Consolas vs. Terminus – my personal monospaced font war

(I hate Courier New)

For some time, I’ve used Dimitar Zhekov’s clean, fixed-width font Terminus for terminal-heavy situations in both GNU/Linux and Windows. I’m clueless in the area of typography, but Terminus looks oddly appealing when looking at e.g. code (which I don’t write myself), configuration and log files. I keep backup copies of a TTF version of Terminus in my public file archive.

A few days ago, I discovered Consolas, a somewhat recent addition to Microsoft’s free TTF font collection (available for download on microsoft.com, no special MS software like Visual Studio is required), and I’m probably going to use it for some console based tasks, at least on Windows machines. Please note that Consolas is designed to be used with ClearType, a font anti-aliasing technology found in Windows XP and later. Without ClearType, Consolas isn’t worth looking at.

What I’ve found comparing the aforementioned fonts so far, is that while I like looking at Consolas in my IRC client, I still prefer the more blockish Terminus for staring at and scanning through code and logs. Consolas makes text in human languages, including busy IRC debates, readable at smaller sizes, but is in my opinion suboptimal for navigating through and quickly locating parts of structured text blocks.

EDIT: I’ve later found the following comparisons of fixed-width programming fonts: CodeProject, Stack Overflow.

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