Lack of kerning when using PHP function imagettftext with the FreeType library

Michael Rafailyk
Michael Rafailyk Posts: 143
edited January 19 in Font Technology
Hi everyone.

I'm testing PHP's imagettftext function to render text as an image on the web. It uses the FreeType library. The problem is that FreeType only supports outdated 'kern' table, as stated in the documentation, and doesn't support a modern 'GPOS' table. So the most fonts are rendered without kerning and without OpenType features, that makes the library not really useful for showcasing fonts.

Perhaps it make a sense to look towards HarfBuzz, just not sure if it is possible install it on leased Apache server. I would appreciate it if someone can share an experience with the other libraries or approaches to render a text as an image on the web.


  • Dave Crossland
    Dave Crossland Posts: 1,405
    Definitely use harfbuzz. I'd look at another host if your current one can't support it.