Here's an org-mode table with some unicode math characters in it:

enter image description here

Note that the columns don't align.

I can manually fix the issue by inserting literal tab characters after each character via ctrl-q TAB:

enter image description here

It would be nice to have a command that did this, instead of having to manually add sufficient tab characters to each cell.

Is there a good way to approach this in elisp?

  • 1
    Do you use a somehow special font ? For me, simply hitting TAB in each line correctly aligns the columns.
    – JeanPierre
    Jul 15, 2019 at 6:56
  • @JeanPierre Very interesting that they align for you! I'm using Emacs on Windows. I have the following in my init file: (set-face-attribute 'default nil :family "Consolas" :height 100).
    – dharmatech
    Jul 15, 2019 at 8:34

1 Answer 1


What's probably happening is that your regular font is missing those glyphs, so they get filled in from another font, which uses a different width. Here's what M-x describe-char shows for me when the point is on the a:

            character: a (displayed as a) (codepoint 97, #o141, #x61)
    preferred charset: ascii (ASCII (ISO646 IRV))
code point in charset: 0x61
              display: by this font (glyph code)
    xft:-DAMA-Ubuntu Mono-normal-normal-normal-*-17-*-*-*-m-0-iso10646-1 (#x44)

and here's the :

            character: ∈ (displayed as ∈) (codepoint 8712, #o21010, #x2208)
    preferred charset: unicode (Unicode (ISO10646))
code point in charset: 0x2208
              display: by this font (glyph code)
    xft:-GNU -FreeSans-normal-normal-normal-*-17-*-*-*-*-0-iso10646-1 (#xDC0)

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