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Ask HN: What programming font do you use?
24 points by humility on Aug 24, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 77 comments

Adobe's Source Code Pro is my favorite: http://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/html/index.cfm?event=d...

+1 for Source Code Pro. Looks lovely in my editor and my terminal.

My favorite is Source Code Pro by Adobe [1]. I use it on Mac OS X and Ubuntu. On Windows I have to use Consolas, because SCP does not render well in gVim for Windows (at least not on my system).

Note that Source Code Pro does not have an Italic typeface yet. Italics are commonly used for source code comments and most editors will automatically emulate the shapes, often with poor results. Active development is currently being done in this direction [2].

[1]. http://dwabyick.github.io/Source-Code-Pro

[2]. https://github.com/adobe-fonts/source-code-pro/issues/6

Just a minor nitpick: you are probably referring to an oblique style, not italic. Italic style implies a calligraphic handwriting look-alike, and is way more common with serif typefaces. Oblique style is just glyphs tilted to right, and I think that's what you meant here. No offense intended, of course.

"No offense intended?" Even the system font selector uses "italic" ...

Yes, but CSS, for instance, uses 'oblique'. You can look up the definitions yourself if you don't trust me...

[2] was raised in 2012 and still in discussion. I have no idea how fonts are made. Why does it take 2+ years to make a font italic?

Because you need to come up with a design for the cursive variant and then draw all those glyphs.

So the time needed is probably shorter than the time spent on the regular variant, but only by a small factor, certainly not orders of magnitude.

The glyphs can look completely different in italic. http://www.fffranziska.com/#sec_italics And after drawing the glyphs, manually checking and adjusting the kerning between every pair of glyphs takes a lot of time too.

You are right. From reading the comments on the issue [2], this seems to be the reason why it takes so long. Although I have now idea of how fonts are made, I think the work needs to be done for all currently available weights (7 different weights).

Its not just in discussion, a person has been commissioned and working on it for quite a while. it was 2 days he push the latest version.

If you program with Japanese comments, I really recommend Ricty.

It's a combination of Inconsolata for Latin characters and an IPA font variant called Migu 1M for Japanese characters in the same dimensions.

I've never seen it as a binary, so you have to run a script to build it yourself.


Inconsolata here too, with vim and the MadeOfCode theme: http://madeofcode.com/posts/29-photo-my-new-textmate-theme-8...

I use Inconsolata in most applications except emacs.

I'm using a fairly old version of emacs without Xft2 support so use codec[1] with it.

[1] http://www.all-day-breakfast.com/cannam/codec.html

Inconsolata-dz here with the powerline patch.

+1 for Inconsolata.

I'm a font fetishist, so over many years I've tried many fonts. Settled on Maax Mono [1], I find it to be remarkably beautiful.

[1] https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/gautier/maax-mono/

Do you use it outisde retina environments?

Fira Sans Mono.

https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/styleguide/products/firefox-os... (not displayed, but the download includes a Mono variant)

Fira Mono is really beautiful, but the problem I have with it is the vertical spacing. The lines are so far apart, almost nothing fits in the screen.

One's joy, the others pain. I like that ;).

I think the default fonts work great so I have never changed the font of the editor(s) I use. Am I weird?

No, I'm the same way too. I've never even thought about changing the font in IDEs or terminal.

Cosmic Sans Neue Mono

Note there's an S in Cosmic :)


Thanks, that's one snazzy programming font. I'm definitely giving it a try. Edit: it's nice at small sizes. They should have made a hairline variant though, for larger sizes, as it's pretty bold and the characters aren't as distinct as the could be. Think I'll keep using it for a while longer and see how it goes

Have you tried Droid Sans Mono Slashed? I find that the slashed 0 helps readability quite a bit.

Ubuntu Mono https://www.google.com/fonts/specimen/Ubuntu+Mono I like it a lot.

Here an example of Sublime Text 3 + Ubuntu Mono 10pt + Blackboard Theme: http://imgur.com/qW8yyi0

I like Ubuntu Mono, but on some screens (probably depending on antialiasing settings?) it looks too fuzzy and I switch to Inconsolata. It seems one of those two will look good in any setting. Or if I have to deal with no anti-aliasing, Proggy TT is a nice (small, ~9pt) monochrome font.

I used Inconsolata, Monaco, Source Code Pro, Consolas, Pragmata Pro, but in the end settled with Ubuntu Mono. I use it in Vim with the great Solarized color scheme, and it's a pleasure to look at.

I use Ubuntu Mono 14pt in iTerm2 and kinda like using a font that big ! http://imgur.com/7Bdtuge

What triangle character are you using there in your prompt? Sorry, but I haven't found a way to make it 'stick' to the background before it using any font (at least at 14pt).

Edit: OK, I found the character/theme you are using, but what version of Ubuntu Mono do you have? It won't handle that for me :/

Edit 2: I found a Powerline patched version, but that doesn't seem to work either… Maybe I will just switch back to Consolas

I always try out the others, but I always come back to Monaco.

I've used Inconsolata exclusively (the original first [1], then the -dz variant [2], then the -g variant [3]) since 2002 or 2003.

I've recently switched to Fira Mono [4], designed by the awesome Erik Spiekermann for Mozilla.

[1] http://levien.com/type/myfonts/inconsolata.html

[2] http://nodnod.net/2009/feb/12/adding-straight-single-and-dou...

[3] http://leonardo-m.livejournal.com/77079.html

[4] https://github.com/mozilla/Fira

Consolas. I have tried Vera Sans Mono and Source Sans, but nothing comes close to Consolas.

I used Hermit (https://pcaro.es/p/hermit/) for a while when it first appeared, but now I use Source code pro from adobe (http://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/html/index.cfm?event=d...)

Otherwise I think it was Monaco way before those.

Nobody mentions if they use Retina when recommending those "newer" fonts. I imagine most fonts that "only look good in 48pt" in my screen can be used for coding in Retina screens (never seen one of those).

BUT when using low-dpi monitors, very few get the hinting right, and bitmap (6x13 [1]) is king.

[1] http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/fonts/

I use tamsyn (http://www.fial.com/~scott/tamsyn-font/) where I can. It's a bitmap font and looks great at small sizes. However since it's a bitmap font there's a few places that it can't be used.

Interesting to me how the very clear bitmap fonts are so close to Terminus/linux fonts. Its almost like there is only one way to put the pixels.

I am hugely anal about this topic and I've tried all fonts mentioned at the time of this post. In the end, Consolas has racked up the most miles during my coding and Proggy Tiny for the output console (allows you to fit quite a lot). Don't get me started on color theme.

> Proggy Tiny for the input console

I would humbly suggest trying either MonteCarlo [1] or its derivative, Tamsyn [2]. Certain characters (like the "@" symbol) look much better in either of these fonts.

[1] http://www.bok.net/MonteCarlo/ [2] http://www.fial.com/~scott/tamsyn-font/

Tamsyn doesn't work for me in Sublime Text 3 - do you know why?

Menlo Regular in 11 pt.

I use it in Sublime Text and also for my Terminal Monokai theme: https://github.com/Pephers/monokai-for-terminal-app

Deja Vu Sans Mono

Courier New (Visual Studio). I keep trying other stuff, but they are a distraction. Courier New does not draw attention to itself, just seems to blend in, and the code communicates directly to you.

I'm a huge fan of Adobe's Source Code Pro, but you might wanna take a look at Courier Prime: http://quoteunquoteapps.com/courierprime/

Courier Prime is a very attractive font. Unfortunately the leading (inter-line spacing, pronounced "ledding") is 18% bigger than Courier New. In a full screen of code, I lose 7 lines. That means less visible code, more scrolling up & down. I suppose there are font editors to adjust that.

Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

I just made a switch to Input (http://input.fontbureau.com). Before that, I used Source Code Pro.


Meslo. Can't get enough of it.

Segoe UI. I will never use a fixed width font again, though I wish I could find something better then Segoe.

Geneva. I don't understand why programmers use monospace fonts, other than some kind of tradition.

That is an interesting observation. Perhaps it is due to habit. After 45 years of programming (started with punched cards), I am accustomed to fixed-pitch fonts. Proportional fonts for code seem unintelligible to me.

It is worth noting that all quality programming publications display code in fixed pitch. Knuth, in his epochal "Art of Computer Programming", uses fixed-pitch serif for source code. Petzold's "Programming Windows" uses fixed-pitch, as does Kernighan & Ritchie's "The C Programming Language".

I also use monospace font when publishing bits of source, it helps set it off from the rest of the text.

But in the code itself, this isn't a consideration.

Because I work with data pretty often, and working with data pretty much requires a monospace font, and there's no reason for me to switch back and forth.

For example, cli mysql wouldn't be too much fun in Geneva. There's a nice visual hint between labels and data in lines of whois output, and that hint would be icky in a proportional typeface:

    status:      reallocated
    owner:       NETLINE PERU
    ownerid:     PE-NEPE4-LACNIC
Also, log files with columns like timestamp [ip] etc., and some particularly friendly configuration files.

And, although it's not very common, I occasionally use it as a typo-checker. If I have a function or a class where I can't easily abstract out some kind of repetition, then using a monospaced font with variables that are the same number of characters lets me visually see right away if I've mistyped something. I couldn't quickly find an example, but it was the first programming-specific monospace font thing that came to mind.

I actually tried a programming font that is not monospace and it's not an issue. Left side is aligned the same anyway and I don't care if lines don't align on the right side.

Alignment probably more than anything, though obviously the necessity for that depends on the language and style.

Alignment of what??

Not left edges. Even in non-monospace fonts, every blank is the same with, same with every tab.

Consider aligned colons, something like

    a  : 10,
    ab : 40
If space and "b" are not the same width, that won't look great in a proportional font.

Terminus, Proggy, or Triskweline. I can't stand stroked fonts in a terminal.


I'll second that. Very nice and well-hinted font, with quite a bit of unicode coverage as well. Definitely worth the money.

I used this font since more than a year. It's great but a week ago I started using Source Code Pro.

Cousine is currently my favourite ... quite readable in large and small sizes.

Been using Proggy for a long time, it's a nice, readable monospace font.

Luxi mono, because it has the most attractive serifs I've seen.

I used to use Anonymous Pro, now I use Consolas.

Monospace 9 (in Geany)

Liberation Mono (in Vim / Terminal)

X11 10x20 since 1996

Source Code Pro

Source Code Pro


I'm Mainly using google fonts. Its awesome and nice.Professional fonts are available at google fonts. Try it here https://www.google.com/fonts

We also tried font-family: 'Andika', sans-serif; http://courseeplus.com/aboutus/

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