a companion discussion area for blog.codinghorror.com

Revisiting Programming Fonts


Nice one, I’ve been using monaco so far but I disliked a couple of things about it. Thanks for recommending Consolas (I guess I missed the previous posts you made about it). I just tried it and looks like it fits my needs/tastes.


I like Consolas and Profont.

Bitstream Vera Sans Mono from Gnome is also very cool because of its copyright. You can copy it, redistribute it, and even modify it given that you use another name for the result.

These were my conclusions in a comparative of programming fonts I did a while ago: http://mundogeek.net/archivos/2006/11/18/fuentes-para-programacion/


Jeff: using Mac font rendering, Consolas looks just terrible at any size below about 16 (much more of a mess than any of the screenshots you posted here). And I’m no giant fan of anti-aliased Monaco either; the glory of Monaco is that it’s the first widely-used good-looking monospace pixel font, and Susan Kare managed to make it look good, and stylistically consistent, at 9, 10, and 12 sizes. But 9-point bitmap Monaco is amazing (especially since they tweaked 1, i, l, I to be more distinguishable sometime in the Mid-90’s).

But with antialiasing turned on on the Mac, and at sizes #8805; 12, particularly for light-on-dark schemes, there are many monospace fonts that look much better than either Consolas or Monaco.


I’ve been using Proggy for some time now and warmly recommend it, especially because of it’s crispness, but I think I’ll give Consolas a quick go.

You can find the Proggy fonts here:

You should take a look at “Crisp”(TrueType) and “Proggy Clean(slashed zero, bold punctuation)”(bitmap).


I use an ageing version CodeWright that allows a different fonts for screen display and printing. Fonts good for screen display are seldom good for printing also.

What would you recommend for paper output?

Is there a font that is good for both?

Currently for paper output I an using Courier New where it works well - serifs are good for paper it seems - and until I read this Lucida Console for screen.


Also note, the point sizes I speak of are Mac point sizes. Your 11-point consolas example is about 14.5 point on a Mac. :slight_smile:


“If you’ve never tried it before, I highly recommend that you try a proportional font for a couple of weeks.”

The options for the editor for delphi only shows select fixed fonts. Neat, huh?


Envy R is the winner for me. Before it, I was using Dina.


Try assembly once in a proportional font and you’ll switch it right back.

The real reason proportional fonts aren’t used is so that comments and array data can be lined up in columns.


Trying out Consolas today, very nice. Using 12pt and [255,255,215] as text background colour.


I have tried most of the fonts mentioned in previous posts, but finally settled on one nobody has mentioned yet: Bitstream’s Reader Sans Mono.

For me this is the ultimate font for editing code.


Anyone know if the truetype version of profont is scalable and/or aliasing? (Sorry Damian, couldn’t resist)

I posted a messages saying the TrueType version of ProFont is scalable and aliasing. It seems to have been deleted… Here are some screen grabs:

TrueType @ 7pt: http://s3.amazonaws.com/damian-public/images/codinghorror/ProfontTrueType7pt.Png
TrueType @ 9pt: http://s3.amazonaws.com/damian-public/images/codinghorror/ProfontTrueType9pt.Png
TrueType @ 12pt: http://s3.amazonaws.com/damian-public/images/codinghorror/ProfontTrueType12pt.Png
TrueType @ 16pt: http://s3.amazonaws.com/damian-public/images/codinghorror/ProfontTrueType16pt.Png

And per-pixel bitmap verison for comparison:


On a Mac you can’t beat Monaco. (I used Consolas on Winodows). The only problem with Monaco is that it doesn’t have a bold version, so if your editor likes to highlight certain things in bold, you lose out on that feature.


Not just that, but the [] in Monaco looks way too much like a square box.

Again, this is Windows only rendering that makes it look like that… It looks nothing like a ‘missing unicode character’ (in your code? really? ok…) on the Mac.


just out of curiosity why was calibiri not included? it’s offered as a download for VS 2005 and I find it to be better than consolas; it packs more onto the screen and remains readable


Long live Courier New :slight_smile:


I just don’t see what you have against Courier New. I tried Consolas, and it just doesn’t compare:

  • it’s too small at 10p, my fav size
  • it’s too large at the next size, 11p
  • it saves horizontal space which I have plenty anyway, since my code is formatted at 80 columns and my 24" lcd is WIDE
  • it looks crowded
  • Courier is more spacious, the letters better defined

What exactly do you see in Consolas, if you don’t mind me asking?


Anonymous. Anonymous anonymous anonymous.

Bitstream Vera Sans Mono if anonymous is not avail.


I’m surpised to see 11pt fonts on here, I’ve been using Consolas 8pt ever since I discovered the font.

I prefer to have a smaller font and be able to see more of my code at once. I find having a pair of 20" LCDs running natively at 1600x1200 helps too.


Terminus is nice for bitmap, Vera Sans Mono for antialiased. I used to use squinty little fonts (Vera at 8 or 9 pt*), but now I have a maximized editor on one monitor and everything else on the other.

  • Those are real points, which are an absolute measure. If something at “9 pt” is different sizes on different OSes, then (at least) one OS is broken.