Analytics Vidhya
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Analytics Vidhya

JetBrains Mono, a font designed totally for software engineers.

JetBrains Mono is font developed by the programmers, for the programmers. (Understand the pun intended to Lincoln’s definition of democracy)

I did not know, I was making task of typing and reading code slightly wearing (tiring or difficult) for myself, until I came across “JetBrains Mono font” from the organization “JetBrains”(Yes, you got that right, designers of Kotlin language).

The task of typing code becomes visually pleasing and aesthetic once you start using this font. Certain features of the typeface, made it less straining for the eyes to read code.

Features

  1. Characters remain standard in width, but the height of the lowercase is maximized. This approach keeps code lines to the length that developers expect, and it helps improve rendering since each letter occupies more pixels.
  2. The shape of ovals approaches that of rectangular symbols. This makes the whole pattern of the text more clear-сut. The outer sides of ovals ensure there are no additional obstacles for your eyes as they scan the text vertically.
  3. It comes with ligatures(a ligature is a character consisting of two or more joined symbols) for code, precisely for a couple of purposes. a) To reduce noise by merging symbols and removing details so the eyes are processing less. b) To balance whitespace more efficiently by shifting the glyphs in certain cases.
  4. The key to good italiсs is the fine-tuning of the contrast between upright and italic font. Typically, the angle is about 11°–12°. JetBrains Mono uses a 9° angle; this maintains the optimal contrast to minimize distraction and eye strain.
  5. JetBrains Mono’s typeface forms are simple and free from unnecessary details. Rendered in small sizes, the text looks crisper. The easier the forms, the faster the eye perceives them and the less effort the brain needs to process them.
  6. JetBrains mono provides you with, distintiveness of symbols. “1”, “l”, and “I” are all easily distinguishable from each other. The zero has a dot inside. The letter “O” does not. The comma’s shape differs from that of the period, making them easier to tell apart at small sizes. The same holds true for derived symbols, as well.
  7. A radical cut at the end of strokes fits the pixel grid better and gives the typeface a stricter and more ‘tech’ personality.
JetBrains Mono(on left) vs default font of Ubuntu(on right)

We can see JetBrains Mono (on left) in action, vs default font of Ubuntu (on right). Look precisely at ‘->’ of structure pointer and “!=” sign of if statement, in code on both sides. How aesthetic it has become on left side with the help of JetBrains ligatures.

The point which comes next to our mind is how to use JetBrains Mono font. There are two ways to do so.

a)The most recent version of JetBrains Mono ships with your JetBrains IDE starting with v2019.3. Select JetBrains Mono in the IDE settings: go to Preferences/Settings → Editor → Font, and then select JetBrains Mono from the Font dropdown.

b) Download the font, from their website and unzip the content at location, “/usr/share/fonts” (to install fonts system-wide).

And the fire command “fc-cache -f -v” on terminal. And JetBrains Mono font has been installed in your computer. Now go in your favorite editors like Sublime or IDEs like Visual Studio Code and choose the font, “JetBrains Mono”. Set the font of terminal explicitly to JetBrains Mono and start crushing some code.

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Abhijeet Rai

Abhijeet Rai

Hi, I am Abhijeet. I believe everyone has a story to tell. Come, let’s chit- chat. We might end up discussing programming, history, or life. Who knows!