These monospace fonts designed for programmers make code easier to read and understand.
We’ve gathered up the best monospace fonts available to help make your code a lot easier on the eye. The magic of monospace fonts is that they allocated equal space for each character, meaning the letter ‘l’ is getting just as much horizontal space as ‘w’. And while that might look and sound a little peculiar, it’s absolutely perfect for coding.
Reading numbers, letters and punctuation is so much easier when each letter is all evenly spaced. When it comes to code legibility, it’s also important to look at indentation and vertical alignment too, which is where the monospace grid comes in super handy.
Below we’ve rounded up all of the best monospace fonts for coding, so you don’t have to (you’re welcome). Some fonts in this roundup are paid-for, and some free, so there should be something to suit everyone’s budget (if you’re on the hunt for some more free fonts, then check out our roundup of of the best free fonts). We’ve taken special care to choose the fonts that ensure punctuation is larger than usual, glyphs are legible and the type face can be read for long periods of time (because we know how tough coding can be on the eyes). Some fonts are even customisable, which if you need help with, then refer to our guide on font design.
If you’re a coder and are looking to upgrade your setup, then why not check out our roundups of the best code editors and the best laptops for programming. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in our roundup, then we recommend having a look at MyFont’s Monotype collection
The 8 best monospace fonts for coding
This font has been designed specifically to reduce fatigue and help to improve developers’ productivity. With all the glyphs the same width apart, MonoLisa is a super clear font. The font set also has increased character width, clear distinction and brilliant legibility, making it one of the best fonts available to any developer.
02. Apercu Mono
Apercu Mono was designed by The Entente and is part of the Apercu font family. Apercu was to create an amalgamation of classic realist typefaces such as Johnston, Gill Sans, Neuzeit and Franklin Gothic. With this in mind, the team created a font family that was perfect for coding.
In the Mono family, there are now four variations including Mono Light, Mono Regular, Mono Medium and Mono Bold. There is also a pro version in the collection that adds in old-style number glyphs, 100 symbols and even more ligatures.
03. Fira Code
Fira Code is an extension of Fira Mono, a monospaced font designed for Mozilla to fit in with the character of Firefox OS. The code variant of Fira includes programming ligatures – special renderings of certain character combinations that are designed to make code easier to read and understand. So, for example, the == and != combinations are rendered as proper equality glyphs, which are supposedly easier for the brain to process than two separate characters that have their own individual meanings. Advertisement
How you feel about this of course depends on personal taste. If you’ve already been reading normal code for years, there’s every chance you might not want to make the change. But if this does appeal, Fira Code is a widely supported, popular programming font that makes code easy to read. It’s also free and open source. The GitHub page has coding samples from a range of languages so you can see how things look.
04. Input Mono
Input is a system of fonts designed specifically for coding by David Jonathan Ross. It comes in both proportional and monospaced variants, but since it’s been designed with coding in mind, the proportional spacing is tailored, so you may consider it over the monospaced version.
There’s a range of widths, weights and styles, each with serif, sans and monospaced variants, resulting in 168 different styles in total. That means you really can get whatever you want from this font set. It’s described as having generous spacing, large punctuation, and easily distinguishable characters, and a lot of consideration has been given to the size and positioning of symbols frequently used in coding. You can also customise the forms of certain key characters including the letters ‘i’, ‘l’, ‘a’ and ‘g’.
Input is free to use for private, unpublished usage in your personal coding app. If you want to publish text using something from the Input font family, you can see the prices here (from $5).
05. Dank Mono
Phil Plückthun’s Dank Mono is billed as a font “designed for aesthetes with code and Retina displays in mind”. Like Fira Code, it has programming ligatures, and there’s also a cursive italic variant that’s useful for distinguishing different types of text within your code. Overall this font has been created for coders who have an eye for design, and the unusual lowercase ‘f’ is known for being particularly beloved among Dank fans.
Dank supports the Western, Eastern, Central and Southern European Latin character sets, and you can use it within CodePen. To get Dank, you’ll need to pay – a personal licence is £24 and a commercial one is £60. But if you’re a type connoisseur and you’re smitten with that jaunty ‘f’, it might well be worth treating yourself to some Dankness.
Creator Mark Frömberg describes Gintronic as “jovial” and “gentle” – an antidote to what he sees as the overly technical and mechanical style of many programming fonts. The font is relaxed and easy to look at, with a few particular characters adding a special personality – check out the curly brackets, the question mark, the lower case ‘k’ and the numerals. Extra attention has been given to glyphs that can be hard to tell apart, such as ‘B’ and ‘8’, ‘i’’ and ‘l’ and so on, in order to make them easy to distinguish at a glance.
There are 1,174 glyphs in total, so Gintronic has a massive character set, which includes Latin, Cyrillic and Greek characters as well as a full range of mathematical and technical symbols. Gintronic is priced at €50 for the single font, €100 for the Roman or Italic bundle and €150 for the complete family.
Andreas Larsen drew up a list of priorities when he set out to design Monoid. He wanted it to be legible, compact (the more code you can fit on one screen, the better), and “pretty”. To achieve all this, he compared three other programming fonts – Fira Mono, Source Code Pro and Pragmata Pro – and took note of features he liked and those he didn’t in order to inform his design.
Like many programming fonts, Monoid has extra-large punctuation marks and operators, apertures are large to help make characters more distinguishable, and ascenders and descenders are kept short. Smart design decisions have been taken to make Monoid both compact and highly legible. It has programming ligatures, and there’s also a special feature called Monoisome which enables you to see Font Awesome icons in your code. Monoid is free and open source, so you can even tweak it to your tastes if you like.
The fonts we’ve covered so far include some with huge character sets and several variants, so it’s likely you’ll find something that’s just right. But if you have very specific needs, Hack could be the best monotype font for your coding. It offers a whole library of alternative glyphs made by users that you can add to if you like.
Hack is therefore highly customisable – you can dif right down into the detail of each glyph and edit it yourself if no one else has done it exactly as you want. Hack is free and open source. Go to alt-hack, the alternative glyph library, to find out how to create your own custom version.
If you like to read original article by Tanya Combrinck you can find it here