I've long been on the search for the perfect monospace font to use in Xcode, terminal, Chocolat, BBEdit etc...
Over the last few years I've tried a *lot* of different options. I dislike the standard ones provided by Apple like Menlo, Monaco and Courier. Thankfully there are a lot of different options to experiment with.
I think I've found a winner, certainly it's one I've stuck with the longest so far. So read on for the run down on my top five...
5. Everson mono
Michael Eversons lovely, shapely typeface is available here. It's not free but you can freely download it, and pay the $25.00 shareware fee, which gives you standard and oblique fonts in regular and bold weights. Here's a link to his own usage licence as well as a thoughtful essay for type designers.
I still use Everson Mono for debugger and console messages partly as it's nice to have an alternative for the eye from the main coding font but also because it's just such a pleasure to read.
3. Source Code Pro
A fantastic typeface from Adobe, the monospace counterpart to their Source Sans Pro fonts. It's a beautiful font in it's own right though and brings to mind the News Gothic style of fonts as well as the iconic text used for the static and scrolling titles in Star Wars. It's *almost* entirely sans serif, something of a rarity in monospace type, where the need to fill the space on some letters means serifs are a useful tool. Read all about it here, it's also offered under the Open Font Licence.
I like it because it has an expressive serif look without striving for the fanciness of typewriter-style fonts like Courier. It's a little too wide in places to be my favourite but that's not uncommon in monospace fonts. Otherwise an excellent and highly legible typeface.
1. Lekton **winner!**
The winner and my default programming font in Xcode and Terminal for some time now. In writing this I was thinking about why I like it so much, beyond just the clarity and legibility. As it turns out the font is inspired by classic Olivetti typewriter fonts which might explain why it's so attractive in use. It was designed by a team at ISIA Urbino, Italy. You can read more at the their blog here. Once more it's great to find this offered under the Open Font Licence terms.
For me it has the attractive letter forms like Source Sans Pro, the expressive shapes of Everson Mono and sax Mono while maintaining a slightly narrower, tighter, feel that I find makes reading code much easier. I've added a screenshot from Chocolat, a fine Mac text editor to demonstrate it in use. Perhaps my favourite feature is the italic face which I use for comments, pragma marks and preprocessor macros, it's looks beautifully textual while still sitting well with the regular font in the code.