Zettelkasten Forum

Odd font behavior with unicode symbols

I do not quite know how best to explain what is going on, but let me try. When using certain unicode symbols (e.g. the small greek psi), they appear a certain size. If the symbol is preceded by, e.g., an opening double bracket, the same symbol appears to have a different size. Here are two screenshots showing a fragment of the same file viewed using The Archive (top) and using iA Writer (bottom).


  • Hm, that's interesting! Apple is trying to switch fonts on the fly wherever possible. For example, if you paste Emoji into any text field, the font of the Emoji is changed from whatever you had before (e.g. the San Francisco system font) to the Apple Emoji font. For some character that are outside the current font's character set, similar things happen.

    Which font are you using in The Archive? (Can you send the font files to me and a test file via email?)

    And are the double square brackets actually ligatures?

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • I've tried using different fonts and I get the same behavior.

    See e.g. with Monaco:

    I checked and the same behavior is reproduced in nvAlt, for instance, using both Monaco and iAWriter's Mono S font. So the problem may have nothing to do with The Archive itself.

    I'm using one of iA Writer's fonts (iAWriterMonoS-Regular), available here:

    https://github.com/iaolo/iA-Fonts/tree/master/iA Writer Mono/Webfonts

    I'm using the same font with iA Writer (I think I am—I'm using the 'Mono' option in iA Writer) and, as shown in the screenshots in the original post, the font isn't changing. But it could be that the font available through GitHub is different and that explains the difference in behavior?

    (Oh, and I do not think the double square brackets are ligatures.)

  • Ok, so maybe iA Writer is doing something that makes the result look way nicer than usual. I'll be having a look if I can somehow influence the fallback font for letters from the Greek alphabet. Maybe I can find a way to compare the free web fonts with the built-in app fonts and see if characters are missing in the free version.

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

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