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comp.fonts FAQ: General Info (2/6)

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Archive-name: fonts-faq/part2
Version: 2.1.5

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Subject: 1.12. Are fonts copyrightable?
  This topic is hotly debated at regular intervals on comp.fonts.  Terry
  Carroll.  provides the following analysis of current [ed: as of 6/92]
  legislation and regulation regarding fonts and copyrights in the United
  States.  Terry is "Editor in Chief" of Volume 10 of the Santa Clara
  Computer and High Technology Law Journal.  Members of the comp.fonts
  community are encouraged to submit other materials that add clarity to
  the issue.
  It has been pointed out that this section deals primarily font copyright
  issues relevant to the United States and that this situation is not
  universal.  For example, in many parts of Europe typeface designs are
  "First, the short answer in the USA: Typefaces are not copyrightable;
  bitmapped fonts are not copyrightable, but scalable fonts are
  copyrightable.  Authorities for these conclusions follow.
  Before we get started, let's get some terminology down:
  A typeface is a set of letters, numbers, or other symbolic characters,
  whose forms are related by repeating design elements consistently
  applied in a notational system and are intended to be embodied in
  articles whose intrinsic utilitarian function is for use in composing
  text or other cognizable combinations of characters.
  A font is the computer file or program that is used to represent or
  create the typeface.
  Now, on to the legal authorities:
  Volume 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations specifies this about the
  copyrightability of typefaces:
  "The following are examples of works not subject to copyright and
  applications for registration of such works cannot be entertained: . . .
  typeface as typeface" 37 CFR 202.1(e).
  The regulation is in accordance with the House of Representatives report
  that accompanied the new copyright law, when it was passed in 1976:
  "The Committee has considered, but chosen to defer, the possibility of
  protecting the design of typefaces.  A 'typeface' can be defined as a
  set of letters, numbers, or other symbolic characters, whose forms are
  related by repeating design elements consistently applied in a
  notational system and are intended to be embodied in articles whose
  intrinsic utilitarian function is for use in composing text or other
  cognizable combinations of characters.  The Committee does not regard
  the design of typeface, as thus defined, to be a copyrightable
  'pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work' within the meaning of this bill
  and the application of the dividing line in section 101."  H. R. Rep.
  No.  94-1476, 94th Congress, 2d Session at 55 (1976), reprinted in 1978
  U.S. Cong. and Admin. News 5659, 5668.
  It's also in accordance with the one court case I know of that has
  considered the matter: Eltra Corp. V. Ringer, 579 F.2d 294, 208 USPQ 1
  (1978, C.A. 4, Va.).
  The U.S. Copyright Office holds that a bitmapped font is nothing more
  than a computerized representation of a typeface, and as such is not
  "The [September 29, 1988] Policy Decision [published at 53 FR 38110]
  based on the [October 10,] 1986 Notice of Inquiry [published at 51 FR
  36410] reiterated a number of previous registration decisions made by
  the [Copyright] Office.  First, under existing law, typeface as such is
  not registerable.  The Policy Decision then went on to state the
  Office's position that 'data that merely represents an electronic
  depiction of a particular typeface or individual letterform' [that is, a
  bitmapped font] is also not registerable."  57 FR 6201.
  However, scalable fonts are, in the opinion of the Copyright Office,
  computer programs, and as such are copyrightable:
  "... the Copyright Office is persuaded that creating scalable typefonts
  using already-digitized typeface represents a significant change in the
  industry since our previous [September 29, 1988] Policy Decision.  We
  are also persuaded that computer programs designed for generating
  typeface in conjunction with low resolution and other printing devices
  may involve original computer instructions entitled protection under the
  Copyright Act.  For example, the creation of scalable font output
  programs to produce harmonious fonts consisting of hundreds of
  characters typically involves many decisions in drafting the
  instructions that drive the printer.  The expression of these decisions
  is neither limited by the unprotectable shape of the letters nor
  functionally mandated.  This expression, assuming it meets the usual
  standard of authorship, is thus registerable as a computer program."  57
  FR 6202."
Subject: 1.13. Typeface Protection
  [This article first appeared in TUGboat 7:3 (October 1986), pp. 146-151.
  Reproduced with permission.]
  The main question of typeface protection is: "Is there anything there
  worth protecting?" To that the answer must certainly be: "Yes." Typeface
  designs are a form of artistic and intellectual property."  To
  understand this better, it is helpful to look at who designs type, and
  what the task requires.
  Who makes type designs?
  Like other artistic forms, type is created by skilled artisans.  They
  may be called type designers, lettering artists, punch-cutters,
  calligraphers, or related terms, depending on the milieu in which the
  designer works and the technology used for making the designs or for
  producing the type.
  ("Type designer" and "lettering artist" are self-explanatory terms.
  "Punch-cutter" refers to the traditional craft of cutting the master
  image of a typographic letter at the actual size on a blank of steel
  that is then used to make the matrix from which metal type is cast.
  Punch-cutting is an obsolete though not quite extinct craft. Seeking a
  link to the tradition, modern makers of digital type sometimes use the
  anachronistic term "digital punch-cutter". "Calligrapher" means
  literally "one who makes beautiful marks".  The particular marks are
  usually hand-written letters, though calligraphers may design type, and
  type designers may do calligraphy.)
  It usually takes about seven years of study and practice to become a
  competent type designer. This seems to be true whether one has a Ph.D.
  in computer science, a high-school diploma, or no academic degree.  The
  skill is acquired through study of the visual forms and practice in
  making them.  As with geometry, there is no royal road.
  The designing of a typeface can require several months to several years.
  A family of typefaces of four different styles, say roman, italic, bold
  roman, and bold italic, is a major investment of time and effort.  Most
  type designers work as individuals. A few work in partnership (Times
  Roman(R), Helvetica(R), and Lucida(R) were all, in different ways, the
  result of design collaboration).  In Japan, the large character sets
  required for a typeface containing Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana induce
  designers to work in teams of several people.
  Although comparisons with other media can only be approximate, a
  typeface family is an accomplishment on the order of a novel, a feature
  film screenplay, a computer language design and implementation, a major
  musical composition, a monumental sculpture, or other artistic or
  technical endeavors that consume a year or more of intensive creative
  effort.  These other creative activities can be protected by copyright
  or other forms of intellectual property protection.  It is reasonable
  to protect typefaces in the same way.
  The problem of plagiarism
  A lack of protection for typeface designs leads to plagiarism, piracy,
  and related deplorable activities. They are deplorable because they
  harm a broad range of people beyond the original designers of the type.
  First, most type plagiarisms are badly done. The plagiarists do not
  understand the nature of the designs they are imitating, are unwilling
  to spend the necessary time and effort to do good work, and
  consequently botch the job. They then try to fob off their junk on
  unsuspecting users (authors, editors, and readers). Without copyright,
  the original designer cannot require the reproducer of a type to do a
  good job of reproduction. Hence, type quality is degraded by
  unauthorized copying.
  Secondly, without protection, designs may be freely imitated; the
  plagiarist robs the original designer of financial compensation for the
  work. This discourages creative designers from entering and working in
  the field. As the needs of typography change (on-line documents and
  laser printing are examples of technical and conceptual changes) new
  kinds of typefaces are required. Creative design in response to such
  needs cannot flourish without some kind of encouragement for the
  creators. In a capitalist society, the common method is property rights
  and profit.  In a socialist (or, in the past, royalist) society, the
  state itself might employ type artists. France, as a monarchy and as a
  republic, has had occasional state sponsorship of typeface design over
  the past 400 years. The Soviet Union has sponsored the design of new
  typefaces, not only in the Cyrillic alphabet, but also in the other
  exotic scripts used by various national groups in the Soviet Union.
  Those who would justify plagiarism often claim that the type artists do
  not usually receive a fair share of royalties anyway, since they have
  usually sold their designs to some large, exploitive corporation.  It
  is true that type designers, like many artists, are often exploited by
  their "publishers", but plagiarism exacerbates the problem. Plagiarism
  deprives the designer of decent revenues because it diverts profits to
  those who merely copied the designs. Plagiarism gives the manufacturer
  yet another excuse to reduce the basic royalty or other fee paid for
  typeface designs; the theme song is that the market determines the
  value of the design and cheap rip-offs debase the value of a face.  For
  those interested in the economic effects of piracy, it is clear that
  plagiarism of type designs ultimately hurts individual artists far more
  than it hurts impersonal corporations.
  Kinds of protection for type
  There are five main forms of protection for typefaces:
     * Trademark
     * Copyright
     * Patent
     * Trade Secret
     * Ethics
  A trademark protects the name of a typeface. In the U.S., most
  trademarks are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  The R in a circle (R) after a trademark or tradename indicates U.S.
  registration. The similarly placed TM indicates that a trademark is
  claimed, even if not yet officially registered. However, a trademark may
  be achieved through use and practice, even without registration. Owners
  of trademarks maintain ownership by use of the trademark and by
  litigation to prevent infringement or unauthorized use of the trademark
  by others.
  As a few examples of registered typeface trademarks, there are Times
  Roman (U.S. registration 417,439, October 30, 1945 to Eltra
  Corporation, now part of Allied); Helvetica (U.S. registration 825,989,
  March 21, 1967, also to Eltra-Allied), and Lucida (U.S. reg. 1,314,574
  to Bigelow & Holmes). Most countries offer trademark registration and
  protection, and it is common for a typeface name to be registered in
  many countries. In some cases the registrant may be different than the
  originator. For example, The Times New Roman (Times Roman) was
  originally produced by the English Monotype Corporation. In England and
  Europe, most typographers consider the design to belong to Monotype,
  but the trademark was registered by Linotype (Eltra-Allied) in the
  U.S., as noted above.
  Trademark protection does not protect the design, only the name.
  Therefore, a plagiarism of a design is usually christened with a
  pseudonym which in some way resembles or suggests the original
  trademark, without actually infringing on it. Resemblance without
  infringement can be a fine distinction.
  Some pseudonyms for Times Roman are: "English Times", "London", Press
  Roman, "Tms Rmn".  Some for Helvetica are "Helios", "Geneva",
  "Megaron", "Triumvirate". So far, there seem to be none for Lucida.
  There are generic typeface classifications used by typographers and type
  historians to discuss styles, trends, and categories of design.
  Occasionally these apparently innocuous classification systems are
  employed by plagiarists to devise generic pseudonyms, such as "Swiss
  721" for Helvetica, and "Dutch 801" for Times Roman. It is not certain
  whether this usage of a generic classification is more for
  clarification or for obfuscation. In general, the proper tradename is a
  better indicator of identity, quality, and provenance in typefaces than
  a generic name. Some people believe that the same is true for other
  commodities such as wine, where taste is important.
  A trademark usually consists of both a proprietary and a generic part.
  For example, in the name "Lucida Bold Italic", "Lucida" is the
  proprietary trademark part and "Bold Italic" is the generic part. The
  generic word "type" is usually understood to be a part of the name,
  e.g. "Lucida Bold Italic type". Sometimes a firm will append its name
  or a trademarked abbreviation of it to the typeface name, to achieve a
  greater degree of proprietary content, e.g. "B&H Lucida Bold Italic".
  A related matter is the use of the name of a type's designer. A firm
  that ethically licenses a typeface will often cite the name of the
  designer-- e.g. Stanley Morison (with Victor Lardent) for Times Roman,
  Max Miedinger (with Edouard Hoffmann) for Helvetica, Charles Bigelow
  and Kris Holmes for Lucida. Although a person's name is not usually a
  registered trademark, there are common law restrictions on its use.
  The marketing of plagiarized type designs generally omits the names of
  the designers.
  Although Trademark is an incomplete kind of protection, it is used
  effectively (within its limitations) to prevent the theft of type names.
  Certain traditional typeface names, usually the surnames of illustrious
  designers like Garamond, Caslon, Baskerville, Bodoni, and others have
  become generic names in the public domain.  Trademark protection of
  such names requires the addition of some proprietary word(s), as with
  these hypothetical creations, "Acme New Garamond", or "Typoluxe
  Copyright of typefaces can be divided into two parts: copyright of the
  design itself; and copyright of the font in which the design is
  implemented. In the U.S., typeface designs are currently not covered by
  copyright. This is a result of reluctance by the copyright office to
  deal with a complex field; by lobbying against copyright by certain
  manufacturers whose profits were based on typeface plagiarism; by a
  reluctance of Congress to deal with the complex issues in the recent
  revision of the copyright law.
  The reluctance of Americans to press for typeface copyright may have
  been influenced by a feeling that typeface plagiarism was good for U.S.
  high-tech businesses who were inventing new technologies for printing,
  and plagiarizing types of foreign origin (Europe and England).  If the
  situation becomes reversed, and foreign competition (from Japan,
  Taiwan, and Korea) threatens to overcome American technological
  superiority in the laser printer industry, then American firms may do
  an about-face and seek the protection of typeface copyright to help
  protect the domestic printer industry. Such a trend may already be seen
  in the licensing of typeface trademarks by Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, IBM,
  Imagen, and Xerox in the U.S. laser printer industry.
  In Germany, where typeface design has always been a significant part of
  the cultural heritage, and where typefounding has remained an important
  business, there are more than one kind of copyright-like protections for
  typefaces. Certain long-standing industrial design protection laws have
  been used to protect typeface designs in litigation over royalties and
  plagiarisms. Further, there is a recent law,  the so-called
  "Schriftzeichengesetz" enacted in 1981, that specifically protects
  typeface designs.  New designs are registered, as is done with
  copyright in most countries.  This law only protects new, original
  designs. It is available to non-German designers and firms.  Therefore,
  some type firms and designers routinely copyright new designs in West
  Germany.  This gives a degree of protection for products marketed in
  Germany. Since multinational corporations may find it cheaper to
  license a design for world-wide use rather than deal with a special case
  in one country, the German law does encourage licensing on a broader
  scale than would initially seem to be the case.
  France, like Germany, has ratified an international treaty for
  protection of typefaces. This 1973 Vienna treaty will become
  international law when four nations ratify it. So far, only France and
  West Germany have done so, and thus a design must be protected
  separately in each country.  Even when the treaty becomes law, it will
  take effect only in those countries that have ratified it. The treaty
  was principally the work of the late Charles Peignot, a French
  typefounder, and John Dreyfus, an English typographer and typographic
  scholar. Presently, typefaces may be registered for protection in
  France under a 19th century industrial design protection law.
  In the U.S., there continues to be some movement for typeface design
  protection. A proposed bill that would protect the designs of useful
  articles, like type, has been in committee for a few years. It seems to
  be going nowhere.
  Digital (as opposed to analog) fonts may be protected by copyright of
  digital data and of computer programs. It has been established that
  computer software is copyrightable. Therefore, software that embodies a
  typeface, e.g. a digital font, is presumably also protected.  There is
  some objection to this kind of copyright, on the grounds that the
  ultimate output of the program or the result of the data (i.e. a
  typeface design) is not copyrightable. However, the current belief
  expressed by the National Commission on New Technological Use of
  Copyrighted Works is that software is copyrightable even if its function
  is to produce ultimately a non-copyrightable work.  Hence, typefaces
  produced by Metafont or PostScript(R), two computer languages which
  represent fonts as programs, are presumably copyrightable. Typefaces
  represented as bit-map data, run-length codes, spline outlines, and
  other digital data formats, may also be copyrightable. Some firms do
  copyright digital fonts as digital data.  % The copyright office is
  currently reviewing %this practice to determine if it is acceptable.
  Note that the designs themselves are still not protected in the U.S.  A
  plagiarist could print out large sized letters (say, one per page) on an
  Apple LaserWriter, using a copyrighted PostScript digital font, and then
  redigitize those letters by using a scanner or a font digitizing program
  and thus produce a new digital font without having copied the program or
  digital data, and thus without infringing the copyright on the font. The
  quality of the imitation font would usually be awful, but it wouldn't
  violate copyright. Of course, the plagiarist would usually need to
  rename the font to evade trademark infringement.  [As I write these
  words, I have the guilty feeling that I have just provided a recipe for
  type rip-off, but others have obviously thought of just such a
  scheme--John Dvorak has even proposed something like it in one of his
  Design Patent
  The designs of typefaces may be patented in the U.S. under existing
  design patent law. Many designs are patented, but type designers
  generally don't like the patent process because it is slow, expensive,
  and uncertain. Nevertheless, some types do get patented, and it is a
  form of potential protection. Note that this is Design Patent--the
  typeface doesn't have to be a gizmo that does something, it merely has
  to be unlike any previous typeface. The drawback here is that most
  attorneys and judges are not aware that there are more than two or
  three typefaces: say, handwriting, printing, and maybe blackletter.
  Therefore, litigating against infringement is an educational as well as
  a legal process.  It is easy to see that typeface theft is more subtle
  than knocking over a liquor store; it may not be illegal and the
  returns may be greater.
  Protections like design patent are available in many other countries,
  but there is not an international standard (to my knowledge) so the
  situation must be examined on a country by country basis.
  Invention Patent
  Methods of rendering typefaces can be patented as mechanical or
  electronic inventions. For example, the old hot-metal Linotype
  machinery was protected by various patents, as was the IBM Selectric
  typewriter and type ball.  IBM neglected to trademark the typeface
  names like Courier and Prestige, so once the patents had lapsed, the
  names gradually fell into the public domain without IBM doing anything
  about it (at the time, and for a dozen years or so, IBM was distracted
  by a major U.S. anti-trust suit).  Most students of the type protection
  field believe that those names are probably unprotectable by now,
  though IBM could still presumably make a try for it if sufficiently
  There is currently a noteworthy development regarding a patent for
  outline representation of digital type as arcs and vectors, with special
  hardware for decoding into rasters. This patent (U.S. 4,029,947, June
  14, 1977; reissue 30,679, July 14, 1981) is usually called the Evans &
  Caswell patent, after its inventors.  It was originally assigned to
  Rockwell, and in 1982, Rockwell sued Allied Linotype for infringement.
  Allied settled out of court, having paid an amount rumored to be in the
  millions.  Rockwell sold the patent, along with other typographic
  technology, to Information International, Inc. (III), which then sued
  Compugraphic for infringement. According to the Seybold Report, a
  respected typographic industry journal, Compugraphic recently settled
  out of court for 5 million dollars.  Although many experts believe the
  patent to be invalid because of several prior inventions similar in
  concept, it nevertheless seems to be a money-maker in corporate
  litigation. The Seybold Report has speculated on which firms III would
  litigate against next. Among the candidates suggested by the Seybolds
  was Apple for its LaserWriter, which uses outline fonts. Since the
  entire laser printer industry and the typesetting industry is moving
  toward outline font representation, Apple is certainly not alone.  The
  Seybolds further speculate on whether the difference between
  character-by-character CRT typesetting and raster-scan laser typesetting
  and printing would be legally significant in such a case.  Ultimately,
  some firm will hold out for a court judgement, and the matter will be
  decided.  %Although the Evans & Caswell patent doesn't have much to do
  with %typeface copyright per se, it does make many font vendors nervous.
  Trade Secret
  Given that typeface designs have relatively little copyright protection
  in the U.S., they are often handled as trade secrets. The secret must
  apply to the digital data or programs only, because the images
  themselves are ultimately revealed to the public as printed forms.  It
  is much more difficult to reconstruct the formula of Coca-Cola from its
  taste than it is to reconstruct the design of Helvetica from its look
  on the page. The exact bitmap or spline outline of a digital font is
  usually not reconstructable from the printed image, although CRT screen
  fonts at usual resolutions (60-120 dots per inch) may be reconstructed
  by patient counting and mapping of bits off a screen display.  Typeface
  licenses often contain stipulations that the digital data will be
  encrypted and confidential.  Just as a firm will protect the secret of
  a soft drink recipe, so a type firm will protect the exact nature of
  its digital data.
  Some typographers are motivated by higher principles than greed,
  profit, expediency, and personal interest. Idealists afflicted with
  concepts of ethical behavior and a vision of typography as a noble art
  may find it distasteful to use plagiarized types.  Some graphic
  designers insist on using typefaces with bona-fide trademarks, both to
  ensure that the type will be of high quality, and to encourage
  creativity and ethics in the profession.  A consequence of plagiarism
  that is sometimes overlooked is a general erosion of ethics in an
  industry. If it is okay to steal typeface designs, then it may be okay
  to purloin other kinds of data, to falsify one's resume, to
  misrepresent a product, and so forth.  Most professional design
  organizations attempt to promote ethical standards of professional
  behavior, and personal standards may extend to avoidance of plagiarism.
  The Association Typographique Internationale (ATypI) is an international
  organization of type designers, type manufacturers, and letterform
  educators. Its purpose is to promote ethical behavior in the industry,
  advancement of typographic education, communication among designers, and
  other lofty aims. Members of ATypI agree to abide by a moral code that
  restricts plagiarism and other forms of depraved behavior (pertaining to
  typography). These are noble goals, but some members (especially
  corporate members) of ATypI, confronted with the pressures and
  opportunities of commercial reality, nevertheless plagiarize typefaces
  of fellow members, the moral code notwithstanding. Since ATypI is a
  voluntary organization, there is very little that can be done about
  most such plagiarism. Some years back, a world-famous type designer
  resigned %the noted type designer Hermann Zapf from the ATypI Board of
  Directors in protest over the organization's flaccid attitude toward
  plagiarists among its ranks. He has since agreed to sit on the board
  again, but criticism of the organization's inability to prevent type
  rip-offs by its own members, not to mention by non-members, continues
  to be heard. Moderates in ATypI believe that a few morals are better
  than none. It is not clear whether their philosophical stance derives
  from Plato, Hobbes, or Rousseau.
  Given the general attitude of users toward copyrighted video and
  software, it is doubtful that ethical considerations will hinder most
  end-users' attitude to plagiarized type fonts. A desire to have the
  fashionable "label" or trademark may be a greater motivation toward the
  use of bona-fide fonts than an ethical consideration.
  Further reading
  "The State of the Art in Typeface Design Protection", Edward Gottschall,
  Visible Language, Vol. XIX, No. 1, 1985 (a special issue on "The
  Computer and the Hand in Type Design"--proceedings of a conference held
  at Stanford University in August, 1983).
  Der Schutz Typographischer Schriftzeichen, by Guenter Kelbel.  Carl
  Heymans Verlag KG, Cologne, 1984. (A learned account, in juridical
  German prose, of the significance of the Vienna Treaty of 1973 and the
  West German Schriftzeichengesetz of 1981.)
  These notes were originally prepared at the request of Brian Reid, for
  informal distribution. They are based on the author's review of
  available literature on the subject of typeface protection, and on
  personal experience in registering types for trademark, copyright, and
  patent. However, they are %While they result from careful research, no
  claim is made for accuracy; not legal advice.  If one is contemplating
  protecting or plagiarizing a typeface, and seeks legal opinion, it is
  advisable to consult an attorney.  The term "plagiarize" (and words
  derived from it) is used here in its dictionary sense of "to take and
  use as one's own the ideas of another" and does not mean that the
  practice of typeface plagiarism is illegal, as that is determined by
  the laws of a particular country.
  The author is a professor of digital typography as well as a
  professional designer of original digital typefaces for electronic
  printers and computer workstations. He therefore has an obvious bias
  toward the inculcation of ethical standards and the legal protection of
  artistic property.  Other commentators might have a different
Subject: 1.14. File Formats
  Many different kinds of files are available on the net.  These files
  contain many different kinds of data for many different architectures.
  Frequently, the extension (trailing end) of a filename gives a good
  clue as to the format of its contents and the architecture that it was
  created on.
  In order to save space, most files on the net are compressed in one way
  or another.  Many compression/decompression programs exist on multiple
  Multiple files and directories are often combined into a single
  `archive' file.  Many archive formats perform compression automatically.
  File Format Extensions
     * .tar
       Unix `tape archive' format.  Tar files can contain multiple files
       and directories.  Unlike most archiving programs, tar files are
       held together in a wrapper but are not automatically compressed by
     * .Z
       Unix `compress' format.  Compression doesn't form a wrapper around
       multiple files, it simply compresses a single file.  As a result,
       you will frequently see files with the extension .tar.Z.  This
       implies that the files are compressed tar archives.
     * .z .gz
       GNU zip format.  GNU zip doesn't form a wrapper around multiple
       files, it simply compresses a single file.  As a result, you will
       frequently see files with the extension .tar.z or .tar.gz.  This
       implies that the files are compressed tar archives.  Do not confuse
       GNU Zip and PKZip or GNU Zip and Unix compress, those are three
       different programs!
     * .hqx
       Macintosh `BinHex' format.  In order to reliably transfer Mac files
       from one architecture to another, they are BinHex encoded.  This
       is actually an ascii file containing mostly hexadecimal digits.
       It is neither a compression program nor an archive format.
     * .sit
       Macintosh `Stuffit' archive.
     * .cpt
       Macintosh `Compactor' archive.
       Like the .tar.Z format that is common among Unix archives,
       Macintosh archives frequently have the extensions .sit.hqx or
       .cpt.hqx indicating a BinHex'ed archive.
     * .arc
       PC `arc' archive.  This is an older standard (in PC terms, at
       least) and has gone out of fashion.
     * .zip
       PC `zip' archive.  This is the most common PC archive format today.
     * .arj
       PC `arj' archive.
     * .zoo
       PC `zoo' archive
     * .lzh
       PC `lha/lharc' archive.
     * .uue
       `UUencoding' format.  In order to reliably transfer binary data
       across architectures (or through email), they are frequently
       uuencoded.  This is actually an ascii file.  It is neither a
       compression program nor an archive format.
  Font Formats
  Just as the are many, many archive formats, there are many different
  font formats.  The characteristics of some of these formats are
  discussed below.  Once again, the file extension may help you to
  determine the font type.  (On the Mac, the resource TYPE field is
  (probably) a better indicator).
     * PostScript Type 1 Fonts:
       Postscript Type 1 fonts (Also called ATM (Adobe Type Manager)
       fonts, Type 1, and outline fonts) contains information, in outline
       form, that allows a postscript printer, or ATM to generate fonts
       of any size.  Most also contain hinting information which allows
       fonts to be rendered more readable at lower resolutions and small
       type sizes.
     * PostScript Type 3 Fonts:
       Postscript type 3 fonts are an old outline font format that is not
       compatible with ATM.  Most developers have stopped using this
       format except in a few special cases, where special type 3
       characteristics (pattern fills inside outlines, for example) have
       been used.
     * TrueType Fonts:
       Truetype fonts are a new font format developed by Microsoft with
       Apple.  The rendering engine for this font is built into system 7
       and an init, the Truetype init, is available for system 6 (freeware
       from Apple).  It is also built into MS Windows v3.1.  Like
       PostScript Type 1 and Type 3 fonts, it is also an outline font
       format that allows both the screen, and printers, to scale fonts to
       display them in any size.
     * Bitmap Fonts:
       Bitmap fonts contain bitmaps of fonts in them.  This a picture of
       the font at a specific size that has been optimized to look good
       at that size. It cannot be scaled bigger without making it look
       horrendously ugly.  On the Macintosh, bitmap fonts also contain
       the kerning information for a font and must be installed with both
       type 1 and type 3 fonts.  Their presence also speeds the display
       of commonly used font sizes.
  Font Format Extensions
     * .afm
       Adobe Type 1 metric information in `ascii' format (human parsable)
     * .bco
       Bitstream compressed outline
     * .bdf
       Adobe's Bitmap Distribution Format.  This format can be converted
       to the platform specific binary files required by the local X
       Windows server.  This is a bitmap font format distributed in ASCII.
     * .bez
       Bezier outline information
     * .cfn
       Calamus Font Notation. Vector font format, without hinting, but
       with greater accuracy when compared to Type 1 fonts. Used by a.o.
       Calamus (Atari, Windows NT), a DTP program with Soft RIP.
     * .chr
       Borland stroked font file
     * .ff, .f3b, .fb
       Sun formats.  More info when I know more...
     * .fli
       Font libraries produced by emTeX fontlib program.  Used by emTeX
       drivers and newer versions of dvips.
     * .fnt
       Bitmapped GEM font in either Motorola or Intel format.
     * .fon
       An MS-Windows bitmapped font.
     * .fot
       An MS-Windows kludge for TrueType fonts.  The fot file points to
       the actual TrueType font (in a ttf file).
     * .gf
       Generic font (the output of TeX's MetaFont program (possibly
     * .mf
       TeX MetaFont font file (text file of MetaFont commands)
     * .pfa
       Adobe Type 1 Postscript font in ASCII format (PC/Unix) I believe
       that this format is suitable for directly downloading to your
       PostScript printer (someone correct me if I'm wrong ;-)
     * .pfb
       Adobe Type 1 PostScript font in "binary`' format (PC/Unix) Note:
       this format is not suitable for downloading directly to your
       PostScript printer.  There are utilities for conversion between
       PFB and PFA (see the utilities section of the FAQ).
     * .pfm
       Printer font metric information in Windows format
     * .pk
       TeX packed bitmap font file (also seen as .###pk where ### is a
     * .pl
       TeX `property list' file (a human readable version of .tfm)
     * .ps
       Frequently, any PostScript file.  With respect to fonts, probably
       a Type3 font.  This designation is much less `standard' than the
       others.  Other non-standard extensions are .pso, .fon, and .psf
       (they are a mixture of type 1 and type 3 fonts).
     * .pxl
       TeX pixel bitmap font file (obsolete, replaced by .pk)
     * .sfl
       LaserJet bitmapped softfont, landscape orientation
     * .sfp
       LaserJet bitmapped softfont, portrait orientation
     * .sfs
       LaserJet scalable softfont
     * .spd
       Vector font in Speedo format.
     * .tdf
       Vector font type definitions for Speedo fonts.
     * .tfm
       TeX font metric file.  Also an HP Tagged Font Metric file.
     * .ttf
       An MS-Windows TrueType font.
     * .vf
       TeX virtual font which allows building of composite fonts (a
       character can be composed of any sequence of movements, characters
       (possibly from multiple fonts) rules and TeX specials)
     * .vpl
       TeX `property list' (human readable) format of a .vf
Subject: 1.15. Ligatures
  A ligature occurs where two or more letterforms are written or printed
  as a unit.  Generally, ligatures replace characters that occur next to
  each other when they share common components.  Ligatures are a subset
  of a more general class of figures called "contextual forms."
  Contextual forms describe the case where the particular shape of a
  letter depends on its context (surrounding letters, whether or not it's
  at the end of a line, etc.).
  One of the most common ligatures is "fi".  Since the dot above a
  lowercase 'I' interferes with the loop on the lowercase 'F', when 'f'
  and 'i' are printed next to each other, they are combined into a single
  figure with the dot absorbed into the 'f'.
  An example of a more general contextual form is the greek lowercase
  sigma.  When typesetting greek, the selection of which 'sigma' to use
  is determined by whether or not the letter occurs at the end of the
  word (i.e., the final position in the word).
     * Amanda Walker provides the following discussion of ligatures:
       Ligatures were originally used by medieval scribes to conserve
       space and increase writing speed.  A 14th century manuscript, for
       example, will include hundreds of ligatures (this is also where
       "accents" came from).  Early typefaces used ligatures in order to
       emulate the appearance of hand-lettered manuscripts.  As
       typesetting became more automated, most of these ligatures fell
       out of common use.  It is only recently that computer based
       typesetting has encouraged people to start using them again
       (although 'fine art' printers have used them all along).
       Generally, ligatures work best in typefaces which are derived from
       calligraphic letterforms.  Also useful are contextual forms, such
       as swash capitals, terminal characters, and so on.
       A good example of a computer typeface with a rich set of ligatures
       is Adobe Caslon (including Adobe Caslon Expert).  It includes:
       Upper case, lower case, small caps, lining numerals, oldstyle
       numerals, vulgar fractions, superior and inferior numerals, swash
       italic caps, ornaments, long s, and the following ligatures:
       ff fi fl ffi ffl Rp ct st Sh Si Sl SS St (where S=long s)
       [Ed: Another common example is the Computer Modern Roman typeface
       that is provided with TeX. this family of fonts include the ff,
       fi, fl, ffi, and ffl ligatures which TeX automatically uses when
       it finds these letters juxtaposed in the text.]
       While there are a large number number of possible ligatures,
       generally only the most common ones are actually provided.  In
       part, this is because the presence of too many alternate forms
       starts reducing legibility.  A case in point is Luxeuil Miniscule,
       a highly-ligatured medieval document hand which is completely
       illegible to the untrained eye (and none too legible to the
       trained eye, either :)).
     * Don Hosek offers the following insight into ligatures:
       Ligatures were used in lead type, originally in imitation of
       calligraphic actions (particularly in Greek which retained an
       excessive number of ligatures in printed material as late as the
       19th century), but as typefaces developed, ligatures were retained
       to improve the appearance of certain letter combinations. In some
       cases, it was used to allow certain letter combinations to be more
       closely spaced (e.g., "To" or "Vo") and were referred to as
       "logotypes". In other cases, the designs of two letters were merged
       to keep the overall spacing of words uniform. Ligatures are
       provided in most contemporary fonts for exactly this reason.
     * Liam Quin makes the following observations:
       The term ligature should only be used to describe joined letters in
       printing, not letters that overlap in manuscripts.
       Many (not all) accents came from the practice of using a tilde or
       other mark to represent an omitted letter, so that for example the
       Latin word `Dominus' would be written dns, with a tilde or bar over
       the n.  This is an abbreviation, not a ligature.
       Most ligatures vanished during the 15th and 16th Centuries.  It was
       simply too much work to use them, and it increased the price of
       book production too much.
  [Ed: there is no "complete" set of ligatures.]
  This is Info file, produced by Makeinfo-1.55 from the
  input file FAQ.texinfo.
Subject: 1.16. Built-in Fonts
     * PostScript printers (and Adobe Type Manager) with 13 fonts have:
       Courier, Courier-Bold, Courier-BoldOblique, Courier-Oblique,
       Helvetica, Helvetica-Bold, Helvetica-BoldOblique,
       Helvetica-Oblique, Symbol, Times-Bold, Times-BoldItalic,
       Times-Italic, Times-Roman
     * Postscript printers with 17 fonts have:
       Courier, Courier-Bold, Courier-BoldOblique, Courier-Oblique,
       Helvetica, Helvetica-Bold, Helvetica-BoldOblique, Helvetica-Narrow,
       Helvetica-Narrow-Bold, Helvetica-Narrow-BoldOblique,
       Helvetica-Narrow-Oblique, Helvetica-Oblique, Symbol, Times-Bold,
       Times-BoldItalic, Times-Italic, Times-Roman
     * Postscript printers with 35 fonts have:
       All of the above, plus the following:
       ZapfChancery-MediumItalic, ZapfDingbats, AvantGarde-Book,
       AvantGarde-BookOblique, AvantGarde-Demi, AvantGarde-DemiOblique,
       Bookman-Demi, Bookman-DemiItalic, Bookman-Light,
       Bookman-LightItalic, NewCenturySchlbk-Bold,
       NewCenturySchlbk-BoldItalic, NewCenturySchlbk-Italic,
       NewCenturySchlbk-Roman, Palatino-Bold, Palatino-BoldItalic,
       Palatino-Italic, Palatino-Roman
     * HP LaserJet printers (II, IIP)
       Courier 10, Courier 12, LinePrinter 16.66, ...
     * HP LaserJet printers (III, IIIP)
       All of the above, plus the following:
       Scalable Times Roman and Scalable Univers using Compugraphic's
       Intellifont hinted font format.
     * HP LaserJet IV printers
       All of the above, plus the following scalable (Intellifont) faces:
       Courier, Courier Bold, Courier Italic, Courier Bold Italic, CG
       Times, CG Times Bold, CG Times Italic, CG Times Bold Italic CG
       Omega, CG Omega Bold, CG Omega Italic, CG Omega Bold Italic
       Coronet, Clarendon Condensed Univers Medium, Univers Bold, Univers
       Medium Italic, Univers Bold Italic Univers Medium Condensed,
       Univers Bold Condensed, Univers Medium Condensed Italic, Univers
       Bold Condensed Italic Antique Olive, Antique Olive Bold, Antique
       Olive Italic Garamond Antiqua, Garamond Halbfett, Garamond Kursiv,
       Garamond Kursiv Halbfett Marigold, Albertus Medium, Albertus Extra
       Bold Arial, Arial Bold, Arial Italic, Arial Bold Italic Times New,
       Times New Bold, Times New Italic, Times New Bold Italic Symbol,
       Wingdings, Letter Gothic, Letter Gothic Bold, Letter Gothic Italic
     * SPARCPrinters
       The basic 35 fonts plus four scaled faces of each of Bembo, Gill
       Sans, Rockwell, Lucida, Lucida Bright, Sans and Typewriter, giving
       a total of 57 fonts, all in the F3 format.
Subject: 1.17. Glossary
  [ I ripped this right out of the manual I wrote for Sfware.  If you have
  comments, improvements, suggestions, please tell me... ]
       [ed: this is an 'off-the-cuff' definition, feel free to clarify it
       for me ;-) ]
       On low-resolution bitmap devices (where ragged, ugly characters
       are the norm) which support more than two colors, it is possible
       to provide the appearance of higher resolution with anti-aliasing.
       Anti-aliasing uses shaded pixels around the edges of the bitmap
       to give the appearance of partial-pixels which improves the
       apparent resolution.
       The baseline is an imaginary line upon which each character rests.
       Characters that appear next to each other are (usually) lined up so
       that their baselines are on the same level.  Some characters extend
       below the baseline ("g" and "j", for example) but most rest on it.
       A bitmap is an array of dots. If you imagine a sheet of graph paper
       with some squares colored in, a bitmap is a compact way of
       representing to the computer which squares are colored and which
       are not.
       In a bitmapped font, every character is represented as a pattern of
       dots in a bitmap. The dots are so small (300 or more dots-per-inch,
       usually) that they are indistinguishable on the printed page.
       (1) The smallest component of written language that has semantic
       value.  Character refers to the abstract idea, rather than a
       specific shape (see also glyph), though in code tables some form
       of visual representation is essential for the reader's
       understanding.  (2) The basic unit of encoding for the Unicode
       character encoding, 16 bits of information.  (3) Synonym for "code
       element".  (4) The English name for the ideographic written
       elements of Chinese origin.
       Downloading is the process of transferring information from one
       device to another.  This transferral is called downloading when the
       transfer flows from a device of (relatively) more power to one of
       (relatively) less power.  Sending new fonts to your printer so that
       it "learns" how to print characters in that font is called
       A particular collection of characters of a typeface with unique
       parameters in the 'Variation vector', a particular instance of
       values for orientation, size, posture, weight, etc., values.  The
       word font or fount is derived from the word foundry, where,
       originally, type was cast.  It has come to mean the vehicle which
       holds the typeface character collection.  A font can be metal,
       photographic film, or electronic media (cartridge, tape, disk).
       (1) The actual shape (bit pattern, outline) of a character image.
       For example, an italic 'a' and a roman 'a' are two different glyphs
       representing the same underlying character.  In this strict sense,
       any two images which differ in shape constitute different glyphs.
       In this usage, "glyph" is a synonym for "character image", or
       simply "image".  (2) A kind of idealized surface form derived from
       some combination of underlying characters in some specific
       context, rather than an actual character image.  In this broad
       usage, two images would constitute the same glyph whenever they
       have essentially the same topology (as in oblique 'a' and roman
       'a'), but different glyphs when one is written with a hooked top
       and the other without (the way one prints an 'a' by hand).  In
       this usage, "glyph" is a synonym for "glyph type," where glyph is
       defined as in sense 1.
       When a character is described in outline format the outline has
       unlimited resolution.  If you make it ten times as big, it is just
       as accurate as if it were ten times as small.
       However, to be of use, we must transfer the character outline to a
       sheet of paper through a device called a raster image processor
       (RIP). The RIP builds the image of the character out of lots of
       little squares called picture elements (pixels).
       The problem is, a pixel has physical size and can be printed only
       as either black or white. Look at a sheet of graph paper. Rows and
       columns of little squares (think: pixels). Draw a large `O' in the
       middle of the graph paper. Darken in all the squares touched by the
       O. Do the darkened squares form a letter that looks like the O you
       drew? This is the problem with low resolution (300 dpi). Which
       pixels do you turn on and which do you leave off to most accurately
       reproduce the character?
       All methods of hinting strive to fit (map) the outline of a
       character onto the pixel grid and produce the most
       pleasing/recognizable character no matter how coarse the grid is.
       (noun): That portion of a letter which extends beyond its width,
       that is, the letter shapes that overhang - the projection of a
       character beyond its sidebearings.
       (verb): To adjust the intercharacter spacing in character groups
       (words) to improve their appearance.  Some letter combinations
       ("AV" and "To", for example) appear farther apart than others
       because of the shapes of the individual letters.
       Many sophisticated word processors move these letter combinations
       closer together automatically.
  outline font/format
       See 'scalable font'
       The (more or less) original point system (Didot) did have exactly
       72 points to the inch. The catch is that it was the French
       imperial inch, somewhat longer than the English inch, and it went
       away in the French revolution. What most people now think of as
       points were established by the United States Typefounders
       Association in 1886. This measure was a matter of convenience for
       the members of the Association, who didn't want to retool any more
       than they had to, so it had no relationship to the inch. By that
       date, people realized that the inch was an archaic measure anyway;
       the point was set to be 1/12 of a pica, and an 83-pica distance
       was made equal to 35 centimeters. (Talk about arbitrary!)
       Thus the measure of 72.27/in. is just an approximation. Of course,
       when PostScript was being written, it was necessary to fit into an
       inch-measured world. For the sake of simplicity PostScript defined
       a point as exactly 1/72". With the prevalance of DTP, the
       simplified point has replaced the older American point in many
       uses. Personally, I don't see that it matters one way or the
       other; all that counts is that there's a commonly-understood unit
       of measurement that allows you to get the size you think you want.
       That is, after all, the point ;)
  scalable font
       A scalable font, unlike a bitmapped font, is defined mathematically
       and can be rendered at any requested size (within reason).
       A softfont is a bitmapped or scalable description of a typeface or
       font.  They can be downloaded to your printer and used just like
       any other printer font.  Unlike built-in and cartridge fonts,
       softfonts use memory inside your printer.  Downloading a lot of
       softfonts may reduce the printers ability to construct complex
  symbol set
       The symbol set of a font describes the relative positions of
       individual characters within the font.  Since there can only be 256
       characters in most fonts, and there are well over 256 different
       characters used in professional document preparation, there needs
       to be some way to map characters into positions within the font.
       The symbol set serves this purpose.  It identifies the "map" used
       to position characters within the font.
       The features by which a character's design is recognized, hence
       the word face.  Within the Latin language group of graphic shapes
       are the following forms: Uncial, Blackletter, Serif, Sans Serif,
       Scripts, and Decorative.  Each form characterizes one or more
       designs.  Example: Serif form contains four designs called Old
       Style, Transitional, Modern, and Slab Serif designs.  The typeface
       called Bodoni is a Modern design, while Times Roman is a
       Transitional design.

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