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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bitstream Vera Sans Mono, a must-have for coders.

Bitstream Vera Sans Mono is the best font for coding, period.

Bitstream Vera
(source: Wikipedia)

The advantages of using Vera Sans Mono--the monospaced variant from the Vera family--are:

  • It comes with normal, bold, oblique and bold oblique. Great for syntax highlighting.

  • Unlike Courier, changing weights from normal to bold do not change the mono-text-width. In other words, if you wish to highlight your keywords in bold, your code won't all of a sudden break your indent formatting

  • Unlike Courier, it carries a Gnome license and thus free. Courier comes with most Microsoft products, but is not freeware. While you are unlikely to be sued by Microsoft for your use of Courier if you do not own any Microsoft products and thus the license that comes with it, that is an illegal activity.

  • It is Unicode aware and comes with the full latin set of Unicode characters so coding on your internationalization projects would always be a breeze.

  • It is highly legible down to 8pt on a 96dpi monitor so you can get as many lines on Eclipse without suffering from legibility issues.

  • It is highly legible when printed. Great for code documentation.

I have been using this for a few years now round-tripping from ActionScript to Python, Java to C# using IDEs like Eclipse, Visual Studio or the almighty Notepad and it never lets me down. Highly recommended.

Download the latest revision of Vera.

1 comment:

  1. Not to be pedantic, but the font that ships with Microsoft products is Courier New, not Courier. They're different font designs. Courier is produced by Adobe; Courier New is licensed by Microsoft. Courier New is more spindly, though shares the same spacing metrics.