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Apps & Tools
D-Type is a suite of professional high-performance scalable rasterizing engines for fast and smooth (anti-aliased) text and 2D and 3D graphics with built-in support for D-Type, TrueType, OpenType, TrueType and OpenType Collections, Type 1, Type 3, Web Open Font Format (WOFF 1.0 and WOFF 2.0) and bare CFF fonts. This powerful and fully cross-platform technology is ideal for software developers who wish to render high-quality anti-aliased text and scalable graphics from their applications and generate super fast, crisp, clear and smooth output on any device, platform or operating system.
D-Type Standard Suite is our starter software package. This is a single C/C++ library which includes the following D-Type engines:
The following D-Type engines are available as optional extensions. Each is provided as a separate C/C++ library:
Users who wish to take full advantage of D-Type's capabilities might be more interested in D-Type Power Suite which includes the following D-Type engines. Each ship as a separate C/C++ library:
In addition to the above C/C++ libraries, we offer the following applications and tools:
D-Type technology is a result of our extensive experience in digital type technologies, 2D and 3D rendering and font hinting. Our work on D-Type started in early 1995 primarily as a research project. Due to the success of this project, in early 1996 we decided to release the first commercial version of D-Type Font Engine and Rasterizer. D-Type PowerDoc Engine and Text Layout Extension followed a few years later. The goal of the project from the very beginning was to create a superior font and scalable graphics rendering engine suitable for all types of applications — including the most demanding ones such as games and multi-media software. To achieve this goal, a whole set of completely new algorithms had to be invented and developed: sophisticated anti-aliased rendering, intelligent automatic font hinting, advanced real-time font interpolation and grayscale bitmap tuning are just a few of them. Today, D-Type is most likely the world's fastest software rendering technology for smooth text and 2D and 3D graphics.
|Unsurpassed quality, speed and performance. D-Type can be used in a broad range of applications, including charting, presentation, computer animation, games, desktop publishing etc.|
|Excellent anti-aliasing capabilities with support for up to 256 levels of any color. Regardless of the size, D-Type output is always crisp and smooth!|
|Manual font hinting is not necessary. D-Type Font Engine has a built-in auto-hinting subsystem that produces absolutely stunning results with virtually any font.|
|Supports kerning, rotation, true text outline with custom thickness, custom transparency and special effects. Suitable for both device independent and device dependent text.|
|Clean, robust, reliable, object-oriented and cross-platform API, effective memory management and highly optimized code.|
|Support for D-Type, TrueType, OpenType, Type 1 and bare CFF fonts as well as TrueType and OpenType font collections. Variable and Multiple-Master support is available for Type 1 and D-Type fonts.|
|2D text transformations including horizontal and vertical compression, expansion, skew, mirroring and rotation.|
|D-Type can pass grayscale data to your application as a bitmap image. This is ideal for bitmap data manipulation or masking other images.|
|D-Type libraries are fully reentrant and, when used properly, thread-safe. You can initialize as many instances of D-Type engine as necessary and use them simultaneously!|
|Over 20 years of experience in system and application development, rasterization, digital type and font technologies.|
D-Type is designed with portability in mind. Our code is written in a clean, object-oriented and platform independent manner in a subset of industry standard C++. Consequently, all D-Type engines can be compiled and deployed on virtually any platform in existence today. This includes Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Windows RT, XBox, Raspberry Pi, Zealz GK802 Quad Core Android Mini PC and even MS-DOS. And since D-Type API is the same on all these platforms, developers of cross-platform applications only need to learn one cross-platform API and implement their D-Type rendering subsystem once.
Licensed D-Type engines are available out of the box for Microsoft Windows (all versions), macOS (both Intel and ARM based), Linux (all modern distributions), BSD (FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD), iOS, Android, XBox, Raspberry Pi and Zealz GK802 Quad Core Android Mini PC. Custom builds for other platforms are also available upon request. For more information on pricing and different licensing options, please see our Contact Us page.
To ensure quick and smooth integration, D-Type comes with numerous examples that demonstrate various D-Type features. In addition, all licensing options come with optional support and free future upgrades.
With over 6,000 run-time auto-hinted anti-aliased characters/second and well over 18,000 non-hinted anti-aliased characters/second at 12 ppem on a 266 MHz Pentium II processor, D-Type Font Engine is most likely the world's fastest grayscale font rasterizer.
Absolutely amazing quality due to a combination of excellent anti-aliasing capabilities and revolutionary hinting and auto-hinting algorithms. D-Type's anti-aliasing provides support for up to 256 levels of gray (or other color intensities), while font hinting significantly improves text legibility. Unlike many other graphics packages that generate gray-levels simply by down-sampling a larger black and white bitmap, D-Type generates gray-levels during the rasterization process itself. As a result, D-Type's rasterizer is lightning fast, can easily support up to 256 levels of gray (or other colors) and does not suffer from overflow problems when generating extremely large characters or shapes. In brief, D-Type's anti-aliasing is not just a mechanism that makes the diagonal lines look smooth; it is a sophisticated technology designed to enhance screen resolution and improve text legibility regardless of the size or device.
D-Type Font Engine is one of the very few font engines with direct support for Multiple-Master font technology. Multiple-Master is a revolutionary breakthrough in font technologies that allows two or more outline fonts, or base designs, to be incorporated into a single font file. This unique feature allows applications to create hundreds or thousands of additional font variations from a single font file by applying D-Type's real-time interpolation capabilities (also known as font morphing). Possible examples include font variations ranging from Light to Black, Condensed to Extended, Sans Serif to Serif, Wedge Serif to Slab Serif etc.
D-Type Font Engine provides support for the following popular font formats:
D-Type Font Engine excels when it comes to special text effects and text transformations. D-Type text can be drawn at any size (with kerning and inter-character spacing on or off), stretched, compressed, mirrored (horizontally and/or vertically), skewed (horizontally and/or vertically), rotated, outlined (with a custom outline thickness), transparent (with a custom opacity factor), embossed, filled, dilated, blurred, shaded, in an arc etc. In addition, D-Type makes it possible to draw anti-aliased text or shapes filled with a custom texture provided from another bitmap or BMP image.
Both D-Type Font Engine and D-Type Rasterizer can draw to 8-bit grayscale or a variety of 16, 24 and 32-bit RGB(A) surface formats supplied by your application. This type of rendering is platform independent, extremely fast and very suitable for real-time animations. In addition, surface's RGB data can be retrieved easily, and optionally, saved in some of the popular image formats.
An application can use D-Type's ultra-fast rasterizer to generate anti-aliased shapes or scalable vector-based graphics of absolutely amazing quality. D-Type Rasterizer is highly customizable and supports both the Odd-Even and Nonzero Winding Number rule. In addition, D-Type Rasterizer comes with a library of the most common shapes, such as lines, circles, ellipses, rectangles, rounded rectangles and polygons, which can be drawn filled or stroked, with a custom line width. The library is shipped as source code in C and can be expanded or modified easily.
D-Type can support extremely large character sets, including national character code standards used with Chinese, Japanese or Korean (CJK) fonts. In addition, D-Type's 2 and 4-byte Unicode character representation makes it possible to display all character sets in the world simultaneously.
D-Type features clean, simple, robust, object-oriented and cross-platform API. Since global/static variables are not used anywhere in our libraries, applications can initialize multiple instances of D-Type engine and use D-Type functions simultaneously. Consequently, D-Type libraries can be used on multi-threaded systems without relying on mutexes or other synchronization/blocking code.
The following is just a partial list of companies using D-Type in their applications:
|Creative Technology Ltd.
FormWeb.com online forms generator relies on D-Type engine for charting and dynamic graphics.
ButtonFly is an excellent application for button generation powered by D-Type Font Engine and Rasterizer.
|Partners Imaging Services
|TEDISYS Tele Diffusion Systems
And this is what they said...
"I really like the rasterizer -- the output quality is fantastic."
"I was impressed by the quality and speed of the engine, and want to integrate it in all our products."
"That's great! Multiple-Master support is a big issue for us."
"The engine works very good in our application."
"Your last email was very helpful. The results are very good!"
"Rendering is really fast. We draw really large shapes and it always works."
"I'm thinking of replacing our entire engine with D-Type, because D-Type seems to be much faster and it produces better looking text."
D-Type 9.0 (released on December 20, 2021) is another major D-Type release which brings support for 3D rasterization, OpenType SVG Native fonts, HarfBuzz 3.2.0 shaping library, additional Unicode scripts and other important new features and capabilities. See this article for details and some frequently asked questions.
D-Type 8.0 (released on July 21, 2020) is a major D-Type release with more exciting new features and capabilities. See this article for details and some frequently asked questions.
D-Type 126.96.36.199 (released on May 22, 2020) is a major D-Type release with some exciting new features and capabilities. This is probably the most important update since the release of D-Type Engine 7.0 in August 2018. Below is an overview of what's new in this release.
D-Type Font Engine now supports WOFF 2.0 (.woff2) fonts aka Web fonts. WOFF 2.0 is not a new font format per se but simply a wrapper for existing TrueType and OpenType fonts. WOFF 2.0 does however efficiently package existing fonts due to the Brotli compression algorithm. The resulting fonts typically feature a 30% reduction in file size compared to the original TrueType/OpenType fonts. Existing D-Type clients/programs that already handle TrueType, OpenType or WOFF 1.0 fonts don't need to do anything special to support WOFF 2.0 fonts. These fonts can be opened like any other TrueType/OpenType fonts. Clients only need to ensure that WOFF 1.0 and 2.0 fonts are accepted by D-Type Font Engine, which is accomplished by associating the ACCEPT_WOFF_PACKAGING configuration keyword with the corresponding Font Factory Instance in the dtype.inf initialization file. The default dtype.inf file that ships with D-Type engines already enables support for WOFF 1.0 and WOFF 2.0 fonts.
D-Type Text Layout Extension now includes the latest HarfBuzz 2.6.6 shaping engine. This by itself is a major upgrade since HarfBuzz 2 supports OpenType fonts with Apple Advanced Typography (AAT) shaping tables. This means that fonts such as Zapfino and similar AAT fonts can be shaped as intended. This eliminates the only remaining reason for using D-Type Text Layout Extension that is based on the legacy and now obsolete ICU LayoutEngine. Starting with D-Type 188.8.131.52, D-Type Text Layout Extension will be built using exclusively the HarfBuzz shaping engine.
For the very first time, D-Type engines ship with D-Type VIVO Image Vectorizer. See http://www.d-type.com/page/image_vectorizer for details. Currently the VIVO vectorizer is available as a command line program (powerdoc_pix2vec), which is located in the same folder as D-Type PowerDoc Editor. A GUI based version is planned in the future. Note that this program should be regarded as "a technology preview version" and may not be suitable for production use.
We are no longer building D-Type evaluation libraries separately from the fully licensed libraries. Starting with D-Type 184.108.40.206 the same set of libraries is provided for both evaluation and production purposes. As a result, the users of fully licensed D-Type libraries will need to disable the evaluation mode by specifying their license credentials during the initialization of D-Type Engine. The license credentials as well as the instructions on how to disable the evaluation mode are available to all licensed users on their D-Type download page. We believe that this change will greatly simplify and streamline the building process on all supported platforms while ensuring that the fully licensed and evaluation libraries can be released simultaneously.
On Windows D-Type libraries are now built using MS Visual Studio 2017. There are two important consequences of this: (1) D-Type dynamic libraries (.dll) will no longer work on outdated and unsupported Windows platforms, such as Windows 95 or 2000; (2) The users of static (.lib) D-Type libraries will need MS Visual Studio 2017 or better to link their code with D-Type. This change was necessary due to the fact that the level of C++11 support in earlier versions of MS Visual Studio is inadequate. Staying with older versions of MS Visual Studio would make it impossible to keep developing and improving D-Type on the Windows platform. Note that the users of dynamic (.dll) D-Type libraries can still use older versions of MS Visual Studio if they wish.
All D-Type libraries are still available in both 32 and 64-bit architecture. All pre-built demo programs, D-Type Font Viewer and Optimizer, D-Type PowerDoc Editor, and D-Type VIVO Image Vectorizer are built as 32-bit binaries.
We are retiring the Setup Program for D-Type Engines on Windows. Now D-Type engines for Windows ship in a ZIP package just like D-Type for Linux or Mac. In fact, the same ZIP package is used on all three platforms. This, again, should greatly simplify and streamline the building process of D-Type engines on all supported platforms.
On Linux D-Type libraries are now built using GCC 8.3. Note that GCC 8 uses the libstdc++.so.6 C++ Standard Library. All D-Type libraries are compiled as Position Independent Code (i.e. the -fPIC switch is enabled).
All D-Type libraries are still available in both 32 and 64-bit architecture. However, all pre-built demo programs, D-Type Font Viewer and Optimizer, D-Type PowerDoc Editor, and D-Type VIVO Image Vectorizer are built as 64-bit binaries.
On macOS D-Type libraries are now built using clang 11 and linked with libc++. The libraries target Mac OS X version 10.8 and higher (i.e. the MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET environment variable has been raised from 10.4 to 10.8). This means that D-Type libraries will no longer work on outdated and unsupported Mac platforms, such as Mac OS X 10.4.
All D-Type libraries are still available in both 32 and 64-bit architecture. However, all pre-built demo programs, D-Type Font Viewer and Optimizer, D-Type PowerDoc Editor, and D-Type VIVO Image Vectorizer are built as 64-bit binaries.
D-Type Engine 7.0 was released on August 30, 2018. This major new version enables support for OpenType 1.8 variable fonts (with either TrueType or CFF2 outlines) and introduces many new text style/formatting options.
In November 2016 we announced the release of D-Type Engine 6.0. This release comes with new features and enhancements designed to simplify common tasks, boost performance and enable additional capabilities. Here is a quick overview of the major accomplishments in D-Type 6.0:
The 5.0 release, which was first made available for download on January 30, 2014, marks yet another important milestone in our principal research and development project that focuses on font rasterization, text layout and scalable 2D graphics rendering technologies.
D-Type 5.0 features an application programming interface (API) that is backward compatible with our 4.0 release. However, some obsolete and/or undocumented APIs have been removed and a number of new features have been added. Here is a quick overview of the major accomplishments that made D-Type 5.0 possible.
As announced in November 2013, D-Type 5.0 comes with two text layout extensions that can be used in conjunction with D-Type Font Engine: the legacy one which is based on the ICU LayoutEngine and a new one which is based on the HarfBuzz text shaping engine. Although HarfBuzz is still new and under active development, we wanted to create a text layout extension that can take advantage of its capabilities now. At the same time it was important to ensure that the application programming interface of the new extension remains 100% identical to the existing ICU-based Text Layout Extension. This means that from the API point of view no changes in client code are necessary. All it takes is a simple replacement of one extension with another. And if your application is linked to the dynamic library version of our extension, you don't even need to recompile your code to start using the new HarfBuzz engine.
The new HarfBuzz text shaping engine will supersede and make ICU LayoutEngine obsolete in the near future. HarfBuzz is designed to provide better support for complex scripts and advanced typography. For example, in the future it is possible that some of the vertical text processing that D-Type PowerDoc Engine currently does on its own will be supplemented by HarfBuzz. Also, our expectation is that HarfBuzz will open new possibilities for advanced and/or exotic typographic and layout capabilities that are currently not possible with the ICU-based Text Layout Extension. One thing to note, however, is that at this point in time HarfBuzz is primarily an OpenType layout engine and does not provide support for Apple Advanced Typography (AAT) layout tables. While it is reasonable to assume that this support might be added at some point in the future, the fact that OpenType has been adopted much more widely than AAT makes this less of an issue. Notwithstanding all of the above, the ICU-based Text Layout Extension is still available and will be fully supported in D-Type 5.0. It has been updated to include the latest ICU release which comes with important enhancements and security updates. This means that developers are free to choose the layout extension as they see fit.
A major breakthrough in direct RGBA rasterization: In the past D-Type Engine offered only one direct color RGBA rasterizer, now called No-Overlap RGBA Rasterizer. It was very fast and featured extremely high-quality rendering and perfect stitching between adjacent fill areas of different color. However, it was not a general-purpose rasterizer due to one important limitation: in order for the colors of the rendered pixels to be correctly computed, all input 2D vector art had to be free of overlapping contours. In other words the input geometry had to be flat. However, starting with D-Type 5.0 this is no longer necessary so non-overlapping contours are now fully supported.
Not only does D-Type 5.0 completely remove the restriction of non-overlapping contours, it also comes with 3 (three!) additional direct color RGBA rasterizers: Ultra-Fast RGBA Rasterizer, Reference RGBA Rasterizer and Alpha-Blend RGBA Rasterizer.
The new Ultra-Fast RGBA Rasterizer is the one we are especially proud of. Not only is it a general-purpose rasterizer, i.e. capable of correctly and accurately rendering arbitrary non-flat RGBA geometry, but it can do this in a single pass, extremely fast. So fast, in fact, that some users who saw our early performance demos and real-time animations could not tell if the rendering is done in hardware or software. At the same time the quality of anti-aliased rendering and pixel stitching is superb and exceeds the quality offered by most video cards in use today.
We are confident that our Ultra-Fast RGBA Rasterizer is the world's fastest and highest-quality direct color software rasterizer available on the market today, much like our grayscale rasterizer was back in 1996 when we first released D-Type. The release of this state-of-the-art rasterizer represents the latest evolutionary step in our research on anti-aliased rasterization algorithms that started in 1996. Pretty much everything that was learned since then we were able to put into this rasterizer. If you are looking for a super fast, general purpose, software-based RGBA rasterizer that produces identical results down to (sub)pixel on any platform or device then look no further.
Overall, D-Type 5.0 is more optimized than our earlier releases, both in terms of the code size and performance. It comes with many other small enhancements and useful additions. This includes support for additional memory surface formats, improved precision of certain calculations, additional fonts etc.
If you are interested in evaluating D-Type 5.0, you can request D-Type Evaluation libraries from our Contact Us page.
In late 2003 we announced D-Type 4.0. This release was written entirely in industry standard C++ which resulted in a faster, easier to maintain and more scalable engine. Not only was the 4.0 engine built upon advanced concepts from object oriented programming but also everything that was learned while working on previous D-Type releases. Even today, D-Type 4.0 is probably the only font and graphics rendering engine on the market featuring a true object oriented internal architecture.
Compared to our previous releases, D-Type 4.0 also brings lots of new features, improvements and optimizations. The most important ones are listed below:
Simplified and more flexible initialization of the engine.
Simplified overall architecture of the engine. The 4.0 engine features a modern, scalable and powerful API while any inconsistencies and/or legacy issues have been removed.
Improved font access speed (fonts open noticeably faster compared to previous releases).
Improved rendering quality even further. This is achieved by utilizing a new rendering method that relies on our latest in-house rendering technologies.
Advanced filters for a more balanced color contrast and enhanced bitmap quality.
Support for advanced typography including ligatures and contextual glyph shaping (such as in Arabic scripts).
Significantly improved stream management subsystem. The stream handling in 4.0 is very abstract and capable of supporting complex fonts files that exist virtually anywhere. For example, the new engine can support fonts that consist of multiple parts (e.g. glyph data, metrics, character maps) that exist in different streams (e.g. memory, local or network disk or even the Internet). Starting with this release, the new engine supports native kerning for Type 1 fonts that include kerning information in a separate .afm file.
Improved font compression of the native D-Type font format and additionally reduced memory footprint of the engine. Also, the engine can be configured specifically for memory constrained devices, which reduces the memory footprint even further.
Improved error handling mechanism (e.g. when encountering bad fonts). The 4.0 release has a very powerful API for reporting errors in bad fonts back to the end-user.
Font activation and deactivation mechanism. This allows application to activate fonts only when and if they are used and deactivate fonts when they are not needed for a longer period of time. Consequently, applications can maintain very large static font catalogs without consuming too much memory.
Ability to save fonts in D-Type font format and an API for creating subsetted D-Type fonts. This API gives developers full control over the glyph subsetting process. This, for example, allows developers to save in the output D-Type font only those glyphs that are actually used in their documents. Subsetted D-Type fonts are smaller in size than the original input fonts (since they contain fewer glyphs) and, therefore, very suitable for embedding in electronic documents.
An API to access D-Type's pattern catalog.
A new surface type that provides basic support for rendering in 8-bit indexed (palletized) color mode.
A new method that allows applications to supply their own alpha-levels (grayscale) to be utilized by D-Type Rasterizer when rasterizing output primitives.
New functions that provide precise control over hinting, positioning, sub-pixel precision and output quality.
More ways to construct and render custom shapes.
The end-user API allows developers to specify coordinates as both floating point and 24.8 fractional values.
32-bit representation for Unicode character codes and glyph indices. This allows D-Type Font Engine to support (theoretically) more than 4 billion characters and/or glyphs in a single font file.