To complete the VS 2010 Editor’s new look, we’re updating the default font to 10-pt Consolas!  It’s a fixed-width font that Microsoft’s typography experts designed specifically for developers, so it’s great for reading and writing code.  Consolas also has proportions that are closer to normal text than Courier New, the default for VS 2005 and 2008, making it more readable while still maintaining monospaced width.  Here’s a side-by-side comparison: 

Side-by-side comparison of Courier New vs. Consolas.  Click for best quality.

You’ll see the new default font in the upcoming VS 2010 beta, but the Editor team is also interested in your feedback now.  Although it’s new to the default role, Consolas has been around for a few years, so you can try it in your current version of Visual Studio.  If you’re running Windows Vista, you already have Consolas installed; just go to ToolsàOptionsàEnvironmentàFonts and Colors in Visual Studio and change the font.  If not, it’s available as a free download from Microsoft here.

To see the best results, I strongly recommend turning on ClearType in Windows XP or Vista before trying Consolas.  ClearType improves font quality and readability in WPF and can be optimized for your display.  For instructions on how to enable and configure it, check out Microsoft’s ClearType tuner here.

I hope you’ll enjoy Consolas’s natural readability for coding in VS.  As always, please use the comments and e-mail link to send us your thoughts.  Love the new font?  Have ideas to improve it?  Let us know!

Brittany Behrens
Program Manager, VS Platform Team