Screen Fonts & Sizes

I have been playing with different fonts to see what scales better as users resize the window and get quite ordinary results at the top end (3200 x 1800) and low end (800x600) of Window sizes eg using Arial or Times.

  • Is there a preferred font that programmers are using for various screen sizes that scale well?
  • Does it differ when you move to Windows platform?

You should not change the interface font. Leave it as “System” and size 0. This is the standard expectation. Any font besides “System” is inappropriate for the interface. Users can adjust the display size if they need via System Preferences.

Personally I disagree with Tim , but then this is nothing new :slight_smile:
A lot of users want different apps to use different fonts and/or sizes… so allow you app to accept app level preferences and let the user change it for that specific app. System/0 is 13pt I believe, and while that is physically larger/smaller based on the screen resolution and macOS vs Windows… for a lot of users that is simply too small.

And yes it will be different between macOS and Windows depending on the font etc (fyi System Fontname is NOT the same on both OS)

Courier 13pt FTW!

(sorry, I couldn’t just leave that sitting there … :stuck_out_tongue: )

What’s wrong with Comic Sans?

Joking aside, it’s perfectly fine to have a font selection so that you can change the font and the font size. Mine is modelled after Mail but in contrast to Mail it actually works.

Fonts are vectors: they are scaled to be the asked size by the OS. If the font comes from a pro (vs some free fonts), you always get good to very good on screen.

In fact, there is no more screen fonts since… ages (True Type fonts, around 1990). Before that, we could use Postscript fonts (for printing) and bitmap fonts (or screen reshaped from Postscript with a special application) to display the fonts (to get an idea of what the document will look once printed.

More data there:

I understand the system font argument and am not opposed to keeping the interface labels etc that way but I am drawing into a canvas something specific so I would think that we are now outside the system font consistency line of thinking,


Ah, I understand. My advice only applies to UI design.