Antoine Neveux

Yet another blog about stuff.

Programming fonts

Hi everybody !

I read quite a lot of articles for a few weeks about ergonomics IDE. As a developer, I spend several hours on front of my computer every day, mostly for development purpose ; that’s why I think it’s really important to take some time in order to choose the best combination of colors and fonts in our IDE.

In this article, I won’t talk about colors schemes, but I’d like to talk a little about programming fonts. Did you know that there are quite a lot of fonts designed especially for development purpose ? For sure, choosing a font for working is completely a personal choice, so I’d just like to give you a few basic advices for selecting your font !

Keep in mind that for the best readability, a font should be: * Easy to read: You should be able to disting easily all the characters, even the punctuation ones. * Monospaced: Regarding the previous advice, we should focus on Monospaced fonts because their characters can be easily identified. * Proportional: because it takes less screen space, and can be a little bit easier to read.

Note that all the characters should be completely different: for example, have a look at the ‘O’ and ‘0’ (uppercase ‘o’ and zero), or also at the ‘l’ and ‘1’ (lowercase ‘L’ and one).

Instead of writing again something that has already been correctly done, I suggest you have a look at this really interesting article: 42 of the best monospaced programming fonts. This article is quite long, but it presents a various set of fonts you can use for development.

And here is my font selection: * [Monaco]( This font provided with Mac OS X is really useful. I use it on my laptop, and for most of my development tools. * Proggy: You’ll find different versions of the proggy font on their website. This font allows a readable code even with small characters. * Dina: My favorite one with Monaco. I used it for a few years while developing in Java. I still use it in Eclipse on my PC at work.

Here it is, there are a lot of things to say about this subject, and I hope this small article will invite you to think about your IDE’s ergonomics. As usual, if you have any advice to share on this topic, feel free to comment this post !

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