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Some thoughts on Opentype vs. Truetype fonts in VW

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I'm planning on buying a version of the Hand-lettered style font called "Graphite". And faced with the choice of either Truetype or Opentype format, I thought I'd better get some background by reading any related posts on the boards here. Most opinions seem to suggest Truetype fonts have been the better (more stable) choice in Vectorworks. But I just did a few experiments and found Opentype seemed to work pretty well, and might actually work better for me. Here's what I tried:

Using "Annotate Viewport", I entered several lines of text on a Sheet Layer, then changed the font on each of the text lines to a variety of fonts I might normally use. Some were Truetype and some Opentype. On the screen, both looked fine and appeared without the "empty block" rectangles which show up when a font isn't happy.

Then I exported the sheet to PDF at 300 dpi, using both Rasterize and Non-Rasterize Text settings. I discovered that on the Non-Rasterized PDF, Opentype fonts showed up with sharp edges/outlines with no aliasing even at higher magnifications. But the Truetype fonts (at least the few I was using for this test) didn't show up at all.

In the Rasterized sample, all fonts showed up, but had obvious aliasing on edges at medium or higher magnifications, (but would still probably be fine for printing).

I should point out that this was a very limited test. For one thing, I'm on a PC, and I didn't try printing directly from a sheet layer. Still, this convinced me that getting an Opentype font was probably a better choice. At least for me.

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On the PC, VectorWorks has issues with fonts when GDI+ imaging is used, as I posted here (and then contacted tech support about):


In my e-mail correspondence with tech support, it seems to come down to the fact that font handling is broken in GDI+; it only correctly embeds/outputs fonts which are 100% valid for GDI+, and these are very rare, if they exist (Arial and Calibri don't even work, according to the validation tool).

GDI+ is a deprecated technology, and VectorWorks basically needs to implement Direct2D, DirectDraw, etc. on Windows for any of this to be fixed properly. At this point, we just make sure that GDI+ is turned off when we print to PDF...and complain from time to time.

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