Monospaced fonts are also known as fixed width fonts. The characters in these fonts each occupy the same amount of space, meaning that a lowercase letter i occupies the same amount of space as an uppercase letter M. More common in the early days of computing, fixed width fonts are still used by programmers to line up code, making it easier to read. They are also sometimes used in tables, where they fit into columns better than variable width fonts. Fixed width fonts are not the best choice for reading, however, as they don't feel natural or look aesthetic.
Web Monospaced Fonts
The Andale Mono font and the Courier New font are monospaced fonts that are commonly used in the Windows operating system. They are also available on Mac operating systems. These fonts are compatible with Unix and Linux operating systems. The Courier New font was created to imitate the fonts used in typewriters. It is often used in tables and in technical documentation. The Courier New font family includes Courrier New Bold, Courrier New Italic and Courrier New Bold Italic fonts. As with any font, the font must be installed on the PC and must be supported by the browser to display properly.
Windows Monospaced Fonts
In addition to the Andale Mono font and the Courier New font, the Consolas and Lucida Console fonts are also used frequently in Microsoft Windows apps such as Microsoft Word. This font is also supplied with Office Mac 2008 and Windows Server 2008. Lucida console is useful for compacting letters in capitalized titles in posters and displays and in manual headers or tables.
Mac Monospaced Fonts
The Courier and Monaco fonts are common Mac fonts. Monaco was designed help readers differentiate between numbers and letters that often appear identical in other fonts. The capital letter O, for example, is often identical or nearly identical to the number zero and the lowercase letter l closely resembles the number one. This causes problems for computer users needing to enter exact passwords or security codes, although it is usually not an issue for someone reading a book or an article in which the context makes the difference obvious.
Unix and Linux Monospaced Fonts
Courier and Luxi Mono are fonts commonly used in the Unix and Linux operating systems. Luxi Mono is a serif font which resembles Roman letters. It is decorative but still compacts letters into a fixed width.