OTF vs TTF? What's the difference?

You must have seen our recent post on where you can find great free fonts for your presentations. If you’ve paid attention, you should have noticed there is an OTF and TTF options when you download them. Let us explain the difference.

Sometimes it is an .otf,  sometimes it’s a .ttf and sometimes you get both of them.

The question you may be asking yourself then is:

What’s the difference between those
and which one should I use for my slides?

This is what I am about to explain to you in this post and don’t worry – it’s not as complicated as it seems. Neither is installing multiple fonts.

TTF stands for TrueType Font

The fonts with a .ttf file extension are relatively older than OTF.

OTF stands for OpenType/CFF Font

Fonts with the .otf file extension are based in part on the TrueType standard.

Even though these two font types have a lot in common, they are primarily distinguished by their different outline formats. The character outlines in OT/CFF fonts are made of cubic Bézier paths, whereas in TT fonts, they’re made of quadratic Béziers.

In plain English, this means that if you are a graphic designer, you will choose the OTF type because it gives you a lot more freedom to manipulate each and every character (by using specialized software like Adobe Illustrator).

However, if you just want to make your presentation look better, it doesn’t matter which one you choose. 

Here are a bit more details for the more curious readers:

TTF was created by Apple and Microsoft in the 1980s and currently is the most famous font file. TTFs include all the needful for screen viewing and printing right in the same file. In short: It’s an everyday use font.

OTF was developed out of TTF in the late 1990s by Adobe and Microsoft. It can store up to 65 000 characters, including special characters, letters, digits, and glyphs with extended typographic features. OTFs are useful when working at the same time with multiple languages. They are sometimes a bit more expensive, because of this reason. In short: Suitable for designers looking for bigger freedom.

PostScript (you thought it’s just OTF and TTF, right?) was developed by Adobe in the late 1980s. These fonts contain two separate parts that are required to be installed. Thus their setup is a bit harder. They are considered higher resolution fonts than OTF and TTF and therefore used for quality literature printing. In short: Most beneficial when in need of the highest quality possible.

Next Step – How do I choose between OTF and TTF?

There you have it – everything you, as a presenter, trainer, or speaker, need to know about the different types of fonts. We told you it’s not that complicated. 

If you have any other font-related questions, we at our presentation agency will be happy to answer them. 

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