FreeType 2.8 Completes OpenType Variation Fonts Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 14 May 2017 at 07:05 AM EDT. 11 Comments
FREE SOFTWARE --
FreeType 2.8 has been released and this version brings some big features to this widely-used open-source font engine.

FreeType 2.8 marks the completion of OpenType Variation Fonts support. The last missing pieces of OpenType Variation Fonts support was completed for v2.8.

OpenType Font Variations were developed by Microsoft and others back in 2016 as "the biggest enhancement to OpenType" in its 19+ year history. Font Variations allow for multiple weights and font styles to be in a single font file rather than spread out over multiple font files. More details on the font variations via Microsoft.com. Now that it's fully supported by FreeType, hopefully we'll see more developers/designers beginning to make use of it.

FreeType 2.8 also completes its support for the CFF2 font format (Compact Font Format 2). From Microsoft, "CFF2 allows efficient storage of glyph outlines and metadata. The CFF2 format differs from CFF version 1.0 in that it cannot be used as a stand-alone font program: it is intended for use only in the context of an OpenType font as an 'sfnt' table with the tag CFF2, and depends on data in other OpenType tables. All the data from the 1.0 format that is duplicated by data in other tables, or which is not used in the context of an OpenType font, is removed. Another important difference is that the CFF2 format adds new operators which allows CFF2 to represent the data for a variable font: a font that includes representations for several different variants of each glyph, which can be blended to produce an intermediate instance."

FreeType 2.8 also adds more scripts to the auto-hinter and other bug fixes. More details on the brand new release of FreeType 2.8 via the project site.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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