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Chapter 26. Embedded Font Technology > OpenType (for Internet Explorer)

26.3. OpenType (for Internet Explorer)

OpenType technology was developed by Microsoft and Adobe. It was originally intended to combine TrueType and Type1 technologies, however, Type 1 support is lagging behind, and as of this writing, OpenType supports only TrueType fonts (although Type1 capabilities are expected to be added soon). Its other drawback, as of this writing, is it is only supported by Internet Explorer running on Windows machines.


File Format

Embedded OpenType (.eot )


Technology

Microsoft has chosen to have the operating system handle font rasterization, font scaling, anti-aliasing, and hinting. OpenType "font objects" are downloaded to the client machine and referenced by the browser.


Font Embedding Tool

Microsoft's WEFT (Web Embedding Font Tool) is a Windows NT application that can be downloaded for free at http://www.microsoft.com/typography/free.htm


HTML Code

.eot files are embedded via a special style sheet entry using the @font-face function. The following code gives the proper syntax for embedding fonts with a style sheet.

<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
<!--
@font-face {
font-family: font name;
src: url(url of the font);
}
-->
</STYLE>

In this example, the font object for Interstate Bold (called interbd.eot) is embedded in the document via a style sheet.

<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
<!--
@font-face {
font-family: Interstate Bold;
src: url(font/interbd.eot);
}
-->
</STYLE>


MIME type

Internet Explorer uses the src:(url) attribute in CSS2 to access font information, therefore, no new MIME type needs to be established on the server.


Security (Protecting Font Copyrights)

  • OpenType honors TrueType Embedding permissions (don't embed, print/preview only, editable embedding, or installable) set by the foundry that created the font. (Note, there is no embedding permissions system for Type1 fonts.)

  • Embedded OpenType files contain domain identifiers (same as TrueDoc), which prevent web pages from downloading or linking .eot files on other servers.

    Possible security flaw: Because the font information is downloaded to the client's operating system, it was discovered quickly after OpenType's release that any user can access the font and install it for uses other than reading the web page (in other words, font piracy). In late 1997, Microsoft claimed the problem is in the operating system, not its embedded font technology. To read more about it, see http://webreview.com/wr/pub/97/11/07/feature/sidebar2.html.

    Possible security flaw: Because the font information is downloaded to the client's operating system, it was discovered quickly after OpenType's release that any user can access the font and install it for uses other than reading the web page (in other words, font piracy). In late 1997, Microsoft claimed the problem is in the operating system, not its embedded font technology. To read more about it, see http://webreview.com/wr/pub/97/11/07/feature/sidebar2.html.


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