Bitstream Charter Pro as webfont

Arno Enslin's picture

I just wanted to ask, if the Bitstream license allows to use Charter Pro as webfont. But then I saw, that I meanwhile can license it as webfont. This is so great. It is better legible than Georgia in my opinion. The hinting is excellent. I am really happy now.

But can someone tell me, if the regular version and the webfont version is the same? Or is only the license different?

Any arguments against using it as webfont?

And I would like to split it in a regular and a small cap version. But this does not seem to be allowed.

Okay, I could also license the standard version, but the small cap font does not contain capitals. And the hinting of the standard version is different from the pro version. It is ridiculous. I am willing to spend money. I am willing to invest work in making the webfont usable with regard to Unicode. But I am not allowed to decompile/modify it. And in case of Charter it is especially ridiculous, because the old Type 1 version is for free.

charles ellertson's picture

Well, Charis OpenType, derived from the Type-1 Charter fonts, has an OpenSource license, is free, and can be modified. It is also very good, I've used it for bookwork after adding old-style figures, kerning, and a bit of other work. You might give it a try, as long as you can do some work yourself.

I'll allow I don't know about the hinting.

Arno Enslin's picture

The hinting of Charter is better. Charis is no alternative for me. As I said, even the hinting of the standard TrueType version of Charter is different from the TrueType pro version.

Stephen Coles's picture

I don't know about the difference between desktop and web versions, but it's my understanding that the ITC Charter at is auto hinted. Have you tested it on XP without ClearType? They really ought to hand hint it. So much potential on screen. Could be best Georgia replacement yet.

Richard Fink's picture

Charis has a slightly larger x-height than Charter and comes off a bit bolder-looking onscreen, but just a bit.

Stephen Coles's picture

Charis performs very poorly on Windows.

Richard Fink's picture


>Charis performs very pooryly on Windows

This means what? What's the performance criteria? What's "poor" about it? What version of "Charis" are you looking at?
Not peckin a fight - I'm just not seeing a problem.

Stephen Coles's picture

I don't have time at the moment to generate and post a screenshot (maybe you could for us?) but from what I saw when I was researching candidates for this piece Charis didn't meet the standard of most Typophile users.

Richard Fink's picture


After looking at the current download package for Charis, you are absolutely correct. Too many glaring defects in the hinting. I was looking at my own hand-massaged, subsetted, and rehinted version of Charis which is quite comparable to Charter, so yeah, you're right.


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