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InfoQ Homepage News JetBrains Releases Coding Typeface, Mono

JetBrains Releases Coding Typeface, Mono

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JetBrains has released a new font, JetBrains Mono, that strives for legibility of code that is presented in Integrated Development Environments (IDEs). The font maximizes the space used for each letter and visually differentiates between characters like the number one, lower-case L, and capital I.

JetBrains Mono is a fixed-width font that joins the ranks of other open-source coding fonts, such as SourceFoundry’s Hack and Mozilla’s Fira Font. The work that differentiates JetBrains Mono is its clear-cut strokes to terminate each letter and curves that keep many lower-cased letters at the same height. By keeping letters at the same height with similar curves, developers can more easily direct their vision across a line of code without moving up or down. The mono page showcases a side-side-side comparison between several fonts, including Fira and Consolas. Between each font, the letters of mono were larger and had fewer unique curves.

The new font appears in several varieties to work together, including regular, italic, and various bold combinations. Beyond these families, it also includes several ligatures designed to combine the way that various coding parameters have evolved. For example, the new font includes a special character for the structure of conventions such as Java lambdas’ arrow -> and HTML comment <!-- --> as well as boolean comparisons like less-than-or-equal-to.

JetBrains Mono is a fully free and open source (Apache 2.0) font that can be downloaded directly, or will appear in future versions of the IntelliJ IDE. The font can also be used within other IDEs like Apache NetBeans by following JetBrains’ instructions to install the font within the operating system. This widespread availability can assist coders outside IDEs. Readers of the book, Developer, Advocate! may speak at conferences or showcase code in presentations on slides with no direct IDE available. Using the Mono font within presentation software like PowerPoint can help clarify code against other text and add familiarity for technical audiences to hear about what problem the code is intended to solve. A crucial reason for putting code into slides is to draw attention specifically to a small section rather than the entire document or wrapping material. Similarly, existing developer advocates that perform live-coding to write applications with the audience can leverage the font in a way that is easier to read for audience members sitting further from the stage.

Another benefit of JetBrains Mono is its ability to cater to international audiences of over 143 languages, including Malay, Afrikaans, and Scottish Gaelic. Developers from all across the world can create Strings or name variables in ways that fit their vocabulary, rather than restricting thought to letters that are available.

The new coding font is available directly from JetBrains.

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