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Category Monospaced
Designer(s) Lucas de Groot
Foundry Microsoft
Consolas sample text

Consolas is a monospaced (non-proportional) typeface, designed by Lucas de Groot. It is a part of a new suite of fonts that take advantage of Microsoft's ClearType font hinting technology. It comes with Microsoft's Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007, and is available for download from Microsoft. Among the Windows Vista fonts, Consolas is most similar to the other monospaced fonts, Lucida Console, Monaco and Courier New[vague]. It is the only standard Vista font with a slash through the zero character.


[edit] Characteristics

Consolas is a departure in the realm of Windows programming fonts because it is designed to work with a specific form of font antialiasing, specifically Microsoft's ClearType technology. The font hinting is correspondingly ClearType-specific, and as a result the font is highly aliased when used with ClearType switched off.[1]

Consolas supports the following OpenType layout features: stylistic alternates, localized forms, uppercase-sensitive forms, oldstyle figures, lining figures, arbitrary fractions, superscript, subscript.

Although Consolas is designed as a replacement for Monaco, it only has 713 glyphs, as compared to Courier New (2.90)'s 1318 glyphs.

[edit] Usage in programming

Traditionally, Windows programmers have used Courier New or a similar fixed-width font to do their programming. Unlike other forms of displayed text (such as PDFs, web pages and word processor documents) source code, being stored as a simple text file, does not specify the font in which it should be displayed - the choice is left to the programmer.

[edit] Sample

Note that the images below will look different depending on if you have a CRT monitor or a LCD display. LCD displays can also produce different visuals depending on their subpixel-layout.

The following is a sample C++/CLI program using Consolas, with ClearType enabled:


For comparison, the same program using the traditional Windows programming font, Courier New:

Image:Courier New programming.png

As noted above; unlike Courier New, Consolas is not designed to be used with simple rasterization only and no anti-aliasing. If used as such, the result is highly aliased at many sizes.

Image:Consolas programming 1.png

However, even on systems that do not support ClearType (such as those running older versions of Windows), using simple grayscale anti-aliasing alleviates this (to a degree).


[edit] Availability

This font, along with Calibri, Candara, Cambria, Constantia and Corbel, is also distributed with the free Powerpoint 2007 Viewer[2] and the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack[3].

Consolas is also available for licensing from Ascender Corporation.

Raph Levien has created a font similar to Consolas titled Inconsolata[4], which is available as a package for Debian, Ubuntu and other Linux distros.[5] While Inconsolata is similar to Consolas in many ways and is indistinguishable in some cases[citation needed], there are several key differences between the two fonts.

[edit] References

[edit] External links

[edit] Notes

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