“Consolas is a monospaced font (like an old typewriter) and good for programmers setting code (its core purpose).”

The above quote is taken from the Microsoft Design website, and specifically the part about ClearType fonts. It states the main reason for developing the Consolas Font Pack (download here) is to develop a better font for ‘programmers setting code’. Because of this, I primarily tested Consolas in Visual Studio, my editor of choice when writing code ;)

My very first impression of the font was ‘Get this out of my editor!’. To be honest, I tried it for the first time at the end of a heavy week, without having optimal ClearType settings. That’s pretty important when using a font especially designed to be used with ClearType…
After tuning my ClearType settings (available as an online version and a powertoy download) I tried again and I tried longer, forcing myself to give it a proper chance. After a week I have Consolas installed on both my work and my private machine, and set as the default font in Visual Studio 2003, 2005 and notepad.

I like the Consolas font, because…

  • It is compact, making it possible to display more information in a smaller area
  • Although compact, it’s readability is very good
  • It’s cleaner (less arches) than for instance Courier New
  • There’s a better difference between ‘O’ and ‘0’
  • It’s closer to my handwriting than any other font … ;)

The only thing I still have to get used to, is that the lines look like they are pretty close to one another. When there are lots of lines above each other, it tends to seem a bit ‘crowded’. Maybe that’s just something that takes some getting used to also…