kodo has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hello monks,

I've currently been trying out some different types of fonts and screencolors to find the best one for coding. I usually work with gvim for win32 and putty (a telnet/ssh-client for win32), and in both on them I can only use fixed-width monospace fonts. At home at my linuxbox I just use the default xterm-font which looks pretty well to my eyes. I always use a black background + green textcolor usually, but I've found out that white on blue also seems pretty relaxing for my eyes. In Windows I currently use "Andale Mono" 8pt which is small and good readable, too. For a long time I used fixedsys, which is pretty good to read but takes lots of space because the chars are so big...

Currently as said I most time work with font: "Andale Mono" 8pt, colors: green on black, res: 1280x1025 on a 18"-lcd-flatscreen

So I was just interested in finding out what you are using and why. I think this is a pretty interesting topic because it has a big influence on how long you can code and how you feel afer it.
I'm sure you all know that feeling after 10 hours of coding when you stand up and feel kinda dizzy for some minutes ;)


-----BEGIN PERL GEEK CODE BLOCK----- Version: 0.01<br> P++>+++$c-> P6 >+R+>+M+>++O<br> >+MA+>+++E+>++PU+>+++BD C+>++D!S X!WP >+++MO?PP++n CO?PO-o+G A--OL!Ee---Ev++Eon!Eot!Eob!Eoa!uL++uB uS!uH+uo+w---m!osA-osBE- ------END PERL GEEK CODE BLOCK------

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: What font/screen-color for coding?
by greenFox (Vicar) on May 21, 2002 at 10:34 UTC
      Thanks greenFox,
      I've tried the "Red 220, Green 215, Blue 192" Setting from the Best Color post, and I find it's very relaxing on my eyes...
      I wonder if anyone else is using green on black? :)


Re: What font/screen-color for coding?
by Anonymous Monk on May 21, 2002 at 11:30 UTC
    I started coding in the early '80s. All we had then were 80x24 tty's, dark background and a green or amber foreground. But ever since I got access to GUIs (first SUNs old sunview or suntools, or whatever it was called, later X Windows) in the late '80s, I've always used a black foreground and a light background. Something off-white. Currently I use 'wheat' as the background color - but that can vary depending on the monitor being used and the lighting conditions of the office.

    As font, I always use a fixed font, typically the largest font that gives me 2 non-overlapping windows next to each other, and vertically I want to be able to have at least 2 24 line non-overlapping windows, with some room to spare. On the laptop I'm working off now, this means the font choosen is '6x13'.

    This is in my .Xdefaults file, both on my laptop, my office workstation, and my box at home:

    XTerm*font:                     6x13
    XTerm*foreground:               black
    XTerm*background:               wheat
    XTerm*scrollBar:                true
    XTerm*saveLines:                2500
    Rxvt*scrollBar_right:           true
    I never had a problem with it, not even in sessions lasting over 24 hours.
Re: What font/screen-color for coding?
by strat (Canon) on May 21, 2002 at 09:43 UTC
    Hello giant,

    I prefer emacs (available at for linux/unix/win32 and maybe some other operating systems) because of it syntax highlightning (e.g. comments are red, keywords mostly blue, method calls black, variables somehow golden, subs red and the like). I use a slightly adapted .emacs from Steve Ackermann from under Unix/Linux and Win32. As background color, I use a slight grey.

    Which font does emacs use? I don't know; some fixed font.

    There are some syntax highlightning addons for vi as well. I just don't know where to find them. But I'm sure another monk will know...

    Best regards,
    perl -le "s==*F=e=>y~\*martinF~stronat~=>s~[^\w]~~g=>chop,print"

Re: What font/screen-color for coding?
by amarceluk (Beadle) on May 21, 2002 at 12:53 UTC
    My boss told me there was a study that found that green on black was the easiest to read and the best on the eyes for long periods of looking at a screen. Unfortunately I don't have a link to the study. I use TextPad, myself, black on white, with syntax highlighting: functions in blue, strings in green, comments in orange, brackets in red, and the like. I'm still learning Perl and it's easier when I can quickly tell the difference between each part of the code. Plus it helps find simple errors; if you forget a closing " or ', the whole rest of the file turns green :-)
Re: What font/screen-color for coding?
by tfrayner (Curate) on May 21, 2002 at 11:44 UTC

    My 2 cents: yellow courier text (12-14 pt, depending on the display) on a black background. While I readily admit there are probably prettier schemes, I like this relatively uncluttered style. It's easy on my eyes. Been using this for years, and I've even managed to convert a couple of people to it :-)


Re: What font/screen-color for coding?
by dada (Chaplain) on May 24, 2002 at 14:54 UTC
    when I use vi my SSH terminal is set up with "Fixedsys" 12pt, colors: yellow (that's #FFFF00) on black, res: 1280x1024 on a 19" flatron screen.

    most of my coding, however, is in TextPad with a rather plain "Courier" 10pt, colors: black (and blue for keywords, green for comments, teal for string/numbers, red for brackets) on white.


    __END__ $_=q,just perl,,s, , another ,,s,$, hacker,,print;