Programming fonts you might not have tried

If you’re tired of the ugly-as-sin Courier New and have tried the popular well-known scalable TrueType/OpenType mono-spaced/fixed-width replacements:

And you’re still not feeling it then why not give these potentials a quick spin.


Anonymous is typographer Mark Simonson’s reworking of a bit-mapped Mac font from the mid-90’s into scalable TrueType form.

Anonymous font in Visual Studio

Rather unusually some of the characters have serifs and others do not – most likely due to the space restrictions of the original bitmap font but carried through to the design.

The overall feel is one that is less cluttered than Courier whilst also hanging onto the past – strangely enough anything written in Anonymous immediately makes me think it could be SQL syntax.

Character similarity does exist a little between the 1 and the l and the backwards slash through the zero might not be your cup-of-tea but it’s certainly worth a look.

Available: free from Mark Simonson Studio.


A geometric styled mono-spaced font with distinguishable 0 and O, 1 and l, 5 and S that looks best at 15pt and above so maybe one for the programmer who prefers large fonts.

Crystal font in Visual Studio

Available: free from Urban Fonts.


Another geometric design that works best at larger sizes. It has a slashed 0 and distinguishable glyphs.

Onuava font in Visual Studio

Available: free from Urban Fonts.

Share Technical Monospaced

For those that like very square fonts this one could be a contender – providing the author can fix the problem where an f and an l placed together causes both to disappear – an unexpected empty ligature perhaps?

ShareTech font in Visual Studio

Available: free from Typo3.

Feel free to comment on any other great finds but please, no more references to bit mapped pixel fonts!

If you’re wondering what the state of Envy Code R is… I’m trying to solve the various issues with the heights at certain levels. I think the solution to the problems is delta-hinting but it is a bit of a black art and I don’t have the right tools for the job.

Envy Code R has been updated since this post.


3 responses

  1. Avatar for Stu

    on my jedit, crystal is only good at low point sizes, and onuava looks uuuugly like a bad 1920's typewriter.

    Apprently I had an old version of monaco (2.0) and the one in the above mentioned post is 5.1, jedit b0rks on the 5.1..

    Anonymous vs Monaco at the same point size feels a little more more whitespacy and more spread out...

    keep us posted about envy code r

    Stu 10 April 2007
  2. Avatar for null

    Damien Guard shows a few other, less well-known monospaced fonts that have potential as programming fonts: Anonymous, Crystal, Onuava and Share Technical Monospaced....

    10 April 2007
  3. Avatar for fontsearcher

    The URL for the Share Technical Monospaced (Share-TechMono) font has changed.

    The page that describes the font is at:

    The download URL is:

    The download now consists of both the Share-TechMono and Share-Regular fonts.

    fontsearcher 17 September 2008