Whether or not you know the name, you know what a monospace font is. The distinctive text you expect in an editor like Visual Studio Code is set in a monospace font, and they’ve become synonymous with code itself. They’re distinguished from other fonts by having fixed-width characters which all occupy the same amount of horizontal space. If you spend a lot of time in your code editor, you should take some time to choose the best monospace font for developers according to your preferences.

There’s nothing you’ll spend more time looking at, and you should consider this as important as choosing the right peripherals for your work setup.

Graphical limitations are the reason monospace fonts first featured in computing, but they’re still used in text editors today because of their readability. Let’s take a look at the high-quality, free monospace fonts that have been designed for developers and help you make the right call for you.

Because, let’s face it, coding demands heavy concentration!

I’ve divided this list into three sections. The first lot are the pretty popular mainstays. Then there are some that I consider underrated. And then there are some I consider overrated.

Along the way, I’ll let you know which is my favorite, which is the popular favorite, and my pick for outlandish, wildcard favorite. But in case you’ve got the TL;DRs and can’t wait for the verdict, here they are:

  • Popular choice: Fira Code
  • Editor’s choice: JetBrains Mono
  • Outlandish choice: Monoid (because of its Font Awesome support!)

Popular Monospace Fonts

Fira Code (popular choice)

Fira Code example

  • Ligatures: yes
  • Cursive italics: no
  • License: free (OFL)
  • Legibility: high / very high
  • Designer/foundry: multiple designers

Undoubtably the most commonly used monospace font ever, Fira Code is a spin on Fira Mono. The difference is that Fira Code contains code-specific ligatures (this is when two graphemes/letters are joined together as a single glyph). It’s available on Google Fonts so you literally can’t go wrong with this one.

Ubuntu Mono

Ubuntu Mono

  • Ligatures: no
  • Cursive italics: no
  • License: free (Ubuntu Font)
  • Legibility: high / very high
  • Designer/foundry: Dalton Maag

What sets Ubuntu Mono apart is that it’s designed for multiple (spoken) languages. Its unique style also makes it suitable for use in design as well, as either a body or display/heading font.
If you’re looking for a monospace font that’s charming but versatile, Ubuntu Mono is certainly worth a minute of your time.

Iosevka

Iosevka

  • Ligatures: yes
  • Cursive italics: yes
  • License: free (OFL)
  • Legibility: high / very high
  • Designer/foundry: Belleve Invis

Iosevka also supports a number of spoken languages — 162 to be exact — and includes nine different weights, a variety of ligatures for various coding languages, and even a few character variants.
It’s a very common monospace font (like Fira Code) and a fine choice if you like monospace fonts that are a little condensed.

Monoid (outlandish choice)

Monoid example

Continue reading
The Best Free Monospace Fonts for Developers, Compared
on SitePoint.