What exactly does autohinting do?

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Jonne Haven
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What exactly does autohinting do?

Postby Jonne Haven » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:46 pm

I usually export CFF but True Type font has that feature of autohinting. All I know about that is that it does something to small font sizes, but my question is what? Should I be exporting to True Type instead because of this feature?



Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What exactly does autohinting do?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:31 pm

You can see whether your fonts benefit from hinting by changing the export settings and previewing the results in the TTF Font Test Window. CFF fonts do not support autohinting. The differences may be more noticeable for fonts with fine strokes. Note the drop out on the £ sign in the example below. The CFF output looks OK too, to my blurry eyes. YMMV and it may depend on other factors like monitor resolution, Clear Type settings, etc.

No Hinting
No Hinting.png
No Hinting.png (20.55 KiB) Viewed 1056 times

With Autohinting
Autohinting.png (19.86 KiB) Viewed 1056 times

CFF Outlines
CFF Outlines.png
CFF Outlines.png (21.11 KiB) Viewed 1055 times
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Re: What exactly does autohinting do?

Postby Alfred » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:18 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:The CFF output looks OK too, to my blurry eyes.

The CFF output really is quite blurry. The box between the semicolon and the comma is a particularly good (or bad!) example: in addition to being blurry, it's severely afflicted by 'jaggies'.
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Re: What exactly does autohinting do?

Postby FatherLuke » Mon May 16, 2016 7:18 am

Is there a way to make it looks a little not so blurry?
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Erwin Denissen
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Re: What exactly does autohinting do?

Postby Erwin Denissen » Sat May 21, 2016 11:30 am

No, our software doesn't add hints to CFF based OpenType fonts. With or without hinting, do be aware the output depends on the software and OS you use. Windows, Mac, hardware that uses FreeType, and even software uses their own custom font rasterizer; all give different results.
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