has been included.

These fonts were all resources of type FONT. The "Macintosh Programmer's Guide" (Inside Macintosh [49, p. I-227]) of the era explains the structure of these resources in great detail. Here is a brief description: A FONT resource is a series of pairs of bytes in little-endian order that consists of the following:

  • Global parameters: the "type of font" (monospaced or proportional), the positions of the first and last glyphs in the table, the maximum set-width, the "maximum kern"[A-1]), the number of pixels below the baseline, the width and height of the bounding box, a pointer to the table of set-widths, the leading (i.e., the number of pixels to add between lines of glyphs), and the width of the font's global image (see below).

    [A-1] The term "kern" here is used ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required