TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Sun Aug 9 16:18:46 EDT 2020






Comparing TTX, OTFDK, DTL OTMaster and FontLab Studio 5 [Thomas Phinney]

Thomas Phinney compares small font editing tasks in truetype and opentype fonts, and looks at four options: TTX (free), Adobe's OT FDK (free, admittedly less handy than TTX in his own words), DTL OTMaster (commercial and similar to TTX) and FontLab Studio 5. Excerpts from his blog: Currently, if I want a simple and accurate representation of the contents of a TrueType or OpenType font, and possibly to edit the info, I have been using the wondrous open source TTX tool, which is based on the FontTools library. This dumps the font info to an XML text file, which can be viewed/edited in any text editor or anything that can handle XML. It can also recompile the text file back into a font. (In fairness, Adobe's FDK for OpenType also has table dumping/recompiling tools, just not quite as slick as TTX. Even Adobe folks often use TTX.) [...] The downside to tools like TTX and OTMaster is that they make little effort to tell you the meaning of the various cryptic values for various fields (or the exact meaning of the field itself), even when said values are legal/legit. So you need to also have a copy of the OpenType or TrueType specification handy, and optionally a more descriptive, hand-holding tool like FontLab Studio. [...] FontLab Studio 5 interprets the OpenType font into its own internal format. It can't open a font, make a tiny change and re-save it as a font without potentially changing other things. To give a really concrete example, FLS displays font embedding settings in terms of its interpretation of the settings, rather than the actual bits. TTX or OTMaster are really handy for that, because they show the unvarnished truth of what's in the font, without interpretation.

Comparing TTX, OTFDK, DTL OTMaster and FontLab Studio 5
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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html