Consolas is a new mono-spaced font being introduced with Vista. John, Scott, and others have been raving about it for months. It’s designed to be a comfortable font for programming and is a huge leap forward from Courier. (Personally I’ve been using Lucida Console for years as it’s easier on the eyes than Courier. Consolas is a step better than that.) Various folks have documented how to “borrow” the font from Vista builds to use on your WinXP computers. Now there is no reason to hack it as Microsoft is providing a download of Consolas for Visual Studio 2005. The installer even sets your default editor font in VS2005 to Consolas so you don’t have to. Sweet!

N.B. Consolas has been optimized for ClearType. So make sure you turn on ClearType! You can use the ClearType Web interface or downloadable PowerToy Tuner. (You can also turn it on via Display Properties, but you can’t adjust it. It’s also buried deep in the options. So it’s easiest to use the web interface or PowerToy.)

[Via Scott Hanselman]

[Image "borrowed" from John Bristowe]

UPDATE: For some strange reason, Consolas wasn’t appearing in my list of available fonts for any program. (This included VS2005 and Notepad!) The registry entries for the Consolas font in VS2005 looked kosher for my user account and if I launched VS2005 as the local Administrator, Consolas appeared correctly in font selection dialogs. I just couldn’t get it to appear for my user account. Logging out and logging back in (without changing any security settings, registry entries, or other configuration) resulted in Consolas spontaneously appearing and working in VS2005 and Notepad.