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outline font

A type of font made from basic outlines of each character. The outlines are scaled into actual characters (bitmaps) before printing. See scalable font.

scalable font

A font that is created in the required point size when needed for display or printing. The dot patterns (bitmaps) are generated from a set of outline fonts, or base fonts, which contain a mathematical representation of the typeface. The two major scalable fonts are Adobe's Type 1 PostScript and Apple/Microsoft's TrueType.

Although a bitmapped font that is designed from scratch for a particular font size will always look the best, scalable fonts eliminate storing hundreds of different sizes of fonts on disk. In most cases however, only the trained eye can tell the difference. Contrast with bitmapped font.

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