Coding Ergonomics

With the release of Adobe’s Source Code Pro (a typeface that claims to make typing source code more pleasant) I think we should have a thread discussing things that make our day-to-day job as developers a bit smoother. Fonts, settings, themes, the like …

As a starter: I’m using the Solarized Dark theme for my editors and consoles. I find it much less straining to the eye during extended hacking sessions. I am currently using the aforementioned Source Code Pro font on my Windows 7 machine. I’ve got to say that I needed to get used to it at first, but it really helps after a while. On my Fedora notebook I’m making use of the monospaced variant of Google’s Droid fontset. In addition, I am using the infinality freetype patches for improved font rendering (I find that essential with a limited display).

I’m still using… Courrier New even on OS X, I haven’t accustomed to the included Menlo, Andale Mono, or Monaco, which are nice the three of them. And I code on white background, and lowest screen brightness.

I guess the font family is not the only criteria: I find my 13,3" MBP screen is more comfortable (brightness and font smoothness) than my XP’s HP 17". Go figure. (Yes, the HP is obviously older).

Using PhpStorm with almost default black-on-white theme. Windows 7, font is Consolas (haven’t found better one yet).

I am using the default (I guess) color theme in Aptana:



Haven’t bothered to change any font settings - maybe I should?

What’s the goal of having dark code while all panels are like flashlights? Try consolas.

My editor screen 3296


I feel very comfortable in NetBeans with the default configuration.

This week I started experimenting with PhpStorm and it felt bad on the eyes.

Thanks for your recommendations. I’ll try these fonts there.

I started using netbeans and I changed to phpstorm (I hated that the tab reorder in netbeans is very laggy). I am using right now the Monokai theme, and because of the suggestion made in this topic I changed the font to Consolas (from the default Monaco). I am liking it very much!



I see no classes or filenames with C-prefix, yet the structure looks very familiar. Are we looking at Yii2 code here?

He-he, yeah, that’s Yii2 in progress.

qiang, have you tried enabling cleartype and using cleartype-optimized fonts such as Consolas? I’ve spent lots of time without it and when I’ve finally turned it on my eyes felt better.

nkd, and again I don’t see why it’s good when code is on black but panels are still very bright.

Interesting. So if we want to see more of Yii2 before the alpha gets released we just need to trick the core devs into posting more screenshots of their IDEs? :lol:

You can check our gists as well

But that’s not as much fun :P Not to mention that those gists do not necessarily reflect the current state of development.

Yeah, but that doesn’t help with Java - that screenshot does look a bit like Netbeans or other Java-based IDE.

That’s a royal pain in the rearside.

No matter how much cleartype you set for your window manager, it doesn’t apply to Java which has it’s very own font rendering engine. :(

@samdark: I’m using Monaco TTF (it is shipped with Mac OS). My screenshot was taken through RDP, so the font looks very edgy. I was using Consolas before changing to Monaco.

@jacmoe: I’m using PhpStorm with some UI customization.

I’m gradually moving towards Mac OS. I found my productivity improves a lot once I master a lot of keyboard shortcuts, and these IDE’s do help a lot.

Finally - the font rendering problems in Netbeans has been solved! :lol:

In <netbeans>/etc/netbeans.conf, I append those options to 'netbeans_default_options’ :

J-Dswing.aatext=true -J-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on -J-Dorg.netbeans.editor.aa.extra.hints=true

Now, the font rendering is acceptable!

And, if you want a different color scheme then here’s some alternatives:



Oblivion-revival and Monokai:


Yeah, I think I’ll try with Solarized. :)

I am old and my eyes needs less contrast - hence me favoring dark color schemes.

Solarized Light:



I’ve had a closer look at this Monaco font now. I don’t think I’d want to code with that: For my liking, it has a bizarre scale, effectively wasting more vertical space than needed and making it a bit hard to read.

By the way, there is a nice round-up of coding fonts over at