Developer Tip to Save Your Eyes

Mykola Harmash
Aug 21, 2017 · 3 min read

This may seem a bit controversial, but I want to encourage you to fit less information on a screen. As we are, developers, often tend to do right the opposite.

I’m talking about font size in your IDE or text editor, whatever you prefer.

12, 13, 14 pixels are too small

Developers around me mostly use font sizes from 12 to 14 pixels.

Those are very small fonts for a people who stare at letters most of the day. Even for ones with perfect sight, which is a rare case in our profession, I would really suggest increasing font sizes.

You’re making pretty big effort processing those symbols and you definitely don’t want to have any extra strain to read them.

Bigger font makes a real difference

I personally switched from 12px to 16px about a month ago and I feel the difference literally every single day I go home from work. I feel much less tired, my head is not “heavy” as usual — feelings which I thought are normal after a day in front of a screen. They’re not.

Here is a side-by-side view of my IDE with old and new configuration.

Image for post
Image for post

Do I give up much extra space? Not really. I still have my 80 characters within a line and vertical scrolling is not a problem at all as I mostly navigate through code by jumping to specific places with a search.

Of course, don’t forget about other text-based interfaces, like terminal and browser’s developer tools. Here are side-by-side views of those.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

If you have an external monitor, which usually further away from you, go ahead and make fonts even bigger.

At first, such giant characters may seem childish, give it a couple of hours, you’ll get used to it very quickly.

Try using the bigger font at least for a week and then switch back to your previous size. Feel how much strain it takes to read anything and then think that you had been doing this to your eyes for years. Switch back immediately😀


Follow me on Twitter. I share tips and resources that had a meaningful impact.


Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store