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Fonts & Encodings by Yannis Haralambous

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6.4. Tools for Font Conversion

Today we are more and more in the habit of using multiple operating systems: Mac OS 9, Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, PalmOS, Symbian, etc. These systems do not always use the same font formats; therefore, we must be able to convert our fonts so that we can use them on more than one system. Conversion can be trivial or complicated. Moving from the Macintosh PostScript format to PFB is trivial: practically nothing is involved other than reading the PostScript code in the POST resource and writing it out to a file. Converting a TrueType font to PostScript or vice versa is much less trivial: the types of contours change between cubic and quadratic Bézier curves; the techniques for optimizing the rendering are fundamentally different; the means of encoding the glyphs are not the same.

Thus it is hardly surprising that there is a dearth of tools for converting fonts on the market; after all, it is a very thorny task.

6.4.1. TransType Pro

The company FontLab offers the only really solid tool: TransType Pro [139]. What could be more natural than to take a part of FontLab's code and transform it into a powerful, easy-to-use conversion utility?

TransType Pro can perform all possible and imaginable conversions among TrueType, PostScript Type1, Multiple Master and OpenType/CFF fonts—from Macto Mac, or from Mac to PC, or from PC to Mac, or from PC to PC. When the target is a Macintosh font suitcase, the program automatically assembles the fonts of the same family. ...

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