This one is honestly a bit of a mystery for me. The strange behavior is caused by the lambda symbol: the line goes to normal height if I remove the lambda.

enter image description here

How can I get Emacs to display such symbols correctly?

(oops, typo in the image)

  • 3
    Do you get the same behavior when you start Emacs via emacs -Q? What theme are you using? Does the problem persist if you switch to a different theme (via M-x load-theme)?
    – itsjeyd
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 10:04
  • +1 to @itsjeyd's comment. If the answer is no, then recursively bisect your init file, by commenting out 1/2 of it, then 3/4, 7/8, 15/16,... until you locate the problematic part. Use command comment-region to comment and (with C-u) uncomment selected code (the active region).
    – Drew
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 18:08
  • Your OS and your Emacs version?
    – user227
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 20:41
  • I'm on Emacs 24.4 which I run on LXDE in Ubuntu 14.04. (Also, I updated the post; thanks all!)
    – iceman
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 0:00
  • 3
    Feel free to post an answer explaining your solution (changing font) and to accept it.
    – Malabarba
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 8:41

1 Answer 1


The culprit was...my font choice of Inconsolata...which makes me sad because I really liked it.

(Also, recursively bisecting the .emacs file is a great method for quickly isolating problems - thanks for the suggestion.)

My findings re: fonts which properly showed symbols:

  • Inconsolata
  • Source Code Pro
  • Consolas ✓

(Microsoft wins this round, I suppose)

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