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Revisiting Programming Fonts


For the windows(yech) users: http://dejavu.sourceforge.net


Very nice roundup of some of the best fonts available.
Inconsolata looks fuzzy in your shot and on my 19" LCD screen too.
You might want to add Droid Sans Mono to the mix. And perhaps move Envy Code R next to Pragmata. Has anyone else notice Envy Code R just might be a Pragmata Killer?!


I’ve just finished true-type hinting Inconsolata for Windows ClearType. It now looks alot more legible.

Take a peek: http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/4945/incosolatacleartypeey5.png


monofur: monospaced, and curly. http://www.dafont.com/monofur.font


Glad to see you’ve warmed up to ClearType, and in turn, Consolas. It’s become my favorite font and I’ve been wavering between different fonts over the past couple years.

Consolas also does a great job being used at different pt sizes (it depends on the screen I’m using). My only gripe with ClearType is that nobody makes pivoted LCD displays where the subpixels are rotated. Well at least not at an affordable level (about $4k for such a screen where as I can just rotate a $250 screen and get good enough quality).


I use terminus


Two votes for Dina and one for Courier New !!

Only Dina and Courier New are comfortable to read on the LCD monitor at my workplace… In fact, I requested for a CRT monitor at my workplace, but they dont have any :frowning:

I am looking to buy a new monitor for my home PC (I have been using a 15 inch one since last 5 years). From what I have read so far, LCD monitor technology is not yet mature, refresh rates are not yet good enough. I think I will get a 19 inch CRT monitor (though viewable area is less) and wait for 5 more years till LCD screens are able to perform as good as CRT.

I find cleartype much more irritating than Standard setting. It makes text look like it has been manually typewritten using a ribbon having excess ink !!


One might instead say that capitalism has GIVEN us the opportunity to make any screens at all. What superior display technologies have managed economies given to us?

You… did… use “GIVEN” ironically… right?

It’s just that, one of the primary side effects of Capitalism is that very little is ever GIVEN to anyone.

Also, responding to a point about Capitalism preventing the production of decent quality screens, by saying that Capitalism gave us the screens we have - as an defense of Capitalism, perhaps lacking.


Er, to actually attempt to contribute something to this thread, I I have to seriously recommend the Liberation font family for very small font sizes:

A lot of “programmer fonts” are fine until about 8pt, but personally I would like them to go much smaller. Unfortunately there seem to be very few fonts that actually look /nice/ below this (ahah) point.


David Mitchell’s recommendation of Calibri as a proportional font is quite interesting. Calibri is in fact the first font specified in Coding Horror’s own body text style (cf. http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/styles-site.css).

Among fixed-width fonts, Lucas De Groot’s Consolas is exceptionally good. Amen, amen.

It might interest you to know that APress typesets code in its books with an earlier font from de Groot: TheSansMonoCondensed-Semilight (from his extensive TheSans family). Both Consolas and TheSans have the quality which Jim Lipsey praised in Vera Sans Mono: “reads much like a proportional font”.

To my eye, the most obvious difference between Consolas and TheSans is that Consolas has lining figures only. TheSans, on the other hand, is available with four different styles of figures (lining, table, old style, and table hanging).

In addition to its basic elegance, two features of TheSansMonoCondensed deserve special mention. First, condensed width reduces the amount of white space which thin letters must attempt to fill, thereby reducing the inherent awkwardness of monospaced letterforms. Second, hanging figures strongly allude to a form most commonly associated with proportional fonts. TheSansMonoCondensed pushes the limits of a monospaced font which reads like a proportional font.

If legibility is the chief concern, those who hold fast to a preference for proportional fonts might as well go all the way and use a proportional serif. De Groot has a noteworthy font in this category as well: TheSerif. His type foundry’s URL is http://www.lucasfonts.com/.


Correction: Consolas has table figures (fixed with, fixed height, vertically aligned).


Doh! Correction again: Consolas supports both hanging or lining numerals, but this feature requires OpenType support (a href="http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/ascender/consolas/familytree.html"http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/ascender/consolas/familytree.html/a). I don’t suppose there are any OpenType-aware IDE’s out there? :slight_smile:


well, Monaco on Win32 and Monaco on Mac are two completely different species…



My favorite is BPMono


Hey, Font of The God isn’t even monospace. You can’t program with non-monospace font.


My screen is ~130dpi, and I prefer Andale Mono on the Mac.


Liberation Mono *


I tried to use Consolas, but the insane MS guys hard-coded the subpixel-ordering into it, so I just cannot use it at all on my BGR screen. Why does everyone in the whole world assumes there’s only one type of LCD subpixel ordering? I’m back to Bitstream Vera Sans Mono for now.

Anyway, did you ever try to code XML in one of these fonts? I think that Envy R, for example, is totally useless because the and characters are somehow bad so that the tag boundaries are not easily distinguishable.


Profont vs Proggy.
Fonts are all subjected to your system settings and IDE. Some fonts work great and some don’t depending on your monitor, IDE and brightness. ProFont is a great font for bringing out consistent neat structure (works great all the time), but the individual glyphs are not known to be easy on the eyes compared to Proggy or other cleaner fonts. However, Profont’s arrangement of characters is great, consistent and very readable. Proggy collides and isn’t consistent in their arrangement.

Anonymous vs himself.
As for Anonymous, it depends. It’s a nice artistic font that collides slightly, but is consistently spaced, and in order for it to be reliably good for programming and very readable, you’ll need to customise it and hope it works good for our IDE (many times it may not.). But here’s an EXCELLENT Anonymous font setup on FlashDevelop (on dark background). Run this WITHOUT ClearType to ensure it’s crisp and collisions ain’t too bad. Notice the great compactness, sementic readability (due to the serifs) and clarity, something you wouldn’t aspect from a font that would have notoriously been considered too decorative and messy.

Pt 6:
Pt 7:

Can increase size higher too if you want but these are the 2 best sizes for viewabaility. But it sure beats ProFont in this situation. Sure, it may not be as neat as ProFont, but considering the better compactness, size options, Anonymous well-defined serifs and easier-on-the-eyes glpyhs, Anonymous wins in this aspect.


After going through Courier New, Profont, Consolas, Monaco etc., my favourite programming font ended up being Panic Sans, which comes with Coda, a Mac IDE that I don’t use. For developers whose point size of preferance is closer to 12 points than 6, it’s perfect. Sample: http://purefiction.net/paste/panicsans.png