Free Programmer's Fonts
Free Monospace / Fixed-Width Fonts for Programmers
Free Programmer's Fonts and Other Free Monospace Fonts
Monospace fonts, as opposed to proportionally-spaced fonts, are particularly useful if you work with ASCII text, HTML code or programming source code. While proportionally-spaced fonts have different widths for different characters, for example, a "w" is wider than an "i", monospace fonts have the same width regardless of the character displayed. Since many of the free monospace fonts listed below are designed for programmers, the number zero ("0"), often has a diagonal stroke cutting across it to distinguish it from the capital letter "O". Similarly, the small letter "l" (letter "L") is also distinguished visually from the capital letter "I" (letter "i") and the number '1'. This helps programmers avoid hard-to-spot errors like wrongly using the letter "O" for a zero and vice versa. Note that the use of monospace fonts is not restricted to programming — it is useful in all sorts of places where you need every character to have the same width.
By default, most programmer's editors and HTML editors use some commonly found monospace font on your operating system. However, you may prefer to change the default font to one of the following free programmer's fonts, some of which are more pleasing to the eye (or have useful characteristics like the features mentioned in the above paragraph).
Note: this page only lists free monospace / fixed-width fonts. If you are looking for fonts in general, please see the more general Free Fonts page. In addition, if you are planning to create your own fonts, you may want to take a look at the Free Font Editors and Free Online Font Creation Sites page. Finally, for those thinking of sprucing up your website with fancy fonts, please read Which Font Should I Use for My Web Page? Tips on Choosing Fonts for Your Website.
Free Programmers' Fonts
- Anonymous Pro
Anonymous Pro is a fixed-width TrueType font licensed under the Open Font License. (Actually, it is a family of four fonts: the regular, bold, italics and bolditalics versions.) Like many programmer's fonts, it distinguishes between the O, 0, I, l and 1 characters.
- Inconsolata (Programmer Font)
Inconsolata is an OpenType monospaced font designed for source code listings in print. It is a sans serif face, inspired by Microsoft's Consolas font. It has slashed zeros. It works with or without ClearType enabled on Windows.
- Envy Code R
Envy Code R is a programmer font (fixed pitch font designed to display code). This TrueType font that works best with ClearType enabled. It has an optimal point size of 10 on Windows and 13 on Mac OS X and Java. It has slashed zeros.
- Raize Font
Raize is a monospaced sans-serif font sutiable for programming, scripting, HTML writing, etc. It supports 10, 12 and 14 point sizes. It has slashed zeros. Versions of this font are available for Windows and Linux. Note that this is a bitmap font.
- Bitstream Vera Fonts
The Bitstream Vera fonts are TrueType monospace fonts. Included are four sans serif faces - normal, oblique, bold and bold oblique, as well as two serif faces - normal and bold. The fonts are free to use but you may not sell it by itself. (Read the licence agreement and the FAQ for more information about this if you're planning to sell it). The zero ("0") in this font has a dot in the centre to distinguish it from the letter "O".
- DejaVu Fonts
The DejaVu fonts are modifications of the Bitstream Vera True Type fonts to include more characters in Unicode. It currently includes Basic Latin, Latin-1, IPA and phonetic extensions, Greek and Coptic, Cyrillic, combining diacritical marks, Armenian, Hebrew, Arabic, NKo, Thai, Lao, Georgian, Unified Canadian Aborginal Syllabics, superscripts and subscripts, mathematical operators and symbols, geometric shapes, arrows, number forms, dingbats, etc. Included families are DejaVu Sans, DejaVu Sans Mono, DejaVu Sans Condensed, DejaVu Serif, DejaVu Serif Condensed. This is an ongoing project — that is, more character sets are continually being added to it and improvements made.
- UCS Outline Fonts
These Truetype fonts contain a subset of the Universal Character Set (UCS).
- Microsoft Consolas Font Pack
This is, in my opinion, one of the best monospace fonts for programmers and webmasters. It works well in screens with a high dpi (dots per inch) such as high resolution screens but looks horrible in lower resolution screens. It is however, only free for people who use Microsoft Visual Studio (either 2005 or later). I'm not sure if it will install if you use the free Microsoft Visual C++ Express. The zero ("0") character in this font has a diagonal stroke across it, a useful feature that distinguishes it from the letter "O". The font comes preinstalled in Windows Vista, Windows 7 (and presumably later versions) and Microsoft Office (the 2007 version and above). Update: the Consolas fonts also come with the free Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2007 and the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. That is, if you install either of these packages, the Consolas font (as well as the other new fonts from the newer Office and Windows software) will be installed.
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