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Paul Halliday
Paul Halliday

Posted on • Originally published at on

My Favourite "Top 5" Programming Fonts

My Favourite

I often find myself playing around with my editor on the weekend, whenever I get a new machine, or, pretty much anytime I find a new cool font. As it turns out, there's lots of interesting fonts out there that improve day-to-day work experience.

Let's take a look... in no particular order!

Operator Mono

This font is one of the more popular premium fonts (~$200) and is one of my personal favourites. It has custom ligatures and a distinctly cursive style. You can see how it looks in the video below, or by checking it out on the website.

You'll likely find that this font is polarising. Either people love the cursive style or hate it.

It's even been referred to as the Comic Sans of 2018 by one redditor.

I like it, and that's enough for me! :)

Fira Code

Fira Code is a free, open source font that supports ligatures. It's derived from Fira Mono (hence the name) but has additional spicy features.

You can see it in action here:

If you're looking for a free font that's pleasant to read for a long period of time, I'd recommend Fira Code.

If you'd like to sponsor the development of Fira Code, you can do so on GitHub Sponsors!

Cascadia Code

One of the more recent additions to the font world and my favourites list is Cascadia Code.

My Favourite

It was created by Microsoft and is used in the new Windows Terminal.

It's open source and has the SIL OPEN FONT LICENSE, allowing for free use as long as you don't sell it seperately.

I usually use this when I've been looking at Operator Mono for too long... 🤔


If you're looking for a more affordable premium font, I'd recommend MonoLisa. It supports ligatures, italics, and isn't fatiguing to read for a long period of time.

It was created by Component Driven in Vienna and comes in at $59 for the Personal Edition / $299 for the Professional Edition.

My Favourite

If you're only going to be using this in your editor, then I'd recommend only investigating the Personal Edition.

You can find the optimal settings for your preferred editor of choice in the MonoLisa FAQ.

JetBrains Mono

The final font I'd like to recommend here is JetBrains Mono.

It supports ligatures and italics and was released earlier this year and is a relatively new addition to my list.

My Favourite

It's open source and free for both personal and commercial usage, following the APACHE 2.0 license.

You can get it on the JetBrains Mono site:


We're fortunate to be living in a time where there's a wealth of choices when it comes to editor customisation.

If you want a fancy premium font you can splash out (I mean, you are looking at this for a large portion of your work week) or you can simply get a free one that's just as good (or subjectively better!).

Top comments (3)

toobig4u profile image

MonoLisa looks the best!

fedebabrauskas profile image
Federico Babrauskas

Just purchased MonoLisa and I love it!

marlonr profile image
Marlon Raskin

Huge fan of MonoLisa. Best mono font I've come across to date!