2006-08-17

A Terminal quickie

I've been reading Jeff Atwood's Coding Horror blog (love the favicon, BTW). I got to the post where he talks about the Consolas font as compared to Lucida Console, and shows it with and without ClearType (anti-aliasing). You can download Consolas (and a few other fonts) from this post on Jeff Milner's blog.

Looks good, so I wanted to try it in Terminal (even though I use xterm — yes, I'm like that). Looks good in Terminal, too, but I was reminded of a problem with Terminal and box-drawing characters:

Terminal, showing a box drawn by a shell script. Each box-drawing character (that is, line segment or corner character) is twice as wide as it needs to be, which is throwing off spacing and causing each of the lines with a box-drawing character on them to overrun the width of the terminal.

That box is supposed to fit within my screen and be centered in its horizon. Not working so well.

The culprit is the “Enable wide glyphs for Japanese/Chinese/etc.” checkbox on the Display pane of the Terminal Inspector. Apparently box-drawing characters count as “etc.”. Turn that off, and sanity is restored:

Terminal, showing the same box drawn by the same shell script, with “Enable wide glyphs for Japanese/Chinese/etc.” turned off. Each box-drawing character is now the same width each of the other (non-box-drawing) characters.

Don't forget to Save Default Settings after you frob the checkbox. Unless you do, the new value will not be applied to future Terminals.

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