Does anybody know of a terminal emulator for Mac OS X supporting proportional fonts?

Preferably a native app, otherwise for X11. Preferably with correct line-wrapping at the window edge, not at a certain number of characters.

I've gotten used to programming in a proportional font (Verdana 13pt) and I'd like to get the same look in my terminal windows.

I'm well aware that full-screen (curses) programs would not render correctly on a proportional font, but I seldom use any. Most of my terminal work involves Bash, compilers, and other line-oriented tools, which should work perfectly well with a proportional font.

For the sake of argument here is some code in my current editor configuration, which I find very readable:

enter image description here

I assume such a terminal emulator should advertise having very long lines, in order to do all the line-wrapping at the display level, instead of making Readline and other "smart" interactive CLI do it themselves. Other than that, I do not see why it should not be possible.

In fact, I might as well go ahead and do it myself, if I cannot find any.

Again, I'm aware Curses and other character-counting applications (such as the output of ls -l) would display incorrectly. Dealing correctly with those, with some form of heuristic or "elastic tabstops" would be a plus, but not a strict requirement.

1 Answer 1


Emacs is available for Mac OS X, supports proportional fonts, and has a terminal emulator. There are a number of Emacs versions available for OS X, so hopefully you can find one you like that has both the fonts and terminal emulator. A possible candidate is Aquamacs, http://aquamacs.org/features.shtml.

  • Thanks, I had not thought of that. I'll wait to see if there is any other option a bit more user friendly (without the M-x C-r M-a M-x nonsense) otherwise I'll accept yours.
    – Tobia
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 11:51
  • You could put the startup commands in your ~/.emacs init file, or if you want to use Emacs as an editor as well, in a separate init file that you load only when starting Emacs as a terminal (-l ~/terminal-init.el).
    – stevek_mcc
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 20:52
  • @Tobia Did you mean to accept this answer but not award the bounty for it? If not (since it seems like stevek_mcc's answer helped you), you only have a few hours left to award it!
    – A.M.
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 21:09
  • @stevek_mcc I'm upvoting your answer (from 1 to 2) so that you still get some bounty even if Tobia does not assign it to you. (You'll at least get half of it for hitting the +2 vote threshold. :)
    – A.M.
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 21:10
  • 1
    For a followup question about how to get Emacs to display the requested behavior, see emacs.stackexchange.com/questions/80572/…. Commented Mar 8 at 21:20

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