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What are the differences between Georgia for Windows and OS X?

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Christian R Szabo's picture
Joined: 3 Oct 2008 - 7:28pm
What are the differences between Georgia for Windows and OS X?

Hello, everyone:

Long time no see! I hope everyone is doing well.

I've noticed some things about Georgia. Forgive me if this is owing to my lack of technical knowledge. I'm anticipating an obvious answer.

1. Georgia in OS X Yosemite is at version 5.00x-4. That's a strange version number. Georgia in Windows 8.1 is at version 5.50 (or 5.51.) Why the difference in terms of the "x-4" at the end of the one that ships with OS X? Is it some "special" version for OS X? Isn't Georgia supposed to be the same, interchangeable cross-platform font?

The latest version that comes bundled with operating systems is the one in Windows 8.1, which is 5.51. Should I be using that instead (since it's newer?)

2. When I open Georgia 5.00x-4 in Glyphs, it indicates no kerning pairs. Fine. I heard that Georgia didn't ship with any kerning pairs. However, when I open Georgia 5.51 (that came with Windows) in Glyphs, it shows over five thousand pairs.

When I open either of them in, say, Textedit, and turn kerning off and on, neither version kerns.

There is a similar phenomenon with Verdana. However, both the OS X and Windows "versions" kern just fine.

I'd appreciate some clarification.

Thank you.

Christian R Szabo's picture
Joined: 3 Oct 2008 - 7:28pm

On the subject of Verdana, I'll also add that the latest version that ships with Windows renders differently in Safari when installed on OS X (it looks oddly large and unpleasant), than the latest version that ships with OS X, also rendered in Safari on OS X (it looks more smooth and uniform.)

It would appear than I'm better off using whatever came (custom-tailored?) with my OS.

Robert D. Jablonski's picture
Joined: 15 Dec 2014 - 2:26am

Basically, the differences come mainly down to the Tables, Rendering, and Character Sets.

Mac OSX renders fonts differently than Windows or Linux do, and Windows has Cleartype, which is both liked and disliked by many.

Mac versions are often customized (for Apple) to include an Apple Logo character that is exclusive to Mac versions, and they can have some differences in other included characters.

Apple's AAT (Apple Advanced Typography) includes unique tables that are not used by any non-Apple OS, (and is the rendering system according to Wikipedia, so hopefully it is correct). AAT is an Extension of the TrueType technology, which has tables that allow many OpenType like Features in TrueType.

Christian R Szabo's picture
Joined: 3 Oct 2008 - 7:28pm

Many thanks, Mr. Jablonski!

That certainly clears things up.