What is TTFAutohint?

Font designers use TTFAutohint to make their fonts look good on every kind of computer with almost no work.

Hinting is a kind of code that font designers include in TrueType fonts so that they look good on Windows. The FreeType project develops deep operating system code to render fonts on-screen that is available to everyone as free/libre/open-source software. FreeType is used in Android, GNU+Linux, iOS, Palm, and many other systems because it has excellent rendering quality, even if fonts do not have hinting. Unlike Windows, it performs a letterform analysis and adjusts fonts so that they look good automatically.

TTFAutohint converts that analysis into hinting that can be saved inside font files, so they look good on Windows too. Everyone benefits from better hinting, because it means better web fonts.

What This Next Funded Update Will Produce

There are no surprises with TTFAutohint. It already works. Period. But it has potential to become even better.

There are three main goals ahead:

  1. offer expanded language support,
  2. design a simple GUI to craft final hint adjustments, and
  3. produce a plugin of that GUI for Glyphs, Robofont, and TruFont.

Language Support

Side-by-side comparisons should speak volumes to you. Here we have one waterfall showing a font with no hinting, the result of a time-consuming and costly hinting job done by hand, and another made with TTFAutohint:

TODO: Images from https://rawgit.com/lemzwerg/noto-hinted/master

It Already Works, See.

Finessing x-heights

TODO: Images of x-height increase

TODO: link to further info

Better, Stem Control

To take this further, let’s look at the routines associated with controlling stems and stem contrast.

TODO: explain the two routines

TODO: include image of Mertz Bold g’s

TODO: link to further info

Visualizing Your Instructions

Instead of needing to code your fine-tuning data, we will make a GUI plugin so you can craft the highest quality results with a UI. You will no longer have to worry about typing ‘Q left 38’ in a text file. Instead you will be able to resolve issues dynamically.

TODO: include the O’s and Q’s imagery

TODO: link to further info

Making It Work For Today’s Type Design Apps

Glyphs and Robofont are now the center of your workflow. Think about the benefits of having a plug-in with this control at your fingertips—it levels the playing field. And we need your help.

TODO: mockup of plugin UI here?

To do this, we need your help. We need your money.

TODO: donate prompt

Timetables & Expectations

TODO: timetable

Now, if you wanna geek out more about this, read more about it in the ttfautohint manual


This website was put together by Neil Summerour and Dave Crossland to help the developer of ttfautohint, Werner Lemberg, take it to the next level.

If you’d like to contribute to this site, visit github.com/davelab6/ttfautohint.com