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Fix Monaco 9pt bitmap font in Terminal Apps
The much-loved Monaco bitmap font doesn't show up properly in the 9pt size in OS X. This issue is mainly visible when you do an ls -l in Terminal, as the letters 'd' and 'r' of the directory-permissions-indication stick to each other.

An earlier hint shows how to fix this for Monaco 10pt by setting the font size to 10.1 by dragging a slider just a tad. The same could be done for the 9pt size, but you need to pull it up to 9.5 to separate the 'd' and 'r' -- and by that time, the results are ugly because there is no 9.5pt bitmap.

The Monaco 9pt bitmap is actually prettier than 10pt, and it needs to be fixed properly. To do this, open a saved Terminal window in TextEdit and look for FontWidthSpacing. You'll find that it's set to 1. Change this value to 1.001. You need to do this in either a saved terminalwindow.plist or the terminal.plist file. Further testing points out that the 1.001 value does not work with all window sizes. So start with 1.001, and if that doesn't work, increment it with steps of 0.001 or 0.0005. (You need to save the saved windows in ~/Library » Application Support » Terminal for them tyo show up in Terminal's menu.)

There actually is a drag-slider for this in the font panel called 'Font Character Spacing,' but you cannot drag this slider less than 1.015526, and setting this minimal shift will cause Monaco 9pt to space too widely or irregularly, not the way it was designed. You can test this by holding down any key (the hyphen key works well) to produce a sequence -- irregular spacing quickly becomes apparent.

[robg adds: I couldn't replicate this problem on 10.5; the author is using only 10.3 or 10.4. So this is technically a "10.3 or 10.4 only" hint, but we don't have such a category.]
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... or use the built-in slider
Authored by: tobyvoss on May 29, '08 08:06:07AM

(on 10.4.11 at least) you can also use the "Font Character Spacing / Width" slider that shows when you choose "Show Fonts" (cmd-t) from the font menu.

[ Reply to This | # ]
... or use the built-in slider
Authored by: jvoskuil on May 29, '08 09:03:20AM

Probably it's best to read the original post before commenting.

[ Reply to This | # ]
... or use the built-in slider
Authored by: jvoskuil on May 29, '08 10:09:19AM

That was a bit rude, wasn't it? I'm sorry and I apologize. What I should have said is: "Note that the original post mentioned this option and its limitations."

[ Reply to This | # ]
Fix Monaco 9pt bitmap font in Terminal
Authored by: asmeurer on May 30, '08 04:56:54PM