Microsoft Visual TrueType 6.10 with Autohinter, available for download

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  • Ramiro Espinoza
    Ramiro Espinoza Posts: 839
    edited March 2016
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    I have made some tests comparing the output of VTT and TTFAutohint for Grayscale and ClearType rendering on Windows Vista. With ClearType activated, it's difficult to decide which auto hinter works better. I tend to like a bit more VTT, I think in many sizes gives quite consistent results, although sometimes – even at small sizes - TTFAutohint works better.
    When I deactivate CleatType there are more differences between both hinters. Again VTT tend to be crisper while TTFAutohint always has this FreeType's antialias look.
    What I don't like is VTT activates black and white rendering at 14 px. How can we control the GASP table in VTT's autothinting? IMHO, if the font has not been manually hinted, it's better to have smoothing at all sizes.

    Here are my tests (left TTFAuto / Right VTT):
    - Greyscale: 11-14
    - Greyscale: 14-16
    - ClearType: 11-14
    - ClearType: 14-16


  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    hi Ramiro. you can set the GASP table to always use font smoothing instead of black and white. Edit Menu in VTT, Edit GASP Table. the settings with the Red box on the left apply to what we called Font Smoothing on older systems. How are you viewing the black and white results?
  • Ramiro Espinoza
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    One more question: Is it convenient to 'Enable ClearType Flags' for Autohinted Latin fonts? Is the depicted GASP table setting a recommended setting?
    Regarding your question on black and white results: they look OK but I think BW rendering really need a manual approach.
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    I agree about Black and White Hinting. It was never the intention of this Autohinter to hint for Black and White to any reasonable degree. You would always have to manually hint and add deltas in that case. my question was about, what setting you used on what system to enable black and white rendering in IE?

    The settings I show, will result in the following. Using the setting in the Red box shown on the left in the GASP example. On any older systems, that do not use ClearType or have ClearType disabled, and uses Font Smoothing instead, the result will be a hinted font, but will always display in Greyscale above 7ppem. If you want to disable hinting in this case, you would untick the bottom left checkbox. As I have it set, this is an appropriate setting for Latin fonts hinted with the Light Latin Autohinter.


    The settings on the right in the Green box, refer to settings for systems that use ClearType. As I have it shown, above 7ppem hinting (Grid Fit) will be on, and symmetric ClearType will be used at all sizes above 7ppem. This is an appropriate setting for Latin fonts hinted with the Light Latin Autohinter.


  • Ramiro Espinoza
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    Thanks Mike for the clarifications. I enabled BW rendering using IE8 (adjusted to imitate IE7 using 'Developer Tools'), all under Vista, with ClearType deactivated.
  • Ramiro Espinoza
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    One thing I was surprised to find is fonts auto hinted with VTT are way much heavier that the results you get with TTFAutohint. 
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    Hi Ramiro, I am not sure what you mean, way heavier?. Can you post an example comparing the ttfautohint to vtt, showing the heaviness? I am sure if I can see an example I might have a better idea.
  • Ramiro Espinoza
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    On the right is the file hinted with VTT, on the left it's the same file hinted with TTFAutohint


  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    Have you tried, ship font? I think you are looking at the file size of the font with hinting sources.
  • Ramiro Espinoza
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    Ops, yes now it's much lighter after compiling the font with 'Ship font'.
  • Ramiro Espinoza
    Ramiro Espinoza Posts: 839
    edited March 2016
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    .
  • Belleve Invis
    Belleve Invis Posts: 269
    edited March 2016
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    @Mike Duggan 
    Another report about the probem I mentioned before:
    https://www.zhihu.com/question/41056988

  • Georg Seifert
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    Ops, yes now it's much lighter after compiling the font with 'Ship font'.

    What is the lighter file size?
  • Ramiro Espinoza
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    @Georg Seifert As soon as I have a little time I will set on the old PC and check well the file's sizes.
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    Georg, I did a quick test on Corbel, here is the size comparison. so I should think the size of the font files are comparable between TTFA and VTT autohinting.
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    Here are a couple of links to start a series, on Hinting Web fonts using VTT 6.10

    Introducing VTT 6.10, with Autohinting
    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/fontblog/2016/04/04/364/

    Preparing settings in VTT 6.10, for Hinting and Proofing Webfonts
    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/fontblog/2016/04/04/preparing-settings-in-vtt-6-10-for-hinting-and-proofing-webfonts/
  • Hin-Tak Leung
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    You guy should have a look at kaiu.ttf shipped with windows, and use this string for testing viewing quality:

    華康標準楷書體

    (it is just "Dynafont standard kai writing style", a long form of the font's own name)

    It is challenging to get any readability below 30pt :-).

    Kaiu is one of the smaller cjk fonts (and one of the oldest ) - but it takes the longest - 7 hours - to pass through font validator.

    I am using it for half of my illustration examples on hinting and rasterisation, for my talk on Font Validator in two weeks, because it is the poorest :).
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    hi, thank you very much for this. I will follow up on this font. Mike
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    Hin Tak Leung, how are you testing this font? can you post a screenshot of an example of the problems you are seeing? thanks. Mike
  • Jens Kutilek
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    Hi Mike,

    I've been trying the Light Latin Autohinter in VTT and have exported the code as XML ... now I can't find the control program in the XML file, is it not stored there?
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    I believe the information is stored in the XML as the Preprogram. Can you tell me what you would like to do, and I can advise.
  • Jens Kutilek
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    Just trying to find out how it all works together ... it's not urgent, I guess I'll wait for TypoLabs in May :)
  • Jens Kutilek
    Jens Kutilek Posts: 344
    edited April 2016
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    Just if you're curious what I was trying to do ...

    The autohinted font looks very nice with DW, but for a specific font I would like to add CVTs for stems and serifs under ClearType to make them look more even. This seems a bit tedious, especially because when you modify the visual hints with the menu bar tools, they use the old instructions, so you'd have to go into VTTTalk and change them to ResY... manually. Or is it not possible to use ResYLink with a stem CVT that will only be rounded under CT?

    I was trying the XML export to see if I could programmatically add CVTs and modify the glyph programs (assign CVTs to ResYDists/ResYLinks) accordingly. That was when I couldn't find the CVT in the exported XML.

    The relation of Control Program to Pre-program is still a bit confusing to me as I'm more used to the old "dumb" CVT. But then I'm not very experienced with VTT, I did most of my TT hinting in FontLab.
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    hi Jens, yes as of now, this is how the Autohinter output works, its not based on using cvt's to control horizontal stems. The Autohinter Light was designed to work well for DirectWrite, but if more control is needed for stems, cvt's must be used. Also correct, the Res instructions are not supported by the GUI. It is possible to change the Autohinter output, via the GUI. So for instance you could change a ResYdist that is output from the Autohinter Light to a Ylink, and add a cvt, for as many characters as you like. You could then export the XML and do a search and replace on all new Ylinks, to change them to ResYlink, then import and then Tools>compile>Everything for all glyphs. > save.
    does that help or are you looking for a more automated approach for adding cvt's?
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    hi Jens, I was mistaken. the Control Program and CVT Table are not exported. We will look into adding that.
  • Michael Vokits
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    Hello. I have to be doing something wrong... After installing this version, opening fonts with either the 32- or 64-bit version of the font viewer (default Win 7), whether gui or command-line, I get told that every ttf font I try is not a valid font file, even with fonts which this just validated (cleared and compiled everything). Even Microsoft’s own system fonts give this error message. Uninstalling VTT did not solve this issue (which, Ive had with every version of VTT, alas). Is there a fix?
  • Hin-Tak Leung
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    There are some screenshots of kaiu rendered through freetype on page 10-12, and page 20, at various resolutions, for both b/w and AA - here is the draft for my talk next week:

    http://htl10.users.sourceforge.net/tmp/FontVal-LG2016.pdf

    Kaiu is fairly unreadable below perhaps 20pt, especially compared with mingliu and msmincho which have embedded bitmaps.

    The string used is the one above ("Dynafont standard kai writing style" or the shorter "Dynafont kai writing style") or my own name :).

    Btw, I'll put the final version of the slide into github after the talk, so there is no need to hang on to this version.
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    hi, Michael Vokits we have not had reports of this before. can you send me as many details as you can about your pc setup? Running Win 7? you can email me mikedu(at)microsoft.com
  • Mike Duggan
    Mike Duggan Posts: 239
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    hi Hin-Tak Leung , thank you, I will review.
  • Sami Artur Mandelbaum
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    Hello. I have to be doing something wrong... After installing this version, opening fonts with either the 32- or 64-bit version of the font viewer (default Win 7), whether gui or command-line, I get told that every ttf font I try is not a valid font file, even with fonts which this just validated (cleared and compiled everything). Even Microsoft’s own system fonts give this error message. Uninstalling VTT did not solve this issue (which, I’ve had with every version of VTT, alas). Is there a fix?
    This is a registry problem caused by vtt since 4.4 version (at list in windows 7).
    Open regedit:
    find "ttffile"
    You need to change some things in the registry.
    Please see the picture attached.
    Sami