Improve your coding with 25 hyper legible fonts for programmers

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February 20, 2014
Improve your coding with 25 hyper legible fonts for programmers.

thumbnailThe pinnacle of web development is hand-coding. No other approach delivers the same bespoke quality, performance and all round job-well-done-ness as rolling up your sleeves and digging into source code.

As a result, most of us spend all day everyday staring at markup, style sheets, and assorted server-side code. Despite this most of us leave our applications with their default settings. But with a simple change of font, scanning our code becomes far simpler.

Selecting an appropriate font for coding is a unique task, in that the only audience you have to consider is yourself. The only thing that counts is what works for you.

The challenge is that coding is unlike most written formats; whilst most text has fairly regular line lengths, even when set ragged, the nature of our programming languages means that line lengths vary from a single character up to many hundreds per line; you need to select a font that is easily scannable with distinct individual letters.

You also need to ensure that your font has a full complement of mathematical symbols, brackets and punctuation; any font that covers basic latin is usually enough.

Finally, you need to ensure that the characters are sufficiently distinct at a small point size. Common problems are distinguishing the number '1' from the lowercase 'l' and the uppercase 'O' from the number 0.

The most common choices are monospaced fonts, as they create predictable line lengths and are traditionally used in technical data. However, the only rule is that you select a font that works for you. Pick the right one and your coding will be faster, easier to read back and less error prone.

Ubuntu Mono (free)

ubuntu

Century Schoolbook Monospaced ($24.75)

century

Droid Sans Pro Regular ($79)

droid

Consolas ($35)

consolas

Trim Mono Light ($54 approx.)

trim

Average Mono (free)

average

Excaliber Monospace (free)

excaliber

Briem Mono ($50 approx.)

briem

Blackbox Mono Superset ($149)

blackbox

Kettler Regular ($39)

kettler

Nimbus Monospace ($19.95)

nimbus

Pica 10 Pitch ($34 approx.)

pica

Prestige Elite Regular ($40 approx.)

prestige

ITC Souvenir Mono Light ($48 approx.)

souvenir

Typewriter Elite Regular ($29)

typewriter

Typiqal Mono ($29)

typiqal

Monospace Typewriter (free)

monospace

Isonorm Monospaced Regular ($54 approx.)

isonorm

Hermit (donation)

hermit

Inconsolata (free)

inconsolata

Deja Vu Sans Mono (free)

dejavu

Elronet Monospace (free)

elronet

Dina (free — Windows only)

dina

Profont (free)

profont

Monofur (free)

monofur

What font do you use for coding? Do different fonts work better for different programming languages? Let us know in the comments.

Featured image/thumbnail, programming image via Shutterstock.

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there's something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

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