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No love for proportional fonts

We’ve been quite surprised to learn that a lot of people are using proportional-width fonts for code and markup, but apparently that’s the case. Unfortunately, TextMate is in love with fixed-width fonts. And that affair is unlikely to change any time soon, so we recommend taking a look at either Monaco, Courier, or ProFont (be sure to use ProFontIsoLatin1). The latter is what we used in the screenshots and videos on the main site. It’s free and mighty good looking.

P.S.: You get a much better and cleaner look for ProFont by setting “System Preferences > Appearances > Font smoothing style” to light. Remember to restart TextMate afterwards.

categories General


Fixed width fonts are so ugly and hard to read, and I dont see that they offer any benefit in code. A tab here and there is all that is needed to achieve line things up when it aids clarity to do so.

I think most programmers have simply never tried it long enough.

Java programmers in particular - god knows how you deal with code that is so verbose AND written with a wide fixed width font.

Indeed, this is the only down-side that I can find with Textmate, but it’s a pretty big down side.

Proportional width fonts are easier to look at for long periods of time, which is how many coders spend their days.

Please add some love for proportional fonts, I’m begging you. You’ll be glad you did. It’s a big weird at first, if you’re used to monospace, but you don’t know what you’re missing until you try it. Your eyes will thank you!

I agree and disagree at the same time. I think there are some great monospaced fonts out there to use and they share similarities to proportional fonts (with the exception of proportional spacing.. hehe) like iconsolata, or DejaVu Monospace. (both free fonts).

You cannot decently edit a LaTeX document in fixed-width font. It’s just unreadable. For coding I don’t mind fixed width, that’s how I’ve been working for years, but editing text in a human language requires a proportional font. That font issue is the only reason I’m using TeXshop on the mac (and I’d prefer to use the power of Textmate and its programmable bundles).

Do you use a fixed width font for this web site? No, so, why should we?