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27 September 2012, 12:23

Adobe's new open source font for coding

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Source Code Pro screenshot
Zoom Source Code Pro is an open source font for coding
Source: Adobe
Adobe has released "Source Code Pro", a new open source font designed for software developers who require mono-spaced, high-quality fonts for editing their code. This is the second font family released by Adobe: Source Sans Pro, a font for the user interface elements of Adobe's Brackets editor, was released in August.

Developed under the guidance of Paul D. Hunt, the fixed-width font is designed to provide clear and easily discernible characters for characters such as '1', 'l', 'I' and '|', which can be visually confusing in some fonts. Other characters which have received special attention include 'O' and '0', with the zero character being dotted in the middle, and 'B' and '8'.

Zoom Source Code Pro takes special care over confusable characters
Hunt adapted the design of the mono-spaced font from the Source Sans Pro font, avoiding common flaws like creating "overly condensed letter forms" when resizing lower case letters, while balancing the space between letters to avoid inadvertent spacing "causing words and strings not to hold together". Hunt also paid special attention to the meta-characters – ('<>&"^$/\|?+*[]{},.') – making them bigger because of their importance in source code.

The Source Code font files are available in scalable forms only, as the developers targeted only anti-aliased rendering environments and believe that there are more than enough mono-spaced pixel fonts optimised for 10, 11 and 12 points; instead, Source Code Pro is available in six weights (Regular, Black, Bold, SemiBold, Light, Extra Light). It can be downloaded from SourceForge and is also available on the web via Adobe Edge Web Fonts, Typekit, WebINK and Google Web Fonts. The font is licensed under the SIL Open Font Licence (OFL). For those considering modifying the font, source files are available in the project's GitHub repository.


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