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New writing font for monospace lovers...

nontroppo
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Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:59 pm Post

I'm not really a fan of writing in Scrivener with monospace fonts, but for those who are, iA Writer have a new open source font they have shared, and a blog post which describes their reasoning creating what they call a Duospace font:

https://ia.net/topics/in-search-of-the- ... ting-font/

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Screen Shot 2017-11-26 at 00.57.37_SMALL.png (78.34 KiB) Viewed 4163 times

Silverdragon
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Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:11 pm Post

Very interesting! Thanks for posting this. Sadly I spent too many years in the 60s-90s programming in monospaced fonts and I like it when things Just. Line. Up. Darnit. The wider Ms and Ws are yes, visually appealing, but...

My current monospaced love is Cousine, available free at Font Squirrel ( https://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/cousine), my usual free font fix site. The really cool thing about the font, aside from the facts that it's free, and it lines up at 10 chrs/in in 12 pt, and 12 chrs/in in 10 pt. exactly, is that the glyphs are so distinguishable. There is a clear distinction among capital i, lowercase L, numeral 1, and vertical bar. Similarly, capital o and numeral 0 are sharply distinct, as are hyphen, en-dash, and em-dash. The Courier variants suffer from typewriter holdovers because so many old keyboards lacked numeral 1, numeral 0, vertical bar, and had no dash glyph but a hyphen. The sans serif mono fonts vary on this, but Cousine is the best free font I've found. The problem glyphs at 12 point:
Screenshot 2017-11-25 14.01.37.png (22.2 KiB) Viewed 4140 times

The distinction among the dash glyphs is wonderful in Cousine. Courier Prime—it's OK for output for beta readers. I'll use Ubuntu Mono if I need a condensed font. The others lack bold, italic, and/or bold+italic variants.

Monospaced fans, enjoy! Or try the Duospace font if you're not as picky as I am...
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brookter
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Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:15 pm Post

I like these -- thanks to both of you for sharing.

gr
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Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:54 pm Post

I don't know, Silverdragon, Duospace may be clocking your Cousine on that score, at least:

cousine-duospace.jpeg (25.37 KiB) Viewed 4122 times
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Silverdragon
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Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:37 am Plain New Coat Hooded Fashion Front Simple Sleeve Long Open Fashion New Long Coat Plain Open Sleeve Hooded Simple Front Post

I grant you, @gr, that the Duospace hyphen glyphs are nice, even nicer and more distinct than Cousine's. But there it is, Duospace won't line up if an M or a W (upper or lower case) is used. As I said, if I weren't so picky about that, Duospace is great, and I'd switch.

But as it is, Cousine serves my humble purposes.
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nontroppo
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@silverdragon: you are indeed truly worthy of the title "monospace lover"!!! I humbly bow in honour of your quest for consistent glyph dimensions...

Silverdragon
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Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:11 pm Post

*blushes* Thank you!

But iA Writer are right, you know. A monospaced font says "Not finished yet." My manuscript needs to yell that at me.

p.s. I downloaded iA Writer Duospaced last night. There are some minor differences at smaller font sizes, but really in most sizes the problem glyphs look almost identical. Strokes tend to be a trifle heavier in Cousine. I prefer heavier, because none of my Mac screens is "retina" yet...
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Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:32 pm Post

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These are very nice fonts. Thanks, both,

I'm not a font-geek, but I do like to change what I write with fairly often, and I take note of fonts that font-geeks recommend. They are certainly a refreshing change from Menlo.

gr
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Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:52 pm Post

Gosh, it must take a keener eye and a calmer hand to glyph slice so finely! My eye just kept stumbling over Duospace's lowercase 'r' which can't decide if it's coming or going. It registers with me as a kind of typographic affectation -- undesirable for its intended use.

It could be argued that the vertical stretch of the letter shapes is a subtle concession to this-is-publishable-doneness. Oh what a slippery slope we slide when first we stoop to font design!

Some typographical geekiness in me is drawn to this Cousine just because of the promise of the perfect fit of characters per inch even though I have absolutely no need of such fittedness. Sometimes I just want to tell me mind to knock it off!

-gr

P.S. I find my desire for Courier personally puzzling. Its association with manuscript is clearly historical and in that sense ephemeral. Why would my manuscript Gestalt get stuck there, for heaven sakes? I mean, I have a perfectly good custom font of my own handwriting, but I certainly don't use that for manuscript work. Go figure.
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br
brookter
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Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:00 pm Post

Indeed. I downloaded both the fonts suggested. Duowhatsit is nice, but that 'r' seems completely out of place, and once I'd noticed that I can't unnotice it. Cousine doesn't jar in the same way. Not sure either of them are much better than Courier Prime; in any way that I can see.

I've been following the advice on https://practicaltypography.com and tend to use Charter for serif, Fira Sans for non-serif and Courier Prime for monospace.

But in reality, this is pure moggie-hoovering on my part because I'm not really a designer and most of the subtleties pass me by.

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Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:30 pm Post

"moggie-hoovering"? I know enough British idiom to know moggie=cat and hoovering=vacuuming, but what is moggie-hoovering?
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Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:50 am Post

Just another 2ç. Courier Prime is nice for a manuscript output. My standard font in the editor is the slightly less "typewritery" Courier Prime Sans.

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EDIT: Published the wrong font first time
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Scribo ergo sum

br
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Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:59 am Post

Front Open Sleeve Plain Simple Long New Fashion Coat Hooded Silverdragon wrote:"moggie-hoovering"? I know enough British idiom to know moggie=cat and hoovering=vacuuming, but what is moggie-hoovering?
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Ah, sorry. I didn't realise moggie was purely BrEng -- or hoovering for that matter.

It's just my take on the 'real' term -- cat vacuuming: something unnecessary you do when you really ought to be writing.

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Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:58 pm Post

brookter wrote:
Silverdragon wrote:"moggie-hoovering"? I know enough British idiom to know moggie=cat and hoovering=vacuuming, but what is moggie-hoovering?


Ah, sorry. I didn't realise moggie was purely BrEng -- or hoovering for that matter.

It's just my take on the 'real' term -- cat vacuuming: something unnecessary you do when you really ought to be writing.


That amusingly ridiculous term had me scrambling. I'm glad someone (else) asked. I had come to an entirely more uncomfortably sychophantic interpretation.
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  • Quote

Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:37 pm Post

Hah!

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Cat-vacuuming is quite an old term now -- I think I first came across on the old Usenet group misc.writing in the 90s but it's probably a lot older than that.

 
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