Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

19 Mar 2006

Monospaced Fonts

Fonts are a strange thing. I have a collection of hundreds of them, but I only actually use a few at most. I write all my letters using the same font, and I design every site with only a handful of them. There are just too many serif and sans-serif fonts to wade through to find the ones I like the best and frankly I don't care that much about which particular ones I use. The one area that I do care about is the monospaced or fixed width font that I use. I use fixed pitch fonts a lot, all my important work is either done in an xterm window, or is programming which I prefer to use a monospaced font even in a fancy IDE.

The problem this that font designers don't seem to care all that much about monospaced fonts, most people don't have a use for them, so there aren't that many to choose from relative to proportional fonts. Additionally in programming it's important to clearly see the difference between "l", "1", "i", "I", and "0", "o", "O". The less commonly used punctuation characters are additionally more important than normal text.

After much searching I've concluded what others have also concluded. So this is my list of monospaced fonts:

  1. Bitstream Vera Sans Mono - (ilI1 0oO /@#$%&[]{}\)
    • Nice typeface
    • Freely available thanks to Bitstream, most Linuxes have it by default.
  2. Anonymous - (ilI1 0oO /@#$%&[]{}\)
    • Nice typeface
  3. Andale Mono - (ilI1 0oO /@#$%&[]{}\)
    • Nice typeface
    • Microsoft gave it away, so widely available
  4. Monaco - (ilI1 0oO /@#$%&[]{}\)
    • Nice (Mac) typeface
    • Seems nice but I've not used it enough to form a strong opinion
  5. Lucida Console - (ilI1 0oO /@#$%&[]{}\)
    • Nice typeface - use to be a personal favourite
    • Microsoft gave this one away as well
    • Zero isn't marked - which is a pity
    • See also Lucida Typewriter, which also has an unmarked 0

See also: