[MPEG-OTSPEC] FYI: OpenType 1.9 beta

Peter Constable pconstable at microsoft.com
Fri Nov 12 07:31:05 CET 2021

A beta for OpenType 1.9 has been published for two-week public review. This version aligns to the CDAM of OFF Amendment 2 with the introduction of a significant enhancement for colour fonts: a second version of the COLR table<https://typedrawers.com/home/leaving?allowTrusted=1&target=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.microsoft.com%2Fen-us%2Ftypography%2Fopentype%2Fotspec190%2Fcolr> (version 1).

The new COLR version provide support for gradients and other capabilities in vector colour fonts; the capabilities are very similar to those in SVG Native but can be used in applications that do not have or (for whatever reasons) cannot add support SVG. The new COLR version also provides greater integration with font variations—something that is not supported at all with OT-SVG. The COLR enhancements were designed jointly with Google, who have been implementing support in the FontTools project, the Skia and Freetype libraries, and in Chrome. It can be tested already in the Chrome Canary<https://typedrawers.com/home/leaving?allowTrusted=1&target=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fchrome%2Fcanary%2F> builds by browsing to chrome://flags/#colr-v1-fonts to enable the feature. Sample fonts using COLR v1 (with OT-SVG equivalents for comparison) are available at https://github.com/googlefonts/color-fonts<https://typedrawers.com/home/leaving?allowTrusted=1&target=https%3A%2F%2Fgithub.com%2Fgooglefonts%2Fcolor-fonts>.

OpenType 1.9 also addresses a number of feedback items that have been reported on the OpenType spec. Among the more significant technical improvements are clarifications of several items related to TrueType outlines and the TrueType hinting language. These are changes that will be submitted to SC29 as proposed changes for a new edition of OFF.

The landing page for the beta is at https://docs.microsoft.com/typography/opentype/otspec190/ot190beta<https://typedrawers.com/home/leaving?allowTrusted=1&target=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.microsoft.com%2Ftypography%2Fopentype%2Fotspec190%2Fot190beta>. The public review period will end November 26, and the new OT version will be published shortly after that.

Peter Constable

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