I have two seemingly identical computers that display org-bullet utf-8 bullets differently within emacs. Both computers use the same OS (windows 7) and the same emacs version (24.5) with no modifications. Both computers use identical (synced) init.el files, packages and package folders, and themes (monokai).

The first computer displays the bullets correctly but the second computer seems to use placeholders for most of the bullets. Also, line spacing differs for the two computers:

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The bullets display correctly on computer 2 when using a different theme (tangotango):

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Any suggestions? Perhaps this is related to fonts missing or conflicting on the second computer? Note the monokai theme uses variable-pitch face.

  • 1
    It seems to simply be a question of the font you're trying to use on computer 2 originally didn't have those characters defined in the character set. Make sure that the fonts are properly installed or that you're using the font that you think you are.
    – Jules
    Sep 12, 2016 at 3:23

1 Answer 1


Looks like a font issue. Specifically, your second computer doesn't have the same font set as hte first.

Put cursor on a character and call describe-char. It'll tell you what font is used to display that character.

Also, in emacs, you can eval this code:

(print (font-family-list))

to see what fonts is available to emacs. To eval the code, select it and M-x eval-region. Press C-h e to go to the Messages buffer to see full output.

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