Difference Between TTF vs OTF

Difference Between TTF vs OTF

Today we explore the difference between TTF vs OTF as these two font formats are often widely confused with one another. People typically struggle to understand how they’re not the same, which is why we’ve put this post together today to clear up any confusion.

Over the course of this post, we’ll provide you with a detailed analysis of the meaning of these two font format types as well as providing you with a quick reference table to clear up any confusion in an easy to read, widely accessible form that you can come back to any time you get stuck.

Ready to find out what makes OTF different from TTF and permanently eradicate any confusion surrounding this subject? Simply read on.

Definition of TTF

TTF is: “A widely accessible font file format first created by the company Apple and used as a file extension name to indicate a font file when attached to a document.”

Abbreviated as TTF, True Type Font is the most widely used font file format type around the world today and has been in use for decades. It was initially developed as a superior means of creating readable fonts.

What makes this format type so popular is the fact that it appears exactly the same on paper as it does on a computer screen. This was one of the main reasons for its initial success due to the inconsistencies other earlier font formats presented in this area.

The difference between OTF and TTF largely lies in the simplicity of the latter and the additional complexities of the former. In much the same way that TTF was created to resolve issues surrounding the (at the time) available formats, OTF was developed to supersede TTF.

It’s this simplicity that still makes TTF massively popular to this day though, more so than OTF. TTF relies solely on the use of something known as glyph tables to create text whereas OTF file formats can use a combination of glyph tables and compact font format (CFF) tables.

This leads to many more possibilities being available with OTF. Though on paper there’s no argument between which format is superior when comparing TTF vs OTF due to the latter being technically superior, it’s the complexity that leads to companies straying away from the latter. We’ll now dive further into the finer details surrounding OTF to explain further.

Definition of OTF

OTF is: “Open Type Font is a font format designed to improve upon True Type Font by potentially offering additional alternative characters and typesetting features.”

Based on the above description, we can clearly see that OTF is simply designed to be a natural evolution of the TTF format by offering additional features. It’s also worth noting that OTF file sizes tend to be typically smaller than TTF.

With that said, though the difference between opentype vs truetype may be clear in that one is without doubt superior to the other, but it’s the tried tested and reliable nature of true type that still makes it the most popular choice.

Neither option is “bad,” but the enhanced options you’ll have at your disposal when using open type certainly make it preferable for more complex text formatting and text-based options. You may also deem it to be harder to use than TTF, therefore the enhanced accessibility on offer there may be desirable.

Main Differences Between TTF vs OTF

We’ll now outline the key differences between these two font types in an easily accessible quick reference table.

Basis of ComparisonTTFOTF
File SizeBiggerSmaller
MeaningTrue Type FontOpen Type Font
Glyph tableExclusively used a glyph tableCan use a glyph table in conjunction with compact font format tables
AccessibilityEasier to makeHarder to make
PopularityMore popularLess popular

Difference Between TTF and OTF: Conclusion

Now that you’ve read through to the end of our post, you should no longer have any confusion about what these two font format types are and how they work. Just remember, OTF is more complex and TTF is simpler. Any time you need a refresh on the differences, be sure to use our quick reference table.