The importance of using fixed-width fonts in some situations cannot be stressed enough. Indeed, whether you find yourself editing a server configuration file, banging away on an SSH session or creating some cool ASCII art for your grandmother to enjoy, you will routinely run into problems if you aren’t able to accurately guess or establish the width of a given character: think tabs getting confused with spaces, tables that no longer align, lines that end where a program doesn’t expect them to end…
On the Mac, our principal fixed-width font is Monaco, and has been for a long time. It is clean, neat-looking and gets the job perfectly done. Furthermore, being integrated with the operating system, it is directly available to all Cocoa applications and most Carbon applications relying on the Apple Font Services, making it a breeze to use the same font, in all its anti-aliased glory, in all your mission-critical applications.
Now, my truly favorite font for “good looking stuff” is Myriad and I would even say Apple Myriad, the slightly customized version of Myriad that Apple uses in their corporate communications. For word processing however, when the context needs to disappear to interfere as little as possible with the content, fixed-width fonts are my choice, even if they’re magenta colored on a black translucent window — I know, I know, I shamefully admit it.
There is however a word of fixed width fonts out there, that try to combine beauty with functionality, fit as much originality as possible into a given number of pixels.
So, what is your favorite font for Pine hacking?