Source Code Pro by Adobe

January 14, 2013

Source Code Pro is a magnificent monospace typeface. It’s great for writing code. As the name suggests, it was designed for programming and is complementary to Source Sans Pro. The designer took great care to make similar characters easily distinguishable (e.g., 0 and O or 1, l, and I) and to keep the lowercase characters from feeling either too monotonous or too widely spaced.

I’m currently using Source Code Pro to see whether it can replace my current favorite favorite monospace font, Inconsolata, which was preceded by Terminus. Overall, I like it very much. The regular variant has a nice weight, resulting in an information density that’s good for code and terminal output while remaining very legible and clear.

The only thing that bothers me, so far, is that the bold variant seems too heavy, especially in close proximity to the normal variant. Fortunately, I don’t use the bold weight all that often–mostly in Emacs, where it shows up occasionally in syntax highlighting or for displaying widgets.

As an aside, the ensuing discussion of Source Code Pro on Hacker News revealed lots of interesting links including other very good monospace fonts (Inconsolata, Terminus, Anonymous Pro), alternative editors (Sublime Text), interesting Emacs modes (Minimap), and themes for terminals and shell prompts (agnoster).