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George Moore announces the following information regarding TrueType fonts:

``I am pleased to announce that there is now one central location for all official Microsoft TrueType information available on the Internet. The 9 files listed below are available for anonymous ftp access on ftp.microsoft.com in the /developr/drg/TrueType-Info directory. The most important of those files is the TrueType Font Files Specifications, a 400 page book which describes in excruciating detail how to build a TrueType font. Other information is also available in the same directory and other files will be added from time to time.

For those people who do not have ftp access to the Internet can find the same information available for downloading on Compuserve in the Microsoft developer relations forum (GO MSDR) in the TrueType library.

Please be aware that the TrueType specifications is a copyrighted work of Microsoft and Apple and can not be resold for profit.

TrueType developer information files on ftp.microsoft.com:

  1. ttspec1.zip, ttspec2.zip, and ttspec3.zip

    The TrueType Specification:

    These three compressed files contain the ``TrueType Font Files Specifications'', a 400 page book complete with illustrations which details how to construct a TrueType font from scratch (or build a tool to do so), the TrueType programming language, and the complete format of each sub-table contained in the .TTF file. These documents are stored in Word for Windows 2.0 format and require Windows 3.1 for printing. See the ``readme.doc'' (in ttspec1.zip) for printing instructions. Requires 2.5MB of disk space after uncompression.

    This manual is a superset of the similar specifications from Apple and has added information specific to Windows that is not present in the Apple version.

  2. ttfdump.zip

    An MS-DOS executable which will dump the contents of a TrueType font out in a human-readable fashion. It allows you to dump the entire font, or just specific sub-tables. This tool, combined with the specifications above, allows very effective debugging or exploration of any TrueType font. For example, to dump the contents of the 'cmap' (character code to glyph index mapping) table, enter:

    ttfdump fontname.ttf -tcmap -nx

    Entering ``ttfdump'' with no options will give you a help message.

  3. ttfname.zip

    Example C source code on how to parse the contents of a TrueType font. Although this particular example will open up the file and locate the font name contained within the 'name' table, it could be readily adapted to parse any other structure in the file. This compressed zip file also contains many useful include files which have pre-defined structures set up for the internal tables of a TrueType font file. This code may be useful for developers who wish to parse the TrueType data stream returned by the GetFontData() API in Windows 3.1.

  4. tt-win.zip

    A 31 page Word for Windows 2.0 document which is targeted for the Windows developer who is interested in learning about some of the capabilities TrueType adds to Windows 3.1. Contains many illustrations.

  5. embeddin.zip

    A text file which describes all of the information necessary for a Windows developer to add TrueType font embedding capabilities to their application. Font embedding allows the application to bundle the TrueType fonts that were used in that document and transport it to another platform where the document can be viewed or printed correctly.

  6. tt-talk.zip

    The TrueType Technical Talks 1 and 2. These text files describe some of the things that are happening with TrueType behind the scenes in Windows 3.1. The first document walks the reader through all of the steps that occur from when the user first presses the key on the keyboard until that character appears on the screen (scaling, hinting, drop out control, caching and blitting). The second talk describes one of the unique features of TrueType called non-linear scaling which allows the font vendor to overcome some of the physical limitations of low resolution output devices.

  7. lucida.zip

    This text file contains useful typographic information on the 22 Lucida fonts which are contained in the Microsoft TrueType Font Pack for Windows. It gives pointers on line-layout, mixing and matching fonts in the family and a little history on each typeface. This information was written by the font's designers, Chuck Bigelow & Kris Holmes.''

Excerpted from The comp.fonts FAQ, Copyright © 1992-96 by Norman Walsh