I use windows at work and use Courier New as the font for programming purpose. (It's the default in eclipse, visual studio 2005, idle etc). Now Microsoft has come up with Consolas, a monospace font for programming purpose. A monospace or a fixed width font is one whose characters have same width. Courier New is one such. A monospace font would look ordered and you can draw tables etc easily because all characters are of same size. Try setting your ide's font to Ariel or Verdana (which are not monospace) and see the difference. You won't be able to code in those fonts. One of the fonts which i loved coding was a monospaced font in Gnome Redhat 7.0. I believe the font was BitStream Vera. Anyway Consolas is the new font which i like in windows and it simply is the best. Try it out. Make sure that you have ClearType switched on. Below are some code in 3 different monospace fonts from my system. (blogger screwed the images totally, so better try it out in your system and see the difference).