Give Your Eyes a Treat

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Give Your Eyes a Treat

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If you’re a developer, there’s an easy way to give your eyes a rest and make yourself more productive. Use the Consolas font Microsoft developed specifically for you.

When we began work on a project to create a new set of fonts which would take maximum advantage of ClearType, we decided to develop a fixed-pitch font for developers - because no one ever thought of their needs, and we realized a highly-readable fixed-width font would make their lives a lot easier.

We call them the C* fonts because their names all begin with C (for ClearType), and we spent a lot of research and development time making them as readable as possible.

Look at the difference Consolas makes, for instance, in the CMD.EXE window. Here’s what the standard 8 x 12 pixel raster font looks like…

CMD.EXE window with standard raster font

… and here’s Consolas

CMD.EXE Window with Consolas font

You’ll see Consolas doesn’t get you as many lines on a screen – but it’s so much clearer and better to read that it’s well worth the tradeoff.

Command Prompt Properties dialog showing Consolas option

Bryn Spears on the Internet Explorer team gave me the following simple instructions to turn on Consolas in the CMD Window:

reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont" /v 00 /d Consolas

logoff

 Note: In Windows Vista, you need to run the reg command from an elevated command prompt.

When you log back in, Consolas will be an option in the “Command Prompt” Properties.  (n.b., Bryn tells me it actually shows up before you relog, but it won’t work.)

You can install Consolas on your Windows system even if you don’t have Vista or Office 2007 with a free download from Microsoft.com

The Windows International fonts team is working on another version that’ll support Vietnamese, and also the line draw characters that we made to support the console window.

Bill Hill
Program Manager
Internet Explorer

Edit: changed logout to logoff

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