Of course, the Mac ships with the excellent Monaco font, created by
Susan Kare in the 80s, and later updated to disambiguate
1, etc. But many users prefer other monospaced fonts.
In particular, many feel that those similar-looking characters are still
too close together in appearance (thus MPW, ProFont, and Anonymous are
extremely close to the original 9 point monaco, with the main changes
being disambiguation of these characters). If your favorite isn't
listed here, feel free to add it.
Note that first-person statements were added to this page by several distinct people. :)
Free (as in speech)
Bitstream Vera Sans Mono and the other Bitstream Vera fonts are a set of fonts released under a free license by Bitstream. They are popular in Linux distributions. This is the font seen in the very popular Rails screencast.
The Dejavu fonts are based on the Bitstream Vera Fonts release 1.10, but provide a wider range of characters (including things like ⌘ and ⌥) while maintaining the original look and feel.
They are developed openly.
Luxi Mono –
Fonts.zipin this directory includes a number of useful fonts, including Luxi Mono, a very clean serif monospace font designed by Bigelow and Holmes (of Lucida fame) - very popular in the Linux world.
Inconsolata is a font designed for code in print format. It looks terrible when used on screen in Windows, but luckily looks amazing, even at small sizes on Mac OS X (and it prints just gorgeously).
Ubuntu Mono is a new font made for use in the Ubuntu Linux distro.
Free (as in beer) / donationware
Profont is a Monaco derivative which was originally designed to be more usable by programmers with inclusion of a slashed
0and other letter disambiguations. Though Monaco picked up some of these features, many still prefer Profont. To avoid problems with ligatures, try the Profont X variant, which has the ligatures explicitly removed. This font is used in several of the Ruby on Rails screencasts.
Anonymous is a TrueType version of Anonymous 9, a freeware Macintosh bitmap font developed in the mid-90s by Susan Lesch and David Lamkins. It was designed as a more legible alternative to Monaco, the mono-spaced Macintosh system font. Works well at 10 pts with a theme like Espresso Libre
The Proggy family of fonts includes several different sizes and varients to choose from. Highly legible Monoco-like font.
Triskweline Worked best for me at 13pt with anti alias off. Clear and incredibly readable with a color background (for example, Blackboard or Pastels).
MPW is Apple's font, used in the Macintosh Programmer's Workshop, and based on 9 point Monaco. It has clear distinctions between commonly-confused characters such as
|, etc., though not as clear as ProFont. It was never designed to be used with antialiasing, or at sizes other than 9 point, but at least one user likes it at 10 pt, with antialiasing.
Monofur by Tobias Benjamin Köhler is a font with nice circular geometry (click link for a preview).
Akkurat Mono is a commercial but VERY nice font to edit code with. I tried a lot of other fonts but always ends up using this one (11 pt, Anti Aliasing enabled)
Pragmata is neither free nor cheap but it is perfectly hinted and works wonderfully even at smallest font sizes, either with or without (my preference) anti-aliasing. It is considerably slimmer than your average monospaced font without compromising legibility. ''link broken 1/5/07''
PragmataPro is the successor of Pragmata, by the same author, optimized for programmers. It is very compact.
TheSans Mono Condensed fonts by LucasFonts pack more characters onto one line and look absolutely beautiful. They are commercial but well worth the price.
Consolas is a font created by [Luc(as) de Groot, i.e. LucasFonts, for] Microsoft for Windows Vista, and specifically for use on screens. Be aware though that the font is copyrighted by Microsoft. You are only supposed to use it if you have a valid Visual Studio license. However, if that doesn't bother you or you have a license, you can download it here.
Now included in Microsoft Office 2008.
Lucida Typewriter Sans works pretty well for coding, though the lack of a slashed
- A post by James Duncan Davidson mostly about Bitstream Vera Sans Mono has gathered some comments with various font recommendations.
- A post over at Hivelogic giving a list of 10 programmer fonts (pictures included).