Scott Hanselman

Consolas Font Family now available for download

May 3, '06 Comments [21] Posted in Musings
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UPDATE: Make sure you have ClearType turned on, this font requires it. Use the Windows ClearType Control Panel Applet/PowerToy to tune.

Looks like Consolas is available to download for mere mortals now, no need to sneak it out of Vista.

Go get it. It's wonderful.

Interestingly, the download page says "This package is only intended for licensed users of Microsoft Visual Studio 2006."

<joke>So I guess that means that no one can use it. Bummer. ;)</joke> It installed fine on my systems.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006 6:41:40 AM UTC
Shucks, darn. Since I'm a play-by-the-rules-guy I decided not to download it since I only have Visual Studio 2005. The thought crossed my mind to go into the registry and change this, but then I would have to create a new splash screen and all kinds of changes to windows resource files. I'll just wait until 2006 is released I guess.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:02:27 AM UTC
It was a joke...I think it's an error on their part. There is no VS2006, and it installed fine on my system.
Scott Hanselman
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:08:23 AM UTC
Thank you for this. I installed it and was going to change my VS2005 font to Consolas, but the installer apparently did that for me.
Before, I used Lucida Console, but I like Consolas a lot better. You can not mistake between 0 and O anymore, or between . and , or : and ;
Each character is very distinct from the others.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 12:25:00 PM UTC
Doh! Not 24 hours ago, I installed Vista on a VM just so I could get those fonts (well...mostly so I could get those fonts).
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 2:15:56 PM UTC
What is this Visual Studio 2006 business? I was unaware that such a beast was even in the works. Is this a simple mistake or is there a new version on the horizon?
Sam Kuehn
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 2:17:16 PM UTC
I think that you may need some form of VS on your machine because I do not and I keep getting an error installing it. Too bad.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 4:39:47 PM UTC
I've seen similar comments about how wonderful Consolas is from MS, and I must admit that I am not impressed. I recently did some digging and found a nice collection of fonts called 'Proggy Fonts' at http://www.proggyfonts.com/.

I've installed and started using their 'Proggy Clean (slash zero, bold func)' font. The font is very clean, and I've got automatic intellisense highlighting on my C# punctuation.
Jeff Fritz
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 5:18:45 PM UTC
Thanks! This font is super-schweet!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 6:08:33 PM UTC
I've loaded up the fonts, but they do not look very nice on my system. They seem to be inconsistent, with thick and thin strokes and dark and light spots. Is there something that I need to tune or turn on to get them to render correctly?

Best regards,

Metro.
Metro Sauper
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 6:09:59 PM UTC
Have you turned on ClearType? Instructions here: http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/kim/archive/2006/05/03/289.aspx
Scott Hanselman
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 6:25:02 PM UTC
That did the trick. Thanks!

Metro.
Metro Sauper
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 6:44:15 PM UTC
The screenshot here looks better than you'll get under Windows XP because it was taken from Vista which features a much improved text renderer.

What is curious is that the download is only for Visual Studio but includes Consolas Italic and Consolas Bold Italic.

Visual Studio does not support italic source highlighting...

[)amien
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 6:49:08 PM UTC
I tried the clear type thing, and that just made my Courier font look worse. Although, it did make the Consolas look better. I think I'll stick with Courier for a while.
keith
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 7:04:31 PM UTC
But..but...your XAML is all wrong!

For starters, the namespace for WPF is now this: xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation"

The Definition namespace is long gone. And so is the TextPanel - you want TextBlock, or possibly FlowDocument.

:)
Wednesday, May 03, 2006 8:00:30 PM UTC
Thanks Scott, I like this even more than ProFont that I used for a long time. For some reason ProFont looks completely different, i.e like crap in VS 2005 (looks great in 2003 though), but Consolas looks great.
Why does it say only VS? The setup registers the font system wide and I can use it in any application...
Hermann Klinke
Thursday, May 04, 2006 1:07:43 PM UTC
Thanks Scott. There's only two problems with Consolas that's bugging me though.

In my VMs Consolas doesn't scale very well in Visual Studio. It works fine on my laptop when I'm in full screen mode, but even if I force my VM to run say 1024x768 and run it full screen, there's anti-aliasing and skewing going on with Consolas (and only Consolas, the other fonts like Courier and Lucinda work fine).

The other problem with Consolas is with FAR/Midnight Commander. Those programs use the ANSI character set to draw the frames around windows and such. Consolas however doesn't support these so using it in the console doesn't work for these programs and you end up with craptastic looking screens. Again, Courier and Lucinda don't have this problem.

Hence I'm using ProggyFonts (http://www.proggyfonts.com) for now until either I "get over it" or find a better font.
Thursday, May 04, 2006 1:10:29 PM UTC
Actually, reading through the comments you mentioned ClearType which might be the problem with Consolas in my VMS. However my VMs run Windows Server 2003 (I do SharePoint development and right now it's easiest to develop directly on the server) so not sure if I can use ClearType with Server 2003 or not but that might be the problem. I'll give that a try.
Thursday, May 04, 2006 4:47:38 PM UTC
Be careful. Consolas is DESIGNED for ClearType and looks like ass without it:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000356.html

If you can live with cleartype (for me, this depends on the DPI of the display I'm on) it is an outstanding font.
Monday, May 08, 2006 6:37:46 AM UTC
All ye non-VS2006 users - and those, like me, that simply dislike Consolas - should look into Bitstream Vera Sans Mono. Andale Mono is another solid alternative.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006 10:47:18 PM UTC
Of course, if you want to play with this on a machine that does not have VS2005 installed, the install will fail. But if you download the setup.exe, run the setup until it stops at the first screen, you can search in "C:\Documents and Settings\Your.Name\Local Settings\Temp\_is###" where ### is some number you will find "Consolas Font Family.msi". Now to extract the fonts from the msi, download the utility you find at: http://blogs.pingpoet.com/overflow/archive/2005/06/02/2449.aspx and extract the 4 font file to the directory of your choice. Now, follow the instructions you find at: http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread4522.html for manually installing a font in XP and faster than you can say Consolas, you have it installed on your system (with or without VS2005). NOTE: If you are not using ClearType, you probably won't like this font very much.
Phil Hochstetler
Tuesday, May 16, 2006 8:30:33 PM UTC
Has anybody gotten the Consolas font to work in a Console window (cmd.exe or powershell.exe) in XP SP2? I followed the directions to enable Consolas to show up in the font properties dialog box for consoles. I can set it but it doesn't seem to take. Surely I can't be the only one seeing this behavior? :-(
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.