Why use Monospace fonts for coding. Why? Well, monospace fonts allocate equal space for each character, meaning that the letter 'i' is given as much horizontal space as the letter 'k'. That may look unnatural for other types of text and typography, but it's perfect for coding.
That's because reading numbers and punctuation marks is a lot easier when they're evenly spaced. A monospace font also makes it easier to achieve indentation and vertical alignment, which are critical for code legibility.
Below we've selected the best monospace fonts for coding. Some are paid-for, while others are free fonts (see our bumper list of the best free fonts for more of those), but special care has been taken to ensure punctuation is larger than usual, glyphs are distinguishable and that the type can be looked at comfortably during a long coding session. Some of these choices can even be customised (see our guide to font design for help making your own fonts).
For more tips to make your coding life even easier, check out our posts on the best code editors and the best laptops for programming. To find thousands of fonts for all kinds of work, we recommend checking out Monotype's MyFonts (see the link below), meanwhile scroll down for our full guide to the best monospace fonts for coding. Each has its own personality so ultimately, your choice of favourite will come down to your individual preferences.
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The 8 best monospace fonts for coding
Designed specifically to improve developers' productivity and reduce fatigue, MonoLisa is a wonderfully clear font. It ensures all glyphs are the same width for readability and yet also manages not to be boring. With a feature-set boasting increased character width, clear distinction and excellent reading flow, we think this monospace font is a real winner.
02. Apercu Mono
Apercu Mono is part of the much larger Apercu font family. Designed by The Entente, it's part of the award-winning Colophon type foundry based in London (UK) and Los Angeles (US). The foundry has a reputation for creating, publishing, and distributing high-quality typefaces for analogue and digital media, and this is a case in point.
The original concept behind Apercu was to create an amalgamation of classic realist typefaces such as Johnston, Gill Sans, Neuzeit and Franklin Gothic. The team created an extensive and usable family including a Mono version that's ideal for displaying code.
The Mono version now includes four variations – Mono Light, Mono Regular, Mono Medium and Mono Bold. The standard font family includes upper and lower case, 72 accents and a couple of ligatures across all weights. The pro version adds in old-style number glyphs, 100 symbols and more ligatures – more than enough for any coder.
03. Fira Code
Fira Code is an extension of Fira Mono, a monospaced font designed for Mozilla to fit in with the character of Firefox OS. The code variant of Fira includes programming ligatures – special renderings of certain character combinations that are designed to make code easier to read and understand. So, for example, the == and != combinations are rendered as proper equality glyphs, which are supposedly easier for the brain to process than two separate characters that have their own individual meanings.
How you feel about this of course depends on personal taste. If you’ve already been reading normal code for years, there's every chance you might not want to make the change. But if this does appeal, Fira Code is a widely supported, popular programming font that makes code easy to read. It's also free and open source. The GitHub page has coding samples from a range of languages so you can see how things look.
04. Input Mono
Input is a system of fonts designed specifically for coding by David Jonathan Ross. It comes in both proportional and monospaced variants, but since it's been designed with coding in mind, the proportional spacing is tailored, so you may consider it over the monospaced version.
There’s a range of widths, weights and styles, each with serif, sans and monospaced variants, resulting in 168 different styles in total. That means you really can get whatever you want from this font set. It's described as having generous spacing, large punctuation, and easily distinguishable characters, and a lot of consideration has been given to the size and positioning of symbols frequently used in coding. You can also customise the forms of certain key characters including the letters 'i', 'l', 'a' and 'g'.
Input is free to use for private, unpublished usage in your personal coding app. If you want to publish text using something from the Input font family, you can see the prices here (from $5).
05. Dank Mono
Phil Plückthun's Dank Mono is billed as a font "designed for aesthetes with code and Retina displays in mind". Like Fira Code, it has programming ligatures, and there’s also a cursive italic variant that’s useful for distinguishing different types of text within your code. Overall this font has been created for coders who have an eye for design, and the unusual lowercase 'f' is known for being particularly beloved among Dank fans.
Dank supports the Western, Eastern, Central and Southern European Latin character sets, and you can use it within CodePen. To get Dank, you'll need to pay – a personal licence is £24 and a commercial one is £60. But if you’re a type connoisseur and you’re smitten with that jaunty 'f', it might well be worth treating yourself to some Dankness.
Creator Mark Frömberg describes Gintronic as "jovial" and "gentle" – an antidote to what he sees as the overly technical and mechanical style of many programming fonts. The font is relaxed and easy to look at, with a few particular characters adding a special personality – check out the curly brackets, the question mark, the lower case ‘k’ and the numerals. Extra attention has been given to glyphs that can be hard to tell apart, such as 'B' and '8', 'i'’ and 'l' and so on, in order to make them easy to distinguish at a glance.
There are 1,174 glyphs in total, so Gintronic has a massive character set, which includes Latin, Cyrillic and Greek characters as well as a full range of mathematical and technical symbols. Gintronic is priced at €50 for the single font, €100 for the Roman or Italic bundle and €150 for the complete family.
Andreas Larsen drew up a list of priorities when he set out to design Monoid. He wanted it to be legible, compact (the more code you can fit on one screen, the better), and "pretty". To achieve all this, he compared three other programming fonts – Fira Mono, Source Code Pro and Pragmata Pro – and took note of features he liked and those he didn't in order to inform his design.
Like many programming fonts, Monoid has extra-large punctuation marks and operators, apertures are large to help make characters more distinguishable, and ascenders and descenders are kept short. Smart design decisions have been taken to make Monoid both compact and highly legible. It has programming ligatures, and there's also a special feature called Monoisome which enables you to see Font Awesome icons in your code. Monoid is free and open source, so you can even tweak it to your tastes if you like.
The fonts we’ve covered so far include some with huge character sets and several variants, so it’s likely you’ll find something that’s just right. But if you have very specific needs, Hack could be the best monotype font for your coding. It offers a whole library of alternative glyphs made by users that you can add to if you like.
Hack is therefore highly customisable – you can dif right down into the detail of each glyph and edit it yourself if no one else has done it exactly as you want. Hack is free and open source. Go to alt-hack, the alternative glyph library, to find out how to create your own custom version.