Preferred/default editing font?

somewhat trivial topic here, but i’m curious if the people who code regularly have a preferred font they like to use in their IDE. thought came up as I was trynig to hunt down a texinfo error that turned out to be a ( in place of a {. Similar issues, differentiating between 1 and l are almost impossible, as i other than possible color the only difference is a slight linewidth difference.

Octave default seems to use Courier New 10pt. Here’s a series of mixed characters:

my Git Bash shell appears to default to Lucida Console 9pt. same characters (10pt seems too large/cluttered). but l and 1 are quite distinct, and the much different curvature on ( annd { also makes a big difference.

notepad++ appears to also choose Courier New.

Windows 10 CLI and powershell uses Consolas

Are there other decent fixed width font choices? Would it be a useful thing for Octave to change to a more distinguishable default? I’m quite unfamiliar with cross-platform available font choices or license compatible font embedding concerns/complexities.

I previously used

and now use

these are widely available open-source fonts, save the trouble of packaging additional fonts.

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I like Bitstream Vera Sans Mono.

I’ve seen those listed in a few pages from a quick ‘best monospaced prgoramming fonts’ search. apparently there aren’t many other than Courier that can be trusted to be available cross-platform. Actually, what is the default on non-windows systems?

since the GUI is Qt based, i did find this:

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the font selection in most open GUI framework, including Qt, is done by font-config. they are dynamically selected by the package-customizable conf files under /etc/fonts/conf.d/


I’m using Noto Mono which I believe is descended from the previously mentioned Droid Mono. In any case, although commissioned by Google it does have an open license and is widely available.

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The solution in your linked stackoverflow thread, which is

QFontDatabase::systemFont (QFontDatabase::FixedFont)

is the one that is used in the GUI in order to detect the system’s standard fixed width font.

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I prefer fonts that clearly distinguish 0 und O. This is unfortunately not the case with Noto Mono which otherwise has a compact but clear typeface. Therefore my preferred choices are DejVu Sans Mono or Bitstream Vera Sans Mono.

That’s an important consideration. I think I might have to switch from Noto Mono because of that.

that makes sense. better than specifying someting ‘better’ that might not be there, or finding a license compatible font and bundling it (yet another thing to own/manage/break). A bit surprised that mine went to Courier New. I thought windows system default was same used by CLI / powershell, but in win10 that’s Consolas. Guess those arent actually set to use the “system default”.