OpenType® is a new cross-platform font file format developed jointly by Adobe and Microsoft. Adobe has converted the entire Adobe Type Library into this format and now offers thousands of OpenType fonts.
The two main benefits of the OpenType format are its cross-platform compatibility (the same font file works on Macintosh and Windows computers), and its ability to support widely expanded character sets and layout features, which provide richer linguistic support and advanced typographic control.
The OpenType format is an extension of the TrueType SFNT format that also can support Adobe® PostScript® font data and new typographic features. OpenType fonts containing PostScript data, such as those in the Adobe Type Library, have an .otf suffix in the font file name, while TrueType-based OpenType fonts have a .ttf file name suffix.
OpenType fonts can include an expanded character set and layout features, providing broader linguistic support and more precise typographic control. Feature-rich Adobe OpenType fonts can be distinguished by the word “Pro,” which is part of the font name and appears in application font menus. OpenType fonts can be installed and used alongside PostScript Type 1 and TrueType fonts.
One cross-platform font file
Any OpenType font uses a single font file for all of its outline, metric, and bitmap data, making file management simpler. In addition, the same font file works on Macintosh and Windows computers. As a result, OpenType lets you move font files back and forth between platforms with noticeable improvement in cross-platform portability for any documents that use type.
The bitmap, outline, and metric data are combined into a single, cross-platform file in an OpenType font, simplifying font management.