Click your way to your favorite monospace font

Originally published at: Click your way to your favorite monospace font | Boing Boing


They’ve got a bunch of monospaced fonts, but not my favorite (Monaco). I’ve been using it as my terminal font for 15+ years and can’t imagine switching to anything else.


Well, this is timely, considering yesterday’s procrastination for me was about an hour spent trying to find a nice coding font.


I really wasn’t in love with any of them, but I ended up with Source Code Pro, which isn’t too bad.
Hard to beat Consolas for general purpose coding.


This was lovely. I discovered a font that I didn’t know existed and I really like it. It lacked a lot of more common mono spaced fonts, but it was well worth the few minutes to make the discovery I made.

If they only did this for other font styles, I think I’d be happier with setting up a new computer. It’s like going to the eye doctor, “number 1 or number 2”, repeat until I can see clearly.


I’d like to see them do this again, except instead of tournament style there’s some enumerated set of font features common to monospace fonts, and it evaluates your preference by comparing fonts that are similar except for the feature being tested. Then it takes your preferences and finds the font that seems to comport to your preferred features most closely.

With this version, it’s a little too easy to dismiss a font because you notice one feature you don’t like – but you might never realize that it’s overall the most pleasing / usable / readable.


I see this so rarely that I have to wonder if it could be true this time.

Every once in a while I try a different coding font. Consolas, DejaVu Sans Mono, JetBrains Mono, Bitstream Vera Sans Mono are all ones I’ve spent significant time with over the past several years. These days I’m using Hack and have been quite happy with it.

My requirements are generally pretty simple – also 0/O must be easily distinguishable as well as 1/I/l. I also absolutely DESPISE ligatures and find them incredibly distracting, so they must be optional. (This is why I couldn’t live with JetBrains Mono – there was no “ligature free” option.) Victor Mono looks kinda nice, but I don’t really like how tall it is.

Anyway, last thing I need in my life right now is to go down another rabbit hole of dicking around with fonts so I should probably stay away from this site.


Surprisingly, after doing one run with the font names shown and a second “blind” run with them hidden, I still landed on the same result both times, so it’s good at least to know that my preference toward font names I recognized didn’t have any effect. I ended up on Noto Sans, which I’m inclined to give a shot. I’ve used Anonymous Pro for a long time now, but it ended up getting eliminated fairly early on in the lineup when I had the names visible.


Me, I landed on JetBrains Mono, but that’s no real surprise because it’s what I use in my work environment. I even set up iTerm2 to use it.

And yes, I actually like the ligatures. They do give a slight edge to understanding code.


I went in blind, but seeing as I can’t choose the font I use in my work environment anyway, I don’t know if it will be any use.

Somehow I’ve ended up with Noto Sans Mono. It seems ok.

Done it a couple of times - once bilnd - always ended up with JetBrains Mono at the end (against Source Code Pro)
No real surprise, as this is what I use since Source Code Pro, and later JetBrains Mono, came out.

I have tried many alternatives, including Hack, Fira Code etc. but they did not sway me.

Curiously, while I love it in the editor, I don’t use JetBrains Mono in a terminal, and I’m pretty content with Consolas.

Noto Sans looks interesting, in general my preference goes to typefaces with a bare minimum of serifs.

EtA: I have a special love for dotted zeros, and I got to like ligatures after a short testing period. JBM is very configurable in good editors, and supports both.


Cousine? Never used it.

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Bonus points if your procrastination can be gamified.

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I got to the second round and said “why bother” when they don’t even have my favorite coding font:

Comic Code!!


I use it in many of my editors and even in the console window!

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arrived at Noto Sans Mono, but my fav is Letter Gothic (not in the offering there)

I looked at Letter Gothic as well. I’m a huge fan of Zapf Optima, so a monospace font based on it sounds ideal. Unfortunately the lack of a slashed 0 is a deal breaker.

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Cousine is a nouvelle typeface* to me, it ticks all the boxes, with dotted zero, good Il1 recognizability and minimal serifs.
It looks well balanced, I might give it a spin.

As my use of a monospaced typeface is 99% for coding, an important part of evaluating a new one is checking how it fares against a dark background and colour syntax highlighting. Some very beautiful typefaces become tiring in no time with those extra constraints.

*Pedant’s note: we are discussing typefaces, a font is a typeface in a specific rendering as in size, weight, italic etc. E.g. Source Code Pro is the typeface, SCP 14 pt, medium, italic is a font in that typeface. But this is an already lost battle…


Ligatures are a very controversial topic (as are editors and typefaces), here’s something should you like to try again:


If you setup ClearType on Windows (which is Microsoft’s special font anti-aliasing thingy) then it does a similar “Do you prefer A or B?” process to fine tune it.

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