FreeType 2.9 has been released.

It is available from


The latter site also holds older versions of the FreeType library.

See below for the relevant snippet from the CHANGES file.



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FreeType 2  is a software  font engine that  is designed to  be small,
efficient,  highly   customizable,  and  portable   while  capable  of
producing high-quality output (glyph images) of most vector and bitmap
font formats.

Note that  FreeType 2 is  a font service  and doesn't provide  APIs to
perform higher-level features, like text layout or graphics processing
(e.g.,  colored  text  rendering,  `hollowing',  etc.).   However,  it
greatly simplifies these tasks by providing a simple, easy to use, and
uniform interface to access the content of font files.

FreeType  2  is  released  under  two open-source  licenses:  our  own
BSD-like FreeType  License and the  GPL.  It can  thus be used  by any
kind of projects, be they proprietary or not.


CHANGES BETWEEN 2.8.1 and 2.9


    - Advance width values of variation fonts were often wrong.

    - More fixes for variation font support; you should update to this
      version if you want to support them.


    - As a GSoC project, Ewald Hew extended the new (Adobe) CFF engine
      to  handle  Type  1  fonts  also,  thus  greatly  improving  the
      rendering of  this format.   This is the  new default.   The old
      engine   is  still   available   if   the  configuration   macro
      `T1_CONFIG_OPTION_OLD_ENGINE'    gets    defined;   using    the
      `hinting-engine' property  of the `type1' driver  module you can
      then switch between the two engines.

    - A new function,  `FT_Set_Named_Instance', can be used  to set or
      change the current named instance.

    - Starting  with   this  FreeType  version,   resetting  variation
      coordinates  will   return  to  the  currently   selected  named
      instance.  Previously, FreeType returned to the base font (i.e.,
      no instance set).


    - The `face_flags' field of the `FT_Face' structure has a new bit,
      `FT_FACE_FLAG_VARIATION', which  is set if a  variation font has
      been      altered      with      `FT_Set_MM_Design_Coordinates',
      `FT_Set_Var_Design_Coordinates',                              or

    - If  the  current  face  is  a  named  instance,  the  new  macro
      `FT_IS_NAMED_INSTANCE' returns true.

    - `FT_IS_VARIATION' is  a new macro  that returns true  whenever a
      face object has  been altered by `FT_Set_MM_Design_Coordinates',
      `FT_Set_Var_Design_Coordinates',                              or

    - Changing  the  design  coordinates  of  a  variation  font  with
      `FT_Set_Var_Design_Coordinates'                               or
      `FT_Set_Var_Blend_Coordinates'  does  not  influence  the  named
      instance index value (only `FT_Set_Named_Instance' does that).

    - Special PostScript  names for named instances  are only returned
      if the  named instance is set  with `FT_Set_Named_Instance' (and
      the font  has corresponding  entries in  its `fvar'  table).  If
      `FT_IS_VARIATION'  returns  true,  the  algorithmically  derived
      PostScript name is provided, not  looking up special entries for
      named instances.

    - A new function  `FT_Done_MM_Var' is provided to  free the memory
      returned in a call to `FT_Get_MM_Var'.

    - On  platforms  using  the   `configure'  script,  the  installed
      `ftoption.h' file  now correctly reflects  configuration options
      like `--with-harfbuzz'.

    - Better  support to  build FreeType  as  a DLL  on Windows  using
      Visual C.

    - All data specific to driver modules is now collected in a single
      file,      `FT_DRIVER_H'.      Consequently,      the     macros
      and `FT_PCF_DRIVER_H' still work but are deprecated.

    - Some fuzzer fixes to better reject malformed fonts.

    - The `ftbench' demo program has a new test for opening a new face
      and loading some glyphs.

    - The `ftbench' demo program has a  new option `-j' to specify the
      last glyph index to be used in the tests.

    - The  `ftgrid' demo  program has  a new  option `-n'  to suppress
      display of named instances of variation fonts.

    - The `ttdebug' demo program can now  show a stack trace (key `K')
      and switch  between hexadecimal and decimal  display of integers
      (key `I').

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