- AFM (Adobe Font Metric): File name extension for a text file containing
font metrics (character widths, dimensions, kerning, etc) for a PostScript
Type 1 font.
- ATM (Adobe Type Manager): Software for the Mac and PC that interprets
Type 1 PostScript fonts and displays them on the screen instead of the
system bitmap fonts. Unlike bitmap fonts, ATM font characters are vector
based so they are smooth at any size.
- Bitmap Font: A font with characters represented as bitmaps or rendered
images. The characters are not meant to be scaled. Scaling the font gives
a blocky or jagged appearance.
- CFF: Compact Font Format. Used in PostScript and some OpenType
- Encoding: A font encoding table associates character glyphs with
index numbers. Changing the encoding changes which glyph is displayed
for a particular key on the keyboard.
- FOND: A Mac FOND resource associates several fonts into a font
family. It contains the menu name, metric information (widths, kerning,
etc.), and a list of the associated fonts.
- Font Family: A collection of several variations or styles (regular,
bold, italic, etc.) of a particular font. Usually the font menu of an
application will display only a font family name, then the user can select
each style from a separate style menu.
- Glyph: The image of a character in a font.
- INF: File name extension for a text file containing individual
platform, application and other metric information for PostScript Type
- Kerning: Individual adjustments to the space between character
pairs that look too far apart or too close together. Kerning can make
text easier to read by giving it a more uniform appearance. Tracking
is similar to kerning but it is a spacing adjustment applied universally
between all characters in a font.
- Multiple Master Font: An Adobe format. Multiple Master fonts can
create many font variations from a single base design.
- OpenType Font: An extension of the TrueType format and was
created to add advanced typography features. It also bridges the gap
between TrueType and PostScript fonts by allowing PostScript style outlines
- OTF: File name extension for an OpenType font.
- PFA (Printer Font ASCII): File name extension for a PC Type 1 font
file (PFB) in ASCII text readable format.
- PFB (Printer Font Binary): File name extension for a PostScript
Type 1 font file. It contains font outline data in binary format. The
PFB and an associated PFM file are used by ATM on a PC.
- PFM (Printer Font Metric): File name extension for a Printer Font
Metric. Includes much of the same information as the AFM file, only in
binary format. ATM and Windows use this information for placing characters
- PostScript: A page description language (programming language for
placing text and graphics on a page). Type 1 fonts are the native font
format for PostScript.
- Tracking: A spacing adjustment applied universally between all
characters in a font.
- TrueType Font: This is a vector font format natively supported
by both Macintosh and Windows operating systems.
- TTF: File name extension for a TrueType font. This is a file containing
font outline data in TrueType format.
- Type 1 Font: This is a vector font format natively supported
- Type 3 Font: These are actually PostScript programs which require
a PostScript interpreter to display them. They are not compatible with
- Vector Font: Fonts that contain instructions for building outlines
from lines and curves which are filled to create the solid shapes of letters
and other glyphs. The benefit of representing shapes this way is that
they can be scaled to virtually any size and still retain smooth edges
(unlike bitmap fonts which exhibit jagged edges when enlarged). Vector
formats include TrueType and PostScript Type1 fonts.
- BinHex: A type of file encoding that puts the Mac resource
and data fork together in one file. It was originally used to telecommunicate
files since both forks had to be transferred over a single ASCII text
data stream. The Mac specific file type, creator and other information
is also saved.
- DMG: Macintosh disk image. This is a file containing a representation
of a Mac disk volume.
- FAT: A file system used in DOS and Windows. FAT16 and FAT32 are
variations allowing larger file system capacity.
- Fork: A fork is a set of data associated with a file name in
a file system. Macintosh HFS/HFS+ files can have two forks. PC FAT and
FAT32 files have one fork. NTFS files can have many forks.
- HFS (Hierarchical File System): An older file system format used
in the Macintosh.
- HFS+: The latest file system for the Macintosh. Also called Extended
file system. It can be larger and store files more efficiently than the
older HFS version.
- HQX: File name extension for a BinHex encoded file.
- Mac Creator: The creator is a unique four character signature identifying
a program on the Mac. Each file associated with a program contains the
programs signature which allows the Mac OS to launch it when those files
- Mac Type: The type field of a Mac file is a four character signature
that identifies what type of information the file contains. It allows
programs to show only files of a certain type in their open dialog boxes.
It can also associate an icon for the file if none exist in its resource
- MacBinary: A type of file encoding that puts the Mac resource and
data fork together in one file. It was originally used to telecommunicate
files since both forks had to be transferred over a single data stream.
The file type, creator and other information are also saved.
- NTFS: Windows NT file system.
- Resource Fork: The PC and Mac differ in the way they store files.
On a Mac each file can have two parts called forks. The data fork holds
data (text, images, etc.). The resource fork holds resources (icons, fonts,
menus, sounds, etc.). There are actually two files linked to one name
in the file system. PCs only have one file linked to each name.