Microsoft releases new open-source font ‘Cascadia Code’ for programmers

Microsoft’s new monospaced font for developers is open-source and free

Microsoft on Wednesday released a new open-source font called ‘Cascadia Code’ aimed at developers. The Cascadia Code was first announced at Microsoft’s Build conference in May this year.

Developed “hand-in-hand” with the new Windows Terminal application, the new monospaced font is designed specifically to offer a “fresh experience” for command-line applications like Windows Terminal and code editors such as Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code. The new font will be automatically installed on the next update for Windows Terminal.

One of the highlights of Cascadia Code is that it supports programming ligatures. “Programming ligatures are most useful when writing code, as they create new glyphs by combining characters,” wrote Microsoft program manager Kayla Cinnamon in a blog post. “This helps make code more readable and user-friendly for some people.”

However, if you are using Visual Studio Code, you will need to enable font ligatures in settings to use them in the programming environment.

Cinnamon also explained the reasoning behind the name of the font. “The name Cascadia Code originated from the Windows Terminal project. Before it was released, the codename for Windows Terminal was Cascadia. In fact, some of the source files within the Terminal still use this name! As an homage to the Terminal, we liked the idea of naming the font after its codename,” she explains.

“We added Code to the end of the font name to help indicate that this font was intended for programming. Specifically, it helps identify that it includes programming ligatures.

Cascadia Code version 1909.16 is now publicly available on GitHub, under the SIL Open Font license. The font will be following the Windows versioning syntax and will receive new and refined glyphs with future updates, says Microsoft.

If you are interested in trying out the new font, you can download it now from its GitHub repository. Since the font is open-source, the developers are free to contribute towards the project for further enhancements in the coming months.

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