1

When ever character matters (code development, etc.), there is a need for a font that meets the following:

  1. Monospaced
  2. Easily distinguishes between the uppercase letter O and the number 0. (Two circles with slightly different widths leaves plenty of room for error.)
  3. Easily distinguishes between the number 1, lowercase L and uppercase L
  4. Included on most devices ("Web safe"?)

Different characters that appear identical are known as "homoglyphs".

Example image of "Segoe UI" font failing the first three requirements (most importantly #2 and #3):
Segoe UI capital O and number 0 Segoe UI number 1, lowercase l, and uppercase L

Example image of "Consolas" font passing first three requirements:
Consolas capital O and number 0 Consolas number 1, lowercase l, and uppercase L

For fun, here are the same characters as text, presented with the "code sample" formatting. How they are displayed is dependent on your device:

O 0    1 l L

Finding a font that passes requirement 1 through 3 isn't hard to find - Consolas is a good choice. But as I'm aware, Consolas isn't included by default on most if not all Mac OS. So what are some next-best choices?

6
  • Works fine here, macOS Mojave. Font appears to be Menlo - i.stack.imgur.com/MslPD.png Stack Exchange just switched to using system fonts, so I'd guess that's the default. I have neither Segoe nor Consolas, so I can't compare. – Tetsujin May 20 at 17:50
  • [I'm not much of a font 'eggspurt' so I'm not sure whether I ought to post that as an answer or not] – Tetsujin May 20 at 17:55
  • @Tetsujin My Windows 10 machine doesn't have Menlo. :( Good to know of it for Macs though. – Bort May 20 at 20:19
  • 2
    Unless you have some very specific requirements, ‘web safe’ isn’t really a thing anymore. Web fonts are almost universally supported now, and using something from Google Fonts will give you excellent results nearly everywhere. – Janus Bahs Jacquet May 21 at 9:08
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Whatever the correct term may be, I'm looking for a monospaced font that avoids common homoglyphs. What's a font that meets that requirement and can be obtained from Google Fonts? Does Consolas fit that bill? – Bort May 21 at 13:03
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If your budget allows licensing a font, I really recommend fonts by Toshi Omagari, a font designer who specialises in monospace fonts. (Full disclosure: I've met him, he's a really nice guy.) Many of his fonts e.g. Codelia or Belinsky Text fit your requirements and have a lot of character.

0

See @Janus Bahs Jacuuet's comment on the original question. I just ended up using a Google Font: https://fonts.google.com/

I went with 'Source Code Pro', but there are many monospace fonts that meet the original poster's requirements.

From https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Learn/CSS/Styling_text/Web_fonts :

  • Go to Google Fonts.
  • Use the filters on the left-hand side to display the kinds of fonts you want to choose and choose a couple of fonts you like.
  • To select a font family, press the button alongside it.
  • When you've chosen the font families, press the [Number] Families Selected bar at the bottom of the page.
  • In the resulting screen, you first need to copy the line of HTML code shown and paste it into the head of your HTML file. Put it above the existing <link> element, so that the font is imported before you try to use it in your CSS.
  • You then need to copy the CSS declarations listed into your CSS as appropriate, to apply the custom fonts to your HTML.

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