Are you having eye strain or difficulty reading your code after a few hours of hard work? Many programmers never think to switch their font until they start getting headaches.
If you often find your eyes blurring over trying to scan a thousand lines of code or your head hurting hours after you’ve stopped coding, it may be time to try a new font. Even if you’re not getting these symptoms, a well-designed font often offers superior readability over the default system fonts.
Want to mix things up a little? Plenty of these fonts are free, so it can’t hurt to try. Here are the best programming fonts to reduce eye strain and enhance readability, both free and paid.
Why Switch Your Programming Font?
IDEs and developer tools don’t always come packaged with the best font. Usually, they use a monospaced system font, and while it may work fine for some, others report eye strain or poor readability.
While most of these programs offer the ability to switch fonts, many people don’t take advantage of it. Some programmers may not even realize they’re using a subpar font until they switch to a community-backed alternative and realize how better things can be.
A good font can minimize headaches, make your code easier to scan, and even revolutionize how you work.
So what’s in a suitable programming font? Here’s what you need to look out for.
- Clear and easy-to-read characters to reduce eye strain when spending hours looking at hundreds of lines of code.
- Makes a clear distinction between commonly-confused characters such as the letter “O” and the number “0” or the lowercase “L” and the number “1”.
- Ligatures or extra whitespace for commonly-used symbols in popular programming languages – not for everyone, but others love it.
- Fonts with multiple variations on how certain characters are handled are great, so you can pick and choose exactly the version you prefer.
Many programmers prefer monospace/fixed-width fonts to help readability and make code easier to scan for errors, so most of them fall under that category. Some of them contain standard, non-monospaced versions bundled in if you prefer it that way.
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Free Programming Fonts
In the spirit of open-source, many designers have released their programming fonts for free, much of them on sites like GitHub. The community loves and recommends these fonts, so feel free to download them and check them out.
1. Fira Code
The concept behind Fira Code is simple: The monospaced font is designed to combine those frequently used multi-symbol sequences into one, reducing the time it takes to scan over your code and find what
This article was written by Jeremy Holcombe and originally published on Blog – Kinsta®.