In bitmap font all the information about the appearance of each character or symbol included into its character map is described as a set or array of pixels (a bitmap). Such characters or glyphs can be easily displayed by computer. However, the problem is that every bitmap font is built only in a particular size. Thus, when a user changes the native size of a bitmap font, it appears blurry and distorted. That is the major drawback of the bitmap fonts and the main reason for the development of other font building techniques, such as Bezier curves, for example.
Sometimes, bitmap fonts can also be called a raster fonts. At its very core, a bitmap font is just a set of raster images for every glyph, supported by this font. The advantages of such approach are obvious: quick and resource-saving rendering of the font, simplicity of the font creation process, and, the last but not least, bitmap fonts ensure more accurate presentation of the font on display or in print.
On the other hand, lack of scalability of bitmap fonts makes them less popular for daily tasks. The key is that a particular bitmap font can not be resized by a computer without a significant decline in quality of the font. Thus, if you need a bitmap font in 3 different sizes, for example, you will need to have three different fonts. Besides, making the font italic or bold also requires the use of completely new font files.
There is a line of different bitmap font formats, including portable compiled font (PCF), server normal format (SNF), Microsoft Windows bitmapped font (FON), ByteMap Font (BMF), and others. These days, bitmap fonts are actively substituted by newer fonts, created either with the use of vector images or strokes. Such newer fonts are easily scalable, but at the same time require more resources from the computer to render them (however, it is not a problem any more with modern powerful systems).
However, there is still a particular charm, when a properly chosen bitmap font is used in some designing application. That is why Fonts2u, aiming to set a new standard of online font searching and downloading experience, hosts an interesting collection of digital and pixelated bitmap fonts along with thousands of other fonts in a variety of types, classifications, and style categories.