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NickAWilliams.com » Blog Archive » Coding Fonts

Coding Fonts

July 10th, 2008 by nick

Having recently discovered the plethora of coding fonts available online, it occurred to me that quite a bit of thought has been put into something I have always seen as rather trivial. The more I read about it, the more I have come to realize that using a font specifically designed for software development can be extremely beneficial.

My first thought was, “what on earth could require so much thought?” As I continued my browsing, the all the pieces started to fall into place. Some of the things coding fonts specifically try to emphasize/improve upon include:

  • Appropriately styled for typically used sizes (~8pt - 10pt)
  • Smaller line-height (means seeing more lines of code at once)
  • More readable symbols (esp. brackets, parenthesis, etc.)
  • Designed to be monospaced from the ground up (full-width/centered characters, etc.)
  • Reasonable tab sizing.

I’m sure there are plenty of others, but these are some of the things I found valuable right off the bat.

If you’re interested in giving some programming fonts a whirl, I highly recommend you start your exploration with Proggy Programming Fonts. I particularly like (and currently use) the one called CodingFontTobi which really makes reading through large blocks of code a breeze. I discovered it wasn’t fully compatible with OS X (tabs would appear as funky symbols), so if you’ve got a Mac I recommend downloading my modified version.

4 Responses

  1. Tombo

    Consolas!

  2. nick

    Thanks for the tip - I’ll have to give Consolas a go. For anyone else that’s interested, you can check out the Consolas Font Pack on Microsoft’s website.

  3. soup

    the expensive classic !

    Pragmata

    http://www.fsd.it/fonts/pragma.htm

  4. ron

    Envy Code R has been getting better, looks sufficiently ‘techy’, is monospaced, and looks good antialiased.

    I’d also second Soup’s pragmata recommendation!

    http://damieng.com/blog/2008/05/26/envy-code-r-preview-7-coding-font-released

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