New Editor, New Font: 10-pt Consolas

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

Comments (10)

  1. Daniel Smith says:

    I quite like Consolas and it will certainly look better in demos when scaled up on big projector screens.

  2. Aaron Marten says:

    Yesterday, the folks responsible for building the core text editor in Visual Studio announced that Consolas

  3. Alex says:

    The only good thing I see here is that 0(zero) is much more recognizable.

  4. I absolutely love Consolas and have used it since it’s existance, I think this is great news!

  5. Nice!

    Perhaps other products e.g. the SQL Server Management Studio need to follow too?

  6. This is great! I probably should switch my VS2008 editor to this font now, too.

  7. Dylan Lewis says:

    11 pt Consolas is a huge improvement over 10 pt.

  8. Will says:

    Hooray for Consolas!  Now it should be easier to tell O’s and 0’s apart.

  9. Dennis says:

    I agree with Dylan: 11 pt Consolas is a huge improvement over 10 pt.

  10. VSEditor says:

    Dylan, Dennis, and anyone else who’d like to comment:

    We considered 11pt as well, but many developers thought it felt too big.  Do you think the advantages of 11pt Consolas outweigh the drawback of fitting less code in the editor at once?

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