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Bitmap font

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Original_Mac_fonts.png
An assortment of bitmap fonts from the first version of the Macintosh operating system

A bitmap font is one that stores each glyph as an array of pixels (that is, a bitmap). It is less commonly known as a raster font.

Scaling

Bitmap fonts look best at their native pixel size. At non-native sizes, many text rendering systems perform nearest-neighbor resampling, introducing ugly jagged edges. More advanced systems perform anti-aliasing on bitmap fonts whose size does not match the size that the application requests. This technique works well for making the font smaller but not as well for increasing the size, as it tends to blur the edges.

A "trace" program can follow the outline of a high-resolution bitmap font and create an initial outline that a font designer uses to create an outline font useful in systems such as PostScript or TrueType. Outline fonts scale easily without jagged edges or blurriness.

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