Theresa’s Tips: Choosing the Correct Format

Welcome to a new series from Theresa at our Sales & Support Desk. Any support questions you want answered in the future? Let us know in the comments section.

When purchasing fonts, you want to make sure that you choose the correct format. Here’s a brief overview of the different formats that we have available at FontShop.

OpenType fonts are cross-platform and will work on both Macs and PCs. This format is best used with applications that support OpenType features, such as InDesign. Some OpenType fonts are created with PostScript metrics and others are created with TrueType metrics. Postscript flavored OpenType have .otf ending while TrueType flavored OpenType have .ttf endings.

TrueType fonts will also work on both Macs and PCs. Certain Windows-based applications, such as MS Office, work best with this format because these applications have limited OpenType support.

PostScript fonts only work on either a Mac or a PC, not both. This format is also referred to as Type 1 font. It is an older format that can be difficult to install in newer operating systems.

Webfonts come in EOT/WOFF formats, which use @font-face to embed the font into your site.

To make things easier we’ve added icons on all our products so that you know what format a typeface is available in. Use the guide below to help you navigate through our site.

To learn more about formats visit Help Topics/ Font Format Questions


  1. Posted September 1, 2011 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    Using these terms as basic font format categories just causes more confusion.
    “PostScript“ is not a font format at all. Its a programming language and page description language. There are dozens of font formats using PostScript:

    Even PostScript-based OpenType fonts use PostScript, so it is pointless to try to draw a line between “PostScript fonts” and “OpenType fonts”. What you probably mean is Type 1 vs. OpenType PS.

    OpenType is a superset of TrueType, so again, it is not a good idea to give the impression these are separated formats. If TrueType fonts are suitable for several office applications, so are TrueType-flavoured OpenType fonts. This overview doesn’t reflect that.

  2. hellotheresa
    Posted September 1, 2011 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    This column is intended to assist those who do not necessarily deal with typography as a primary focus, but need assistance navigating our 150,000+ products. The formats are based on the products we sell: Mac PostScript, PC PostScript, PC TrueType, OpenType with PostScript Outlines, OpenType with TrueType Outlines, and Webfonts. Paired with the legend and the quick descriptions above, a customer can make their choices easier.

  3. inga137
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    I am working on a publication and requires the use of a specific Chinese PC font (Kaiti) to be able to be used and read in Mac so Indesign can read and export.

    Are there any solutions out there? Or is it about changing my font format from ttf to otf?

  4. Theresa
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    @inga137 You will have to contact Microsoft directly to license a version that is supported in both platforms because FontShop does not carry Kaiti.

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