Please post a small screenshot for the setup that you recommend. It’s pain in the rear to hunt down the font, install it and see for yourself whether you like it.


High Quality Monospace Fonts & Configuration

Not so much a recommendation but I have just installed Dina. It has the virtue of including italic and bold italic variants. I have not yet decided whether I will stick with it. --JohnYates?

The proggy fonts are nice and I used them for more than a year. But I use Emacs for a lot more than programming alone. I also write and read prose in form of e-mail and (La)TeX documents and much of it in languages other than English. I found it annoying that all of the many proggy fonts fail to provide all of the Latin-1 glyphs I need (áâãäéêíïóôõöúüçß).

Fonts with a “geometric” a like Monaco are unacceptable IMHO because the a can, at a glance, be confused with an o. The Neep font at 14 pt is not crispy enough to me. So the choice was between Andale and Terminus. I have used both before, and although they don’t look as pretty as the proggy fonts at small sizes, they have all the glyphs I need and as a bonus the Euro currency symbol. I decided in favor of the Terminus. It’s a very crispy font. I use it at either 14 pts and (setq-default line-spacing 0) or 12 pts and line-spacing 2 with a 15” laptop LCD monitor

The table bellow summarizes the amount of text you get in Emacs in single-window mode with the fonts I’ve tested:

   Font/Size(PxlSz)      Lines   Columns
   Andale 80             62      143
   Neep 120              57      167
   Neep 140              50      125
   Neep 200              37      100
   Proggy Clean 80       57      143
   Proggy Small 80       75      143
   Proggy Square 80      68      148
   Proggy Tiny 80        75      167
   Terminus 120          62      167
   Terminus 140          53      125

What fonts to use depends on your monitor size and the screen resolution, and of course on personal taste. Here are some recommendations by users for specific situations. See also SetFonts.

On dark backgrounds, I recommend checking out bitmap fonts instead of TrueType? ones.


This list is sorted by inch followed by screen resolution; Currently a good customer rated 27” monitor cost from $270 and give you most inch per dollar ($27) in contrast to other dimensions. Also, the free graphic driver Nouveau are stable and works fine with many graphic cards. softwares usually list scren resolutions begining with the highest mode first (eg see xrandr -q in a terminal emulator).

27", 1920x1080

DejaVu Sans Mono 13 was very good.

– David Englund

19", 1600x1200

Debian’s xfonts-jmk package fixes the underline position bug as of 3.0-17.

19", 1600x1200 or 1280x1024

19", 1024x768

17" (LCD), 1280x1024

17" (CRT), 1024x768

15" (LCD), 1600x1200

The following lines are from my ~/.Xresources
       Emacs*Fontset-0: -b&h-lucidatypewriter-medium-r-normal-*-*-120-*-*-m-*-fontset-normal,\
       Emacs*font: fontset-normal
Actually my first emacs frame starts with a completely wrong font but it works for all the other frames.
I used lucidatypewriter for years and years, but finally got fed up with Ohs and Zeroes looking like each other. I now use:
       -bitstream-bitstream vera sans mono-medium-r-*-*-*-120-*-*-*-*-*-*
Which is the tiniest bit larger than I’d like it to be, but every character is unmistakable, and it looks a lot like ol’ lucidatypewriter (sample). (ShawnBoyette) has a good overview of monospaced fonts for coding (AadityaSood)

I often need better Unicode coverage than provided by most monospaced fonts, like Proggy. The priorities are Cyrillic and Greek fonts. Terminus and Monaco are not bad, but they have a decorative spirit. My favorite font is GNU intlfonts, aka ETL. It has no bold or italic versions for non-Latin alphabets, but otherwise looks quite well. Here are some samples:



Hello, this is one of your enemies: a Vim-fanatic. Nontheless, I wondered if you might also seek for some feasible fonts at small sizes, and so didn’t hardly hesitate to enter the evil world of Escape-Meta-Alt-Control-Shift, commonly known as EMACS. I personally found the DINA font very pleasing. When I saw it mentioned in the preface, I had to admit you have no bad taste - well, as far as fonts are concerned. When differentiating between an OS and an editing facility, you’re still at odds (my opinion). I found DINA very pleasing indeed but in the last years got convinced of all the benefits one begets using DejaVu Sans Mono. Any size (small for myself, huge when showing off some snippets to others), a whole bunch of codepages supported (I use the NEO ergonomic keyboard layout giving direct access to many glyphs most of which DejaVu surprisingly knows about), and readability 24/7. I do love that font. Every now and then I’d still switch back to DINA but never for too long. Glad to have found DejaVu here, too.

Greetings from Germany (apologies for any mistakes in English spelling/wording/…)

The CVS Emacs ( (see XftGnuEmacs) has some problems with fonts because of the wrong “preferred charset” recognition, so I tried some TTF fonts, which I generally avoid. DejaVu Mono-12 was very good:


RedHat Liberation Mono is another acceptable option. There are two versions of this font. The first edition lacks the dotted 0, so be careful to download the right version (available here).


Update @2008-04-01: This is Liberation Mono 12. Note a somewhat better hinting:


If you need a better Unicode coverage, GNU Unifont might work. However, it only gives you regular (i.e. no bold / italics).

15" (LCD), 1024x768

Debian’s xfonts-jmk package fixes the underline position bug as of 3.0-17.

14" (iBook), 1024x768

13", 1280x800

10.6", 1280x768

8.9", 1024x600


Evaluate the following code in your *scratch* buffer:

(dolist (font-family (font-family-list))
  (let ((str font-family))
    (insert (propertize (concat "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog ("
     str ")") 'face `((:family ,font-family))))

The above code will display variable-width fonts as well as monospace fonts which isn’t much help for general Emacs usage. See this Gist for a function to display only monospaced fonts.


It would be really nice to have a “fonts for beginners” page, pointed to from this page. Such a page would have an executive summary – basically a brief and useful reference card – of the following:

        - most important basic information
                - for people who NEED BIG FONTS NOW
                - for people who NEED SMALL FONTS NOW
                - some people can't use emacs until this is
        - a pointer to the above from the main emacs wiki page
        - how to set the default font
        - how to choose a font
                - in emacs
                - in linux, windows, and mac
                - considerations (basic, terse)
                        - 0O oa 1l|! for programming
                        - monospace for programming
                        - antialiasing, resizability, lcd/crt
        - how to choose font properties (bold, etc.) and colors
                - whether there are any xemacs vs. emacs issues
        - how to identify a font problem and fix it
                - wrong color, blinking, fuzzy, small, large
                - what face is below point?
                - how to set a face
        - a pointer to this page for suggesting nice fonts

I am not the person to write this, however. – gambarimasu

Heard on #emacs after a discussion about font issues:

<goron> should think it shouldn't be too hard to configure an editor...
<kensanata> depends on your definition of "editor" i guess...
<kensanata> we're known to have strange misconceptions in that regard.

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