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Revisiting Programming Fonts


I used to use a TrueType font called Hell’s Programmer, but I can’t seem to find it on any of my old archives. Very good distinction between all the similar-looking shapes (1, l, I, etc)


OS X and Windows have very different font rendering strategies.

Duh? That was my point, that windows font rendering totally screws up Monaco.


What’s wrong with a pure black background? I love my color scheme, it’s so much easier to read then the default where the highlight colors barely stand out from the stark white background.



Envy Code R is optimised for 10 point rather than the 11 illustrated but thanks for the inclusion :slight_smile:



that windows font rendering totally screws up Monaco.

This obviously gets into the area of pure opinion, but I think Monaco is so inherently screwed up as a typeface that no mere rendering strategy can possibly save it.

Is this on a Mac? Doesn’t look one damn bit better to me, although it is WAY more bold …

Those angled "a"s and "q"s are like nails on a chalkboard. Ugh.


White on black is much easier to read than black on white. I can’ think of any better color combination.

@extrarice: I was looking for it on Google, but instead I found a font called Anonymous, which seems pretty good. Apparently it’s designed as a more legible version of Monaco: http://www.ms-studio.com/FontSales/anonymous.html. It’s free, too.


I still love my Lucida Console, ~8pt. - Lots of lines of code at anything with a vertical of 1024px or more.

Of more concern to me personally is reducing the contrast of the default keyword coloring. I just can’t read the default red-white blue mash.

I like to eyeball blocks of text at a distance and know what they’re for as the scroll past.

C#/VB gets shades of gray, comments get purple on pink, help doc comments get green on light green. The background colors are very subtle, hardly noticable when typing, but very noticable when scrolling. Nothing says “disabled” like a big pink block. It’s great on code reviews too because uncommented undocumented code lacks the rhythm of well-styled code. Bad intern. Bad…


Is this on a Mac?

Yea it’s definitely personal opinion. I think it’s unarguable that the way Monaco is rendered by the Mac looks nicer though. After looking at that screenshot you must excuse me to go and change my pants :slight_smile:

I’d say it looks even nicer not in a terminal (TextMate FTW!).

I definitely use Vera Sans Mono a lot on all OS’ too, so don’t think I’m a fanboy or something :stuck_out_tongue:


Consolas is an outstanding font Jeff, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Your test code is missing the line:

if (Illegal1Uri!=null||1!=1)


Those angled "a"s and "q"s are like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Not just that, but the [] in Monaco looks way too much like a square box. Is that a missing Unicode character, or an array? Take a guess…


I use Consolas for all my .NET development and like it very much.

At home, I strictly use a Mac and like Monaco.

But this is all personal stuff. Half the fonts shown above look OK to me, honestly.


Give me Vera Sans or give me Arial!


Why all monospace? :slight_smile:

I know I’m vastly in the minority here, but I do my coding with a proportional font. Indents still work fine since they’re all spaces, and I’ve found that besides indents, lining up characters is almost entirely unimportant in my code. Proportional is easier to read in general - so why not use it?


I would love to use a font other than Courier New, but unfortunately all font designers stick with pretty much ASCII / ISO-8859-x only fonts. Since I program in a Japanese environment (with Japanese comments), using a font other than MS Gothic (Japanese version) tends to screw up editors that don’t do automatic font swapping. It’s frustrating when I see nicer fonts that other people can use…


tried 'em all… profont, truetype version, is the winner for me.


I spent a few hours several months ago trying to find the perfect programming font for me and I settled on Dina - I love it. I just installed Consolas to check it out and didn’t like it as much (not really sure why as it looked nice on the screenshots) at 9pt (which is where I run Dina) - however, I changed it to 10pt and it looked better. I will give it a shot tomorrow to see how much my eyes like (or don’t like) it.


Consolas is a sweet font… http://www.donationcoder.com/Forums/bb/index.php?topic=2499.0


I like a proportional font, Trebuchet MS. For two years I’ve used proportional fonts, and now that I am used to it I think that non-proportional fonts are a little bit ugly :slight_smile:

Just my opinion :stuck_out_tongue:


Does anyone else find the Incolsolata example way too blurry to read? All of the other examples are sharp and crisp, while that one seems to blur (laptop LCD, cleartype enabled).


I’m with David; a proportional font really does work for programming–but you need to give yourself a week or two to get used to it (and perhaps use tabs instead of spaces). I’ve been doing it for years; first Verdana and now Tahoma.