Microsoft Support: Console (CMD) Fonts

Update: You can use the following registry script to automate this process – just copy/paste the code block below into a text file called “Add Consolas to CMD.reg” and run it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont]
"0"="Lucida Console"
RegEdit -  Console Fonts
RegEdit - Console Fonts

If you’d like to use an alternative console font for CMD.exe in Windows, check out the scoop from Microsoft Support on how to set it up…

The fonts must meet the following criteria to be available in a command session window:

  • The font must be a fixed-pitch font.
  • The font cannot be an italic font.
  • The font cannot have a negative A or C space.
  • If it is a TrueType font, it must be FF_MODERN.
  • If it is not a TrueType font, it must be OEM_CHARSET.

Additional criteria for Asian installations:

  • If it is not a TrueType font, the face name must be “Terminal.”
  • If it is an Asian TrueType font, it must also be an Asian character set.

In Windows 2000, the installation of Console Fonts is no longer automated. This was done to give the console window greater stability in multilanguage environments. An unsupported work around is available by adding the following font specific entry:

Add a String Value
Data= “Font Name” (without “”)

Into the following registry:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont

The name needs to be incrimented with “0” for each additional font. The Data entry needs to match the font’s entry in the following registry location:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts

via Necessary criteria for fonts to be available in a command window.

And, if you’re itching to find a nice replacement for Courier New or Lucida Console:

  • Consolas:
    If you have Windows Vista or windows 7, this is already installed, otherwise you’ll need to download the PowerPoint Viewer 2007 from Microsoft to get the font legally. (As an added bonus, the rest of the Windows Vista fonts come with it – see here for details: Download Windows Vista Fonts from Microsoft Office Website)
  • DejaVu Sans Mono:
    This font comes pre-installed with many current Linux distributions and is released under a free license, which makes this font arguably the best of the bunch. Find it here:
  • Droid Sans Mono:
    Straight from the Android SDK comes the Droid Sans Mono font, which is quite similar to the DejaVu Sans Mono font listed above. You can grab this from the Android SDK download, or you can get it directly from the damieng blog here: Droid Sans Mono great coding font

Consolas as CMD.EXE (Windows Console) Font


First, you’ll need the Consolas font. If you’re not currently running Windows Vista, then you’ll need to get it via the PowerPoint Presentation Viewer, which will install Consolas, among other nice Vista fonts. (Or, if you have Visual Studio 2005 or 2008, you can just grab the Consolas Font Pack for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or 2008)

Once you have this font installed, open up Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to the following key, as shown below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont\


Then, right click in the blank area and choose New > String Value.

Double click this new value and enter the following information:

Name: 00
Data: Consolas

Your window should now look like this:


Once this is done, open a console window (cmd.exe) and choose Consolas from the Font tab:


Thanks to Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen for the tips on how to set this up!🙂

Update: There seems to be an easier way to do this, as I just found from the IEBlog:

Bryn Spears on the Internet Explorer team gave me the following simple instructions to turn on Consolas in the CMD Window:

reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont” /v 00 /d Consolas


Note: In Windows Vista, you need to run the reg command from an elevated command prompt.

When you log back in, Consolas will be an option in the “Command Prompt” Properties.  (n.b., Bryn tells me it actually shows up before you relog, but it won’t work.)