HomeDesignOTF vs TTF Fonts: What are the differences?

OTF vs TTF Fonts: What are the differences?


Between OTF vs TTF Fonts, Most people choose OTF over TTF because it is cheaper. On the other hand, the resemblance is not at all clear-cut in any way.

Almost everyone who has played around with different fonts or styles has at some point wondered, “What’s the difference between OTF vs TTF fonts?”. which style you will use when choosing a font for the app you will put on your computer. Why is it so hard to do something as easy as putting a few dots on the screen?

Don’t worry, we’ll take care of everything. Now is the time to sit down and talk about some of the most important differences between OTF vs TTF Fonts. Read on to find out what the differences are between the two, which style arrangement is better, and when to use one over the other.

What Is a TrueType Font (TTF)?

Let’s start with TTF, which was the first one made. But that’s not entirely true. PostScript came out a few years before TTF, but since it’s not used very often anymore, we’ll skip over it to make this conversation as current as possible.

At the end of the 1980s, Apple and Microsoft worked together to make TTF. The goal was simple: they needed a format that local versions of Windows and Mac could use, as well as a format that the vast majority of printers could recognize by default. TrueType Fonts are able to meet the needs.

The information for both the screen font and the printing font was put into a single file and added to the font’s container. This made it easy to add new fonts and gave most consumer devices an early standard for characters that could be used across platforms.

What Is an OpenType Font (OTF)?

Adobe and Microsoft worked together on OTF building. But, while both OTF and TTF were cross-platform and held data for both display and printer fonts in a single file, that was the only thing they had in common.

OTF made TTF more useful by giving it many tasks that it couldn’t do on its own. For example, OTF had a structure that allowed up to 65,000 lines to be stored at once.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that there are only 26 letters in the alphabet (A to Z), ten numbers (0 to 9), and a small number of other symbols, like exclamation marks, monetary signs, and other symbols (@#%&*, etc.). Still, this was very helpful for planning and making fonts.

Because the system could store more letters than the average user would ever need, programmers were able to add things like:

  • Ligatures
  • Glyphs
  • Small caps
  • Alternate characters
  • Old-style figures

In the past, you had to use TTF to add more types so you could make these changes. With OTF, they could live in the same file as the main font and still be easy for artists and people with similar jobs to access.

OTF vs TTF Fonts: What are the differences?

Now we can move on to the more important question, which is, how are OFT and TTF different?

From a designer’s point of view, the main difference between OTF and TTF is the more advanced printing features that each file offers. This is true for both skilled and amateur artists. OpenType Fonts (OTF) also have decorations like ligatures and replacement letters, which are also called symbols. These decorations are made so that artists have more options to work with.

In other words, OTF is the “better” of the two because it has more options and features, but for the average computer user, the differences don’t really matter.

You can’t, for example, choose to use a different form of a “F” on Facebook or change common linking letters like “TH” to make them look like they were written with a lot of thought. People usually use these within Adobe Creative Suite to make small changes to text that make it look better in print or on the web, or to turn their own handwriting into a font that is totally unique to them.

Let’s fill in the blanks by looking at three of the most common upgrades that OTF goods have.


Glyphs are special characters that can be used instead of the regular versions of a character when the character needs to be shown in a different way. Here’s an image of how classic characters could look:

OTF vs TTF Fonts: Glyphs

For example, if you need a different “A,” you could use a symbol that shows a “A” with a different look or one that is used as the starting point in other alphabets and languages. You can do either of these two things. Consider, for example:

OTF vs TTF Fonts: Glyphs


The only reason to use ligatures is to make the text look better. These are most often seen in script designs, but you can find them in almost all high-end software products. Fonts that are cheaper or can be found online for free are less likely to have a lot of symbols, ligatures, or other extra features.


Most ligatures are made by putting together two different characters in a way that makes them look like a creature that does the job of both of the original letters. When letters are put together in this way, the effect is usually the addition of patterns or a change in how far apart they are.

Alternate Characters

Alternate characters are exactly what they sound like: they are different forms of non-alphabetical characters. Think of them as the symbols for the characters in a typeface family that aren’t letters or numbers. They give artists the option of using a different version of the figures that fits their style better.

Let’s take a look at a few examples. One example of a normal font is:

alternate charecters

The alternative version will look a little bit different, & it will be something like this:

alternate charecters

Most of us won’t even notice the change, and we probably won’t care all that much which edition we use because it’s not that important. On the other hand, if you’re laying out text for a magazine, these changes that might not seem important could make or break the design.

What Is WOFF?

The Open Type Format (OTF) and the True Type Font (TTF) are both stored in the Web Open Font Format (WOFF), which is a container that is packed and put together with other information for use on the web. WOFF files are helpful when a website wants to use a unique font that the user probably doesn’t have on their computer. They let the website do this. Instead, the site creator may choose to save a WOFF file that has a compact version of the OTF or TTF as well as details about licensing, interoperability, and other things.

The fact that WOFF files are compressed, which makes them useful, is because it makes them smaller generally. Theoretically, when someone opens a website that uses a WOFF file, there should be less downtime.

The original creators of the WOFF format were Mozilla, Opera, and Microsoft. However, the first version of the format was phased out in 2018 in favor of the WOFF2 format. WOFF2 has a better compression rate than WOFF by about 30% and is supported by all of the major systems.

OTF vs TTF Fonts: Which Suits Better?

There is no doubt that OTF is the stronger choice between the two. It comes with extra features that give typesetters and artists the freedom to make small changes that are meant to improve the overall look of a piece.

Even so, it won’t make much of a difference for the average end user, who probably won’t use most of these features anyway. If you can choose between the two, always go with OTF because it is better. If you’re in a pinch and can’t find the OTF version of the typeface you need, it’s perfectly fine to use a TTF font instead.

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