OpenType Application and System Support
As OpenType® fonts are a relatively new font format, they are not always backwards-compatible with older operating systems. Major OS and application developers (Apple, Adobe and Microsoft) have made noteable attempts to accomodate users of older applications and operating systems. However, since their software was developed before the advent of OpenType, the available support is limited.
OpenType TT: OpenType TT fonts are backwards-compatible with Windows TrueType fonts, and basic Roman support is available anywhere Windows TrueType fonts are supported: Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/NT 4.0/2000/XP and MacOS X. OpenType TT fonts are not supported in any of the MacOS Classic environments (8.x-9.x).
- OpenType PS: To get basic Roman support for all OpenType PS fonts, users of Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/NT 4.0 will need to install Adobe Type Manager (ATM) 4.1.2 or ATM Lite, while MacOS Classic (8.x-9.x) users will need to install Adobe Type Manager (ATM) 4.6.2 or ATM Lite. ATM Lite can be downloaded free of charge. Microsoft Windows 2000/XP and MacOS X offer basic Roman support of OpenType PS fonts natively and ATM is not required.
Though OpenType fonts include multilingual and advanced typographic features, not every application provides access to these features. The chart below shows the three levels of support for OpenType fonts across some of the more popular applications, and below the chart is a description of each level.
Basic Roman Support
Application can display basic Roman scripts which include English and other Western languages. No support for other languages or any advanced typographic features included.
Application supports Unicode (including subsets), and can display basic Roman script as well as other scripts (Cyrillic, Greek, Japanese etc.). Multilingual support exists, though not extensive. Support for right-to-left scripts or complex scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew or Devanagari is limited.
Advanced features Support
Application supports Unicode (including its subsets), and allows access to advanced typographic features such as alternates, ligatures or small caps. Click here to learn more about the advanced features found in OpenType fonts.