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Anonymous Pro – a fixed-width font designed for coders (marksimonson.com)
181 points by tambourine_man on Sept 10, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 85 comments

Here's a good comparison (and vote) of programming fonts:


Most popular: Source Code Pro


Monaco, my favorite, comes at #3.

Argh, why does no one include a tilde in the sample? A raised tilde ruins a font for me because of the ruby match operator: =~

Can a vim nerd respond with how to display-time-remap a normal tilde to another unicode codepoint? There are at least four tilde-like glyphs that may be cast by any middling magician of the Unicode elements: ~⁓〜˜

Looking at src/screen.c, the tilda character is hardcoded. So you'd need to patch it.

Perhaps a terminal application could do it then.

It's very easy to edit a font. So if the font is perfect except for the ~, just edit it and change that.

Thanks! I switched to Liberation Mono, it's almost as legible as Droid Sans Mono but differentiates the 0 and O.

The link to Proggy Clean redirects to Groupon, it can be downloaded here instead: http://www.dafont.com/proggy-clean.font

+1 for Proggy Clean. I have used it for many years now.

What I really like about Source Code Pro is that it has a 'Light' version, which looks absolutely perfect on OSX with its fatty font rendering. Before this, I used to always have t acclimate between Ubuntu and OSX and Windows, but not anymore!

One thing I do when using Source Code Pro is shorten up the line spacing a bit. There's a slider to do it in iTerm2, and you can use these options in Sublime Text:

>> "linePaddingTop": 8,

>> "linePaddingBottom": 8

By default that family of fonts almost seems double-spaced to me, otherwise I really like them.

It is surprisingly hard to obtain a consistent font rendering across OSX, Windows and Linux. I had to play with the weight of the fonts, but also the font size (on Windows, my font is 3pt smaller than on OSX...). Irritating, especially when you actually synchronize your configuration files.

I agree, and the main irritant has to be OSX and its refusal to do any hinting or 'sharpening' at lower point sizes. I hoped the retina will make it better, but amazingly, it doesn't quite enough, fonts still look too fat and rounded on the edges!

Thanks for that tip. It really makes a difference in readability.

I take this as confirmation of my choice- Consolas. 2nd favorite by a close margin, and it's usually already installed!

> it's usually already installed

Only on Windows Vista/7/8.

You still use Windows ME?

I pointed it out because many people use Windows XP, OS X, Android, or iOS. All those OSes (as well as UNIX clones and variants) don’t come with the font pre-installed.

But he/she said usually, not always. And yeah, a ton of people use windows 7/8 so he/she can say that.

A lot more people use the OSes I listed.

Consolas is nice, but for me it is too small for 10pt, and too large for 11pt.

I use Linux and install always Consolas.

Programmers designing fonts is cute but it's not good idea. Lucas de Groot knew what he was doing.

I like Inconsolas for Linux instead of Consolas.

+1 for consolas on Linux.

Monaco -- not my favorite but up there -- is remarkably good especially given it was a first generation Truetype redo of a bitmap font.

I like Source Code Pro, but it lacks italics. That's really the only downside to me.

I love Monaco also, but only unaliased at about 10pt. Otherwise, I use Menlo or DejaVu Sans Mono usually.

I've known about Anonymous Pro, but have not given it much usage yet to decide if I like it more than others.

What would you use italics for in programming? I've never used italics, maybe I'm missing something.

It will depend on the syntax rules for the editor.


Strange, I'm seeing italics in Sublime Text 3 for Source Code Pro.

You're right that the font seems to lack italics, anyone know whether this is just Sublime faking it?

Yes, as you stated it's basically Sublime slanting the characters.

Here is the ticket on Github: https://github.com/adobe/source-code-pro/issues/6

I think the font rendering engines (e.g. FreeType) can do fake italics by slating the characters.

I was wondering why the MonoFur example was in italics, then I tried it out in Sublime - for some reason it uses the Italic version as if it is the regular version, and I haven't found a way of fixing that. Does anyone have any suggestions?

You could try uninstalling the italic version of the font.

... obvious solution with hindsight.

Still, I wonder if the bug is with Sublime or the font (since other fonts don't seem to have this problem).

Monaco is my favorite as well. Actually I think it's slightly less readable then bitstream vera or consolas, but Monaco has some kind of angular personality to it that makes more emotionally satisfying to read and program in, than the others

Neat. I'd love to see a site that separates by platform. The different font rendering of OS X and Windows is significant and I tend to pick different fonts for them.

My favorite is Inconsolata-g, looks sharp for programming http://www.slant.co/topics/67/viewpoints/6/~what-are-the-bes...

I've tried other fonts, nothing compares to Source Code Pro. You never really notice how much a decent font impacts how you read until you replace it with something else.

I'm afraid that the reason the best programming font in the world - Terminus - isn't in the top 5 is because of the terrible screenshot. :(

Increasingly, professional typeface designers working today are coders as well. The OpenType format for fonts allows designers to program font behaviour, often in pretty sophisticated ways. These range from standard typographic niceties like automatic substitution of a pre-defined sequence of glyphs with a ligature, to contextual substitutions of alternates to make a handwriting font more natural-looking, to even more creative explorations of the possibilities of the OpenType format.

In addition, many designers are taking advantage of scripting to automate parts of the design process. For example, Mark Simonson, the designer of the Anonymous Pro featured here, wrote a script to help you in generating pangrams: http://www.marksimonson.com/notebook/view/pangrammer-helper-...

This example is only tangentially related to the typeface design process, but if you're interested about the intersection of typeface design and technology, you can look up videos from the Robothon conferences to see what the possibilities are.

There was a good write up on HN a while back about this font, including a republished version called Nameless Amateur which fixes the positioning of the forward slash. See http://1overn.com/2011/02/02/tweaking-my-favorite-programmin...

Definitely fixed. Was fixed quite a while back as I've never experienced this and I've been using this font for 2 years now.

Anecdotally, I just installed this font on OS X and don't notice this issue. It may have been resolved, or perhaps was only an issue in Ubuntu?

I've been using the font for years on both openSUSE and ubuntu and never seen the problem. Then again, the page says it only shows up at 12pt, which is not a font size I use.

One feature I would like to see in a font: Really awesome Unicode support. With characters like all the subscript/superscript digits and letters. And all the combining diacritics (like hat, dots, double dots, overlines, vector arrows etc.).

Also, some fonts are monospaced in the ASCII set, but not for less common characters such as typographic quoted.

Do you know a font that qualifies here? Because Unicode is super awesome!

You probably want Dejavu Sans Mono. Check out [1] to see the Unicode characters it supports.

[1] http://dejavu.sourceforge.net/samples/DejaVuSansMono.pdf

I really like Anonymous Pro and use it most of the time on my OS X machines. When not using Anonymous Pro, I also really like Adobe's Source Code Pro (free, and even on GitHub):

http://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2012/09/source-code-pro.... https://github.com/adobe/source-code-pro

And on Windows? Either Anonymous Pro or Consolas. Having nice fonts for coding just feels so good. :)

I really like the Light variant of Source Code Pro.

Could you please show an example on the site that's not CSS (or at least it's a different one)?

In that image there are a lot of important glyphs that cannot be seen, for example: ()[]/*|!

I haven't tried out the font, so I can't give much feedback on it, but it seems nice so far (although the '1' looks a little bit weird. I get why, but it still feels off to me)

Personally I bought Pragmata Pro once and I'm still delighted to use it as my favorite fixed-width font.

This is a super excellent font. It was my font of choice for years and years. I've only recently switched to Meslo (https://github.com/andreberg/Meslo-Font) but more for the sake of change than any complaint about Anonymous Pro.

This is the first time I've come across this font. Tried it and I really like it; it comes across as clear/sharp without sacrificing the smoothness (this is based on what I can see on Win 7 with Putty and ClearType enabled). I think I'll continue to use it.

Try Inconsolata. I actually think Inconsolata somehow looks better in Putty on Win7 than on Mac OS in iTerm2.

This is the second "coders' font" to hit HN today.

Personally, I like the font. And its license.

I think this post is a reaction on that other type post because Anonymous Pro is few years old.

Yeah, it's come up a few times in the past.


Right, that was a font designed by a programmer. This is a font designed by a professional type designer. (Proxima Nova is quite famous.)

So I'm not the only one that is irked by the term "coders" or the even sillier "I wrote a code".

whats wrong with 'coder' - he is someone who writes code.

the one i find confusing is 'developer' its vague and pretentious vs. 'programmer' my preferred term - its precisely descriptive, a quality which i would expect programmers to cherish

The one that bugs me is people who describe themselves as just 'consultant'. I've met two of the following.

Yes, a consultant, but what kind? 'I'm a consultant' Yes, but what do people consult you for? 'For when they need consulting' Yes, but about what? Are you a medical consultant, a security consultant, a civil engineer, a financial consultant, legal, something else? [puzzled look] "I'm - a - consultant."

Boring conversation anyway...

This looks like a great font. I love Inconsolata—I've used it for more than a few months now, and it's extremely good. I've tried Monaco, Monaco Lives, Menlo (I think?) etc. and keep going back to Inconsolata. :-)

I love that font (and Source Code Pro).. best monospaced fonts ever :)

Ive tried installing it in Sublime with no luck - See screenshot- Am I doing something wrong? http://imgur.com/NUaNjWO

use this

    "font_face": "My Awesome Font Name"

Thanks, but multiple errors- Which line?

Perfect- Thanks!

I'm using sublime text 3 defaults, with a theme, nothing else. I was a m1+plus font fan for many years, but now i've got used to this.

I really like this font at 9pt for the code as it becomes not antialiased. are there other pretty not antialiased fonts out there?

I suggest Envy Code R [http://damieng.com/blog/2008/05/26/envy-code-r-preview-7-cod...]

It's not a bitmap font, but has a sharp, clean look.

It's a great font but having tried it and many more, I always find myself going back to good ol' Terminus.

At least this one has a download link.

Am I the only one who uses Courier New with no aliasing? Everything else looks weird to me.

its a shame - the 'standard' size 10 s is ugly, and rendering on smaller sizes is less than ideal - anti-aliasing is not taken advantage of especially well.

back to lucida console for me, which is perfectly legible at size 6 or 7... :/

I like this font; it's pretty nice for small font sizes (a little like terminus).

my biggest thing is differentiating a 1 and and l

in this font, the 1 is quite distinct, but the l seems too closely similar.

I like the default font in sublime, and how it clearly indicates and l by having a vertical line with lower right and upper left serifs

Anonymous Pro is not exactly a sans-serif font, but it does look nice.

"Anonymous Pro, a fixed-width sans designed especially for coders"

There's no reason be expecting a sans-serif!

Pretty sure “sans” is just a shortcut for “sans-serif”—can't tell if you're joking, though :-)

Been using Anonymous Pro for years, love it.

Someone Powerline-patch it!

I love this.

thank you for that

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