Wrapper around FreeType 2 library. Relevant exerpts from the FreeType 2 website:
What is FreeType 2?
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). It can be used in graphics libraries, display servers, font conversion tools, text image generation tools, and many other products as well.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of features provided by FreeType 2.
FreeType 2 provides a simple and easy-to-use API to access font content in a uniform way, independently of the file format. Additionally, some format-specific APIs can be used to access special data in the font file.
Unlike most comparable libraries, FreeType 2 supports scalable font formats like TrueType or Type 1 natively and can return the outline data (and control instructions/hints) to client applications.
By default, FreeType 2 supports the following font formats.
TrueType fonts (and collections)
Type 1 fonts
CID-keyed Type 1 fonts
OpenType fonts (both TrueType and CFF variants)
SFNT-based bitmap fonts
X11 PCF fonts
Windows FNT fonts
BDF fonts (including anti-aliased ones)
Type 42 fonts (limited support)
From a given glyph outline, FreeType 2 is capable
of producing a high-quality monochrome bitmap, or
anti-aliased pixmap, using 256 levels of
gray. This is much better than the 5 levels
used by Windows 9x/98/NT/2000 or FreeType 1.
FreeType 2 supports all the character mappings defined by the TrueType and OpenType specification. It is also capable of automatically synthetizing a Unicode charmap from Type 1 fonts, which puts an end to the painful 'encoding translation' headache common with this format (of course, original encodings are also available in the case where you need them).
The FreeType 2 core API provides simple functions to access advanced information like glyph names or kerning data.
FreeType 2 provides information that is often not available from other similar font engines, like kerning distances, glyph names, vertical metrics, etc.
FreeType 2 provides its own caching subsystem since release 2.0.1. It can be used to cache either face instances or glyph images efficiently.