Monday, October 14, 2002

ProFont in Jaguar’s Terminal

One of the little things that’s been bugging me about Jaguar is that its Terminal application doesn’t display ProFont properly. It always draws the character sequence l/ as a blank. This is a real problem because ProFont is the best monospaced font in the known universe, and rivals Geneva and Espy Sans for the title of best screen font period. (Plus, it’s apparently the only one of the three that Core Graphics can draw properly; the others it spaces poorly.) Since I don’t use Terminal that much, Monaco—after its recent tuning—would be an acceptable alternative except that Jaguar’s Terminal gets its spacing all wrong. Luckily, Google pointed me to a page by Daniel Sandler that mentions the problem and offers a solution: use ProFontISOLatin1 in Jaguar’s Terminal. Many thanks to Daniel and his informant. Update: Core Graphics apps like Terminal and OmniOutliner draw ProFontISOLatin1’s hyphen character shorter than it should be. It looks fine in Mailsmith and iCab. The quest for the perfect Terminal font continues.

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There's one other thing about ProFont - with the Terminal defaults, the bottom portions of low hanging characters, like 'g' and 'j,' get cut off.

The solution to this is adjusting the line height. I find that a setting of about 1.05 works well with 9 point ProFont.

Looking at the Font dialog, the slider is pretty obvious. However, a discussion very similar to this has been taking place on the Mac OS X talk mailing list. There were many grateful readers once somebody pointed out this setting.

A problem still exists with ProFontISOLatin1 - while the l/ L/ problem is most noticeable, terminal still has problems with o/ and O/ displaying as ø and Ø.

I'll have to see whether anyone's come up with anything since Jaguar's release over on the Mac OS X talk list.

Although I see the spacing problem with Monaco 9, I have chosen to use Monaco 10--it has absolutely no problems at all. Dare I say it's gorgeous.


Mitchell L Model

I use Lucida Sans Typewriter for Terminal, Emacs, etc. Of course it isn't free, but it's highly readable and plays well with most applications.

Apple's MPW font (bundled with CodeWarrior for a time) is available for download. Looks just like ProFont 9 -should- in Terminal, but none of the bugs.

this might be sorted out all ready but unless:

Actually I think I've accidentally fixed your ProFont problems. Importing ProFont into FontLab and exporting it as a dfont (resource free mac TrueType) seems to create a problemfree ProFont. It's possibly not the dfont format that fixes things but rather FontLab itself.

I found this while experimenting with a bold weight of ProFont (didn't turn out verry well by the way, maybe some day with more time I'll do it for real).

Michael McCracken

This 'l/' problem still exists in 10.4 - in any NSTextView, not just terminal. I'm sad that I will have to switch from ProFont.

>I use Lucida Sans Typewriter ... it isn't free,

Actually, you will find it on your Mac at:

Normally available only to Java apps, perhaps you could copy into your ~/Library/Fonts folder.

[...] Faisal Jawdat has created ProFontX, a version of ProFont that works better in Cocoa applications because it doesn’t have any ligatures. Allan Odgaard says it’s better than ProFontISOLatin1. [...]

[...] ProFont 9, without anti-aliasing. However, I’ve not been able to get it (or ProFontX) to work properly in Cocoa applications, so I’m currently using Monaco. Benjamin’s top three are all [...]

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