fonts for programmers

I believe a good choice of font can help programmers. Certain characteristics make for easier editing of code.

Firstly, it has to be monospaced. This may make it look ‘primitive’ compared to nicely laid out text, but code isn’t text. It is much easier to understand the structure of code when indentations and characters line up neatly.

Secondly, there are some characters that are easily confused. Common examples are 1, l, I, | (number one, lowercase ‘ell’, uppercase ‘eye’, caret) and o, O, 0 (lower and uppercase ‘oh’, number zero. A good programmer’s font will make these characters look obviously different.

Here’s a list of some of the fonts I have. (They may not show up if you don’t have them installed).

  • Andale Mono. Apparently one of Microsoft’s free “fonts for the web”. I haven’t really tried it. 1 l I | o O 0
  • Bitstream Vera Sans Mono. My favourite for code editing at the moment, and freely available as well. 1 l I | o O 0
  • Consolas. One of Microsoft’s new family, likely to be widely spread in the future. 1 l I | o O 0
  • Courier New. The standard monospace font on many systems, but some of these others are better. 1 l I | o O 0
  • Lucida Console. Another quite well known font. I’ve used it for coding sometimes. 1 l I | o O 0
  • Monaco. I can’t remember where I got this one from. 1 l I | o O 0
  • ProFontWindows. This one is designed for programmers, so should be good. 1 l I | o O 0

I’d be interested to hear if you use the above fonts or any other favourites!

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