What does the OpenType font "Open" mean?

Kazunari TsuboiKazunari Tsuboi Posts: 14
edited March 2021 in History of Typography
This is a question from a very personal interest.
What does the OpenType font "Open" mean?
I couldn't find out why the word "Open" was used in this font format by looking at the specs and so on.
If you have any clues as to why, please let me know.


  • "Open" refers to the context of early 90s where Apple and Adobe initially had separate/competing font formats (TrueType and Type1-PostScript). Microsoft joined the game, initially trying to license Apple's technology. Negotiations failed, so MS joined the forces with Adobe to develop a new format that combines two technologies and overcomes their limitations. "Open" is chosen in that sense.

    There is more on Wikipedia article:
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,570
    It basically means that the format is open in the sense of "not proprietary."
  • It opened up old outlines for selling in a new format... Again.
  • Thank you for the great information!
    TrueType, Type1, TrueTypeOpen, and OpneType. This history is very exciting. I was very impressed. I'm happy to know a little about the situation behind the choice of the word "Open". (I was a kid in the 1990s). for me, The word "Open" in OpenType felt like it was intended for the spec.
  • I agree with Eric.
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