I mentioned last week my move to using proportional programming fonts when I found out they worked with Xcode. I actually started with BBEdit and my Python programming since I had a few small projects I was working on. I have to say after a week using Georgia instead of Inconsolata I’m converted. Even late at night with tired eyes Georgia is much easier to read. My one big complaint was the distinction between zero 0 and oh O. (Since this blog is in Georgia this is easy to see) What I really wanted was to fix the number zero so it had either a dot in its middle or a line through it, the way most coding fonts did.
After trying out most of the free font editors I thought I was doomed. Then quite by accident I discovered a review of Glyphs Mini. It’s available on the MAS. It’s designed for people who aren’t profession font designers but are just looking to modify slightly an existing font or to paste in Illustrator graphics. It’s reasonably priced too at only about $45. That’s more than I wanted to pay but I realized that I had a few projects that would probably end up using some custom icon fonts. So I figured I could justify it that way.
There is an existing glyph that I thought about using for the zero. There’s that goofy Scandinavian Ø that provided a template.1 Unfortunately neither it nor a few of it’s variations looked that great due to the way Georgia did its numbers. What I ended up doing was keeping the existing zero and just drawing a line through it. I was inspired by aspects of the Ø but think what I got looked better for coding.
In addition I did something a tad more controversial. As a physics geek I was taught early to cross my 7′s. I couldn’t help myself and added that in. I ended up with several trials until I found a cross that matched the style of George and more particularly its 7. I think it looks good although some might want the left side to extend further and think it unbalanced. I can see that. However after looking at a bunch of my math I decided to make it follow my writing style a bit more than balance. I might reconsider that after a week of looking at it though.
Glyphs was very easy to use and did a great job exporting the font. I can’t share the font since the original is Microsoft’s. About the only thing you have to do is to remember to hit the font info menu before exporting it as an otf font. There you set the name.
For those curious here’s the numbers.
I renamed it Georgia Code. I’ve been thinking of doing the same thing to Verdana, an other font I like a lot.
- I can say goofy Scnadinavian since I’m half British and the rest is a Swedish, Norwegian, Sami mix — and honestly I’ve been meaning to learn Swedish for some time. I’d probably do better than I did with Russian. ↩