Manual TrueType Hinting Coverage and Costs

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  • Android ignores TrueType hints

    What about CFF hints? Since the adobe CFF renderer went into FreeType, and that version of FreeType has trickled down to Android, it seems important to me that CFF hints are correct for optimum mobile reading experiences.
    If the device can render unhinted TTF fonts without trouble why use a hinted CFF font that’s probably a larger file?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,489
    If the device can render unhinted TTF fonts without trouble why use a hinted CFF font that’s probably a larger file?
    Probably not. A hinted CFF font is still likely to be smaller than a corresponding unhinted TTF, simply because the CFF charstring optimisation is so good. I just did a test of a Kannada font, and the hinted CFF was less than half the size of the unhinted TTF. There are probably some optimisations I could make to bring down the TTF size (dumping cache tables), but I doubt I could get it down to the size of the hinted CFF.

  • Mike, what's the status on rendering in the Metro environment? In Win10, is this still fractional positioning with supersampled greyscale, or is it back to CTDW?
    DWrite. And you can actually drop hints and use a GASP entry to force bi-directional antialiasing.
    its possible to do this, but the result is just full fuzz, not great for lower resolutions, but could be better than a font with bad hints, which many on MyFonts for instance have.
  • Mike, what's the status on rendering in the Metro environment? In Win10, is this still fractional positioning with supersampled greyscale, or is it back to CTDW?
    DWrite. And you can actually drop hints and use a GASP entry to force bi-directional antialiasing.
    its possible to do this, but the result is just full fuzz, not great for lower resolutions, but could be better than a font with bad hints, which many on MyFonts for instance have.
    So it is good to promote `ttfautohint`, since it will produce high-quality results for most languages. (well, not including Chinese and Japanese.)
  • yes ttf autohint can produce good results, and if you are comfortable with editing the control files, you can even tweak those results to be even better.
  • Android ignores TrueType hints

    What about CFF hints? Since the adobe CFF renderer went into FreeType, and that version of FreeType has trickled down to Android, it seems important to me that CFF hints are correct for optimum mobile reading experiences.
    but Adobe's rasterizer does not go into GDI.
    Yes; an older Adobe rasterizer is used in GDI. DirectWrite and WPF use a more modern Adobe CFF renderer (and even hook up ClearType to it).

    All of these CFF renderers on Windows are sensitive to the hinting of the font.
  • If the device can render unhinted TTF fonts without trouble why use a hinted CFF font that’s probably a larger file?
    Probably not. A hinted CFF font is still likely to be smaller than a corresponding unhinted TTF, simply because the CFF charstring optimisation is so good
    But really we should compare woff2'd ttf and otf?
  • edited December 2015
    If you are still offering .eot for Windows, you’ll need hinted TT outlines. We do our own in-house hinting, and usually hint for Cleartype and later. I suspect many small foundries cannot afford quality hinting for retail work (much like they cannot afford outsourcing the bulk of the font production). Much of the work we’ve done for external clients have been custom jobs.

    Barter deals or royalty percentages might make hinting more accessible to some.


  • I suspect many small foundries cannot afford quality hinting for retail work (much like they cannot afford outsourcing the bulk of the font production). 
    I think most foundries should be able to do Y-axis hinting themselves once Georg finishes the Glyphs 2 hinting system.
  • When Lukas finishes his Cadencer, we only have to come up with original ideas.
  • John said, "...the hinted CFF was less than half the size of the unhinted TTF."

    ...which says to me, if resolution is recognized to have risen enough, and faster than ttf can gain a compression scheme to match CFF, ttf is dead, except for the Handful of alignments required for asymmetric rendering on Windows machines.

    So, a combination of ttfah, regular font tools, and bartering with increasingly idle hinting services, should do the trick for most indies, for most fonts for online use. We are after all, down to hinting a handful of alignments, and avoidence of distortion as a result of those hints, by either technology.

    Nevertheless, the new MS instructions are pretty cool, in that I'm pretty sure they are the only route to a semi-functioning large size mastered Didots online, but then only for Windows machines, they'd look the same as the non-functioning Didots not many want to use everywhere else. 

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