Common Font File Formats

Format Explanation

  • .ttf The .ttf extension stands for TrueType Font, originally developed by Apple. It is one of the earlier font formats and is supported by both macOS and Windows systems. (For more, refer to Wikipedia).

  • .otf .otf (OpenType), developed by Microsoft, inherits from Apple’s TrueType and Adobe’s PostScript Type 1 font formats. It is currently one of the more common font formats and is cross-platform, usable on Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, and Unix/Linux systems. (For more, refer to Wikipedia).

  • .woff and .woff2 WOFF (the Web Open Font Format) is a font format used for the web. WOFF files are compressed versions of OpenType or TrueType fonts with additional metadata in XML format. The main difference between WOFF and WOFF2 is the compression algorithm. (For more information, refer to MDN and W3C).


For .ttf, .otf fonts, on a computer, double-click the font file to open the installation window and follow the system prompts to install.

For .woff, .woff2 fonts, used in web development, they are introduced through CSS’s @font-face.

Font Compatibility

Two fonts being “compatible” means: 1) Visually, the fonts are similar in appearance. 2) On a functional level, the fonts have the same character width. This allows a document formatted in one font to be changed to another font without the need for reformatting.