Bitstream Vera

A free (as in both speech and beer) family of ten fonts, released as the result of an agreement between the Bitstream font foundry and the GnomeDesktopEnvironment team, based largely upon Bitstream's commercially available Prima font family. Bundled with OpenOffice and most Linux distributions, but also available as a separate download from

There are already derivative works in progress to extend the fonts to languages not supported by the original character set and to create other typestyles; these include: The sans face looks somewhat like a cross between Frutiger and Verdana. Quite readable, even if there are some characters that are ambiguous (capital 'eye' and lowercase 'ell' are not distinctive, as in Verdana and Trebuchet)... I actually prefer the way some of the characters look in Vera than in Verdana.

Perhaps the best part of the Vera font family, in my opinion, would be Vera Sans Mono. Excellent font for coding; it clearly distinguishes all of the characters that could possibly be ambiguous. And it looks so much prettier than ugly old Courier...

-- CodyBoisclair

I use Vera Sans Mono and love it as my terminal/coding font on Linux and decided to install it on Windows. Ick. I don't know why, but the hinting and kerning and anti-aliasing just look terrible. The strokes are all of inconsistent width, too thin with font smoothing on and too thick with it off. It's distracting and nasty. --ChrisMellon?

I mostly agree that Vera Sans Mono looks bad on Windows, but I would make an exception of Vera Sans Mono Regular at 7pt. That works. Works well, too.

Some interesting discussion at



View edit of April 26, 2009 or FindPage with title or text search