Posted 11 years ago on 12/1/2006 and updated 9/1/2008
Take Away: Fixed-space fonts are valuable and desireable in programming editors, because they can allow precise block selection and it's what programmers spend hours every day looking at. Courier and now Courier New have been the standard for years, but now there's another font you should consider.
Every programmer knows the advantages of using a mono-spaced font, like Courier New, in their code editor. Among other things, mono-spaced fonts can allow for precise block operations.
Mono spaced fonts are also nice for distinguishing code from regular text on both web pages and hard copy.
Now imagine a mono-spaced font that not only looks great, but is designed such that its bolded characters are exactly the same width as regular text. And imagine it looking great in Clear Type, too.
Consolas is a new font family from Microsoft that is exactly that! It will be the default editor font in Visual Studio under Vista.
But you don't have to wait for Vista to get Consolas. If you're using Visual Studio now, you can download download Consolas from Microsoft. If not, you can still give it a shot, though your results may vary.
I've installed Consolas as the font for Delphi's code editor, and I'm addicted already!
Thanks to Jan Goyvaerts of JG Software for bringing Consolas to my attention. I use Jan's superb EditPad Pro, HelpScribble, and AceText; and his most recent notification email included the info about Consolas.