Click here to download the resulting font. Use it at 16px height.
FYI both fonts are scaled so that I can fit 42 lines of code inside IntelliJ maximized on my 1920x1080 screen. As the result, both fonts are rendering at 16px glyph height and with a 120% line height, meaning 3 gap pixels in between lines. As you can see, the default IntelliJ font antialiasing is turned on and it’s using GDI ClearType.
You can clearly see the different design intentions. For my font, I decided to sacrifice the space around diacritical marks and use rather flat descenders to make things easy to read. That’s why my font looks taller at the same glyph height: It has less whitespace above and below the letters. Also, I gave up on having nice round glyph shapes in exchange for a crisper fit into the pixel grid.
I hope nobody at IntelliJ is offended by my title choice. I love their IDEs, but I find their default font very challenging to work with. And it’s not just them. Every IDE on Windows (and the Terminal) defaults to using a blurry mess as the default font.
Why make yet another font?
Recently, I looked at old screenshots from Visual Studio 6 on Windows XP and I thought:
“Wow, that font looks so big and crisp and clear and readable!”