When programs need to display lots of data in a very small space, tiny fonts (e.g. in the range of 4x6 to 6x10) can be extremely useful. Unfortunately, .net does not allow the use of bitmap fonts in its controls, and all the TrueType fonts I've seen become illegible at such sizes.
Other than having a program manually draw characters as bitmap graphics, is there any good way to show data legibly at such sizes? For example, do there exist any TrueType fonts that scale well to such sizes, or is there any utility which can take a collection of bitmaps and produce a TrueType font which, when rendered at a particular size, will yield those bitmaps precisely?
Note that for legibility at 4x6, it's necessary that some font characters be rendered quite differently from how they would normally appear at larger sizes. An "N", for example, should appear as a taller version of "n".
I'll give those a try. ProFontWindows brings back some memories, since I looked at ProFont in my Macintosh days and ended up creating something that was similar but a bit different. Most notably, the font I created made most of the lowercase letters four pixels wide instead of five and used a narrow zero instead of a slashed one. I actually replaced Monaco-9 with my own adaptation, so it would be the default monospaced system font.
Proggy-Tiny looks like it will be pretty good for use in a 6x9 character box. ProFont is unfortunately only a bitmap font, and thus is not usable in .net controls. Maybe I'll just have to kludge together some bitmap routines for use with a 4x6 character matrix.
Akkurat looks pretty appealing, but $US150
I also tried some "programmer's" fonts but they are more stylish than readable, and for my taste Courier New lacks the vertical.
The CodeProject font top-list ranking is well-deserved, Consolas is really the best ClearType font (my thumbs-up) and Lucida Console is the best CRT display font.
I bought it once upon a time as part of the "More Fonts for Windows" package, and I've enjoyed it quite a lot. One interesting feature is that while it's a uniform-stroke-width sans-serif font, it the italic version has letterform changes typical of italic fonts (e.g. the non-italic "a" has a flag on top, but the italic "a" has a full-sized bowl with no flag. The non-italic "l" has a flag on top but nothing the bottom; the italic "l" has a right-facing flag on the bottom (the "1" has flags a flag on top and a bar on the bottom). The "0" is not slashed, but is very distinct from the "O".
Anyone else ever seen that font?
PS--I would second the request for a sample including O0 Ll1| `"' etc. since those characters can be tricky. Also, it would be helpful if in text you don't just refer to whether the zero is slashed, but whether it is distinct.
Addendum: Financial has filenames mlsan.ttf through mlsaq.ttf and was sold by MicroLogic Software, Inc.
There are online reports that Financial is a forged font. I don't know if this is true or not, but I haven't found it on any legitimate font site.
Well, it was in a collection I bought some time back. I just plugged a sample of the italic into WhatTheFont and it suggested Letter Gothic 12 Pitch Italic. That's probably what it's based on, though none of the font sets I'd seen with a Letter Gothic or imitator included the italics.
Thanks! If I was using a better font I might have spotted that myself.
I know what you mean. I recently noticed something I'd written some months ago, thanking someone: "Thank's" --- aaarrgh!
Though, in my case, I blame it on the ubiquity of the "thank's" misspelling corrupting me. I fear it's only a small matter of time before I mix "their" and "there!"
Being able to distinguish between characters that in many fonts look nearly or exactly the same is really important. Adding these three lines (or something similar that shows this stuff) would make the comparison much more useful:
1. Do some of the screen shots have the wrong image size in the HTML? One or two look a little distorted to me. I.e. andale with clear type is missing the top of the text "first name" as though the image has been shrunk, but when I look at the saved image by itself, it looks fine.
2. Including a sample of all alphanumeric characters might have been a good idea. You mention things like "look at the 'W'", but there's no W in the sample. I don't want to download and install just to look at a problem.
For some of them, it's hard to say whether the images are distorted, or whether cleartype is doing a bad job. For example, DPCustomMono2 has lower case "i" that looks like it's bold, Inconsolata has "m" that doesn't look much like an "m" at all, and the "l" looks to be in bold.
Doh! I missed the Ws, sorry. Still, it'd be nice to see samples of all alphanumerics.