Why do programmers use monospaced fonts

The best fonts for programming

Working on the computer can be subliminally exhausting and tiring in various ways. Incorrect sitting positions, too high brightness and contrast settings, but also an inappropriately chosen font lead to the fact that you can no longer concentrate properly and no longer work productively. Especially for software developers, who often work several hours a day with source code, it is important to ensure that the font is easy to read.

Code editors use so-called non-proportional or monospaced Fonts. This means that the individual letters and characters have the same width. However, this also means that some characters are difficult to distinguish from one another, such as the capital "O" and the "0". Another example are characters like ‘1’, ‘I’, ‘l’ and ‘|’, which must also be easy to distinguish from one another. Likewise, different types of brackets, periods, commas and semicolons that play a role in pretty much every programming language. A good monospace font knows how to take these circumstances into account and thereby increases the legibility and recognizability of the source code.

Fira Mono

The Fira Font family was designed by Erik Spiekermann and his team and was originally intended for the Firefox OS. It is freely available and is still very legible even with smaller font sizes.


Anonymous Pro

Anonymous Pro is a beautiful font that gets out of the way but has a certain personality. Particularly noticeable are the crossed out zero and the point, which in this case is a square and can therefore be easily distinguished from the comma. There is a normal and a slightly thicker version, both also in italics. Anonymous Pro is freely available on the website of the designer Mark Simonson under the Open Font License.


Source Code Pro

Source Code Pro comes from Adobe designer Paul Hunt and is part of SourceFont family. The variant suitable for source code is derived from the sans serif Source Sans and retains its vertical proportions, but is kept a little wider, so that the readability is slightly increased. Like all source fonts, source code comes in numerous thicknesses from which you can choose your favorites.



Inconsolata became through the familiar script Consolas inspired, which so far has also been used here in the blog for code snippets. The designer Raphael Levien has also incorporated the clear and distinct lines of the geometric Avenir, which is particularly reflected in the small ‘a’. Inconsolata is a bit smaller than other fonts, so it is advisable to increase the font size a little.


These four fonts are among the best known and most widely used. They are all freely available and free to download and try out.