I apologize for the vague post as I do not know how to debug emacs that well. I will provide as much detail as I can and will update it as questions are asked.


So prior to updating some of the fonts on my system org mode showed up properly on my system with org-bullets. Here is an example of what it looked like

 ◉ Heading 1
   ◎ Sub Heading 1
     blah blah
   ◎ Sub Heading 2
     foo bar

But for some reason after some changes all the sub heading bullets disappeared. An example is bellow for what I see. All heading are still bold but you will notice that the bullet "o" is gone.

 ◉ Heading 1
     Sub Heading 1
     blah blah
     Sub Heading 2
     foo bar


Some of the information that I think may help with this issue.

 ("◉" "◎" "⚫" "○" "►" "◇")
  • 1
    Before going further, verify that you see the same problem using emacs -Q (no init file). I'm guessing you will, but at least that will let everyone know that the problem is not in your init file. (If you don't see the problem with emacs -Q then bisect your init file to find the culprit.)
    – Drew
    Mar 6, 2018 at 22:49
  • So I did try that and it is exactly as I suspected it was purely a font issue.
    – costrouc
    Mar 7, 2018 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


The problem was exactly as I had suspected it was a font issue with the variable width font not set properly. The font used did not have the utf-8 characters.

The org-level-1, org-level-2 set fonts were nil leading to the heading fonts not displaying. As an example

(custom-theme-set-faces 'co/org-theme
       `(org-level-2 ((t (,@headline ,@co/variable-font-tuple :height 1.1))))

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