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I was directed here after a dozen downvotes by the gestapo over at stackexchange overflow. Hopefully you all will be more kind. I couldn't imagine how this question would get deleted, considering many programmers do not have a variety of font choices which are both practical and pleasing to the eye.

A few stipulations for a good programmers font: It must be easily legible. It must have a slashed zero. Use your visualization skills if you have never heard of a slashed zero. It must also sufficiently differentiate between the characters 1, l, |, and I.

I, personally, am looking for a sans serif font that meets the above criteria. Whether it is serif, sans serif, monospace, 8-bit, or classified in other terms may not matter to other people with a similar question. If you throw a list of fonts at me, I ask that you at least provide a description of each and opine about your favorites.

Remember, practical and (hopefully) pleasing to the eye.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by JonW Oct 20 '13 at 19:17

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
Perhaps this belongs on programmers.SE :-) Anyway, I too use Consolas. –  Danny Varod Oct 20 '13 at 8:33
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How does this relate to User Experience? Are you designing an application that has programmers as end users? Do you expect the end users to be incapable of selecting a font that suits them, then? –  Jukka K. Korpela Oct 20 '13 at 12:06
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Duplicate of: stackoverflow.com/questions/4689/… –  Danny Varod Oct 20 '13 at 17:35
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Putting this on hold. It was probably closed off on StackOverflow because it's not a question with a correct answer. Also, as @DannyVarod points out it already has a closed duplicate on StackOverflow, and with 100+ answers it demonstrates why such questions don't really work in this format, but should also give you plenty of useful suggestions. –  JonW Oct 20 '13 at 19:20
    
"If you throw a list of fonts at me" = likely why it's been closed everywhere you post it. –  DA01 Oct 20 '13 at 23:51

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I believe the very font you're looking for is Consolas. Consolas is the standard font on Visual Studio 2010 and 2012, and Eclipse Indigo (the standard font on previous versions of both these tools being Courier New 10).

Consolas Preview

Consolas has been described (here) as "...a sans-serif font with the same rounded appeal [as Lucida Console], but nevertheless retains the traditional "code" feel, with monospaced characters and a "boxy" look."

It holds all the characteristics of a programming font; namely being sans-serif, fixed-width, slashed zero, and sufficient differentiation between the characters 1, l, |, and I.

Consolas -- differentiation between similar characters

Consolas is clear, concise, and (for the same font-size) takes up less room than Courier New.

Its only short-coming, however, is that it was built specifically for ClearType, and is a commercial font. It ships with all major new Microsoft releases though, and is therefore most suited for programming on newer Windows machines (you can get it for Mac if you install Microsoft Office). As an alternative to Consolas on Mac or Linux, you could try Monaco, Ubuntu Mono, DejaVu Sans Mono or Anonymous Pro.

If you'd like more options, check these articles:
Hivelogic - Top 10 Programming Fonts
Slant - What are the best programming fonts

UPDATE:
What is an aesthetically pleasing font for programmers? Well, you be the judge. Here's a graphical comparison of Consolas against the other fonts mentioned in this answer:

Consolas vs. other programming fonts

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I do use DejaVu Sans Mono on Windows. Why not? –  Konrad Morawski Oct 20 '13 at 13:28

I like your opening gambit! :)

For me I like courier new in Sublime; but that doesn't answer your question. It also doesn't help that the default Windows font viewer uses the string 1-9 to display.

SNag's answer has everything down to a tee - especially when it comes to i, l and 1.

For a list of zero slash fonts look here

Knock yourself out.

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Thanks for your contribution. –  Thirteen Oct 21 '13 at 16:35

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