I wanted to use the Unicode characters:

  • U+2229 Intersection
  • U+222A Union

They are next to each other in the Unicode table.

Here's how they look on Stack Exchange:


And here's what they look like in Arial 48pt in Microsoft Word (with 230% zoom):

Intersection and Union in Arial, Microsoft Word

It gets different, but not better IMHO, when I switch to Calibri:

Intersection and Union in Calibri, Microsoft Word

Even Times New Roman is broken:

Intersection and Union in Times New Roman, Microsoft Word

Doesn't that look ugly and s&%$$y? Shouldn't they have equal heights? I think their shape is distinguishable enough to not mix them up. What's the reasoning behind this? And why is this so consistent across these major fonts?

  • 2
    Clearly, you need to use a font that specifically comes with these glyphs included.
    – Lucian
    Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 18:35
  • 1
    Your screenshots look like you’re on Windows, so this may not help, but if you have a macOS machine, you might use an application like Fonty to generate a list of all installed fonts that contain both Intersection and Union, to make it easier to select a good font for your document/project. Commented Jun 21, 2023 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


You've got some font substitution going on.

Union doesn't exist in [standard] Arial, enter image description here

only in Arial Unicode… enter image description here

where it looks like a perfectly inverted intersection.
…and it's the same for Calibri & Times New Roman.

∩∪ for copy/paste testing
btw, depending on platform & font substitution on SE, I don't know what font you will actually see in the copy/paste example. For me it's substituted by Apple Symbol. YMMV, of course.

  • 8
    Microsoft "We stopped servicing and updating Arial Unicode and no longer install it as part of Office." - Wow! Commented Jun 19, 2023 at 17:11
  • 3
    @AndrewLeach - it's a license-fee avoider. Both were grotesks initially.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 16:10
  • 3
    @Tetsujin It's not a copy. There are even questions here about that. Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 16:11
  • 3
    Tomato tomato.. ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 16:12
  • 4
    @Tetsujin Iirc, you're allowed to copy fonts (perhaps even typefaces). Just not the computer programs encoding the fonts. The fact it's not a copy is meaningful.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 22:35

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