Many software packages have features where non-printing characters such as whitespace, paragraph markers, etc are made visible, for example (from Word and Sublime Text):

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Is there any font that shows these characters as visible in a way similar to this?

Obviously a font couldn't have the blue colour of the paragraph symbol or the grey of the dashes - it's visibility of the characters I'm most interested in. I've tried searches on font sites, but no luck (I might be using the wrong terms).

Ideally monospace, but that's not essential. The more non-printing characters that are visible, the better, but just spaces and tabs would be enough.

I would imagine if such a font exists, it's main market would be for proofreading, so people can check the correct spacing and formatting of a book or long document using a printed copy.

My particular reason for wanting such a font is to make errors such as trailing spaces more visible in applications that don't have such a feature.

  • 4
    Note that many programs manage their whitespace themselves and, e.g., only use the width of the font’s space character. A classical example would be justified text, where whitespace is stretched, but this also applies to unjustified text in many applications. This is among the reasons why it’s not a good idea to make an intelligent OpenType feature with whitespace characters. Tabs and line breaks are even worse. Combine this with the fact that simple automatic routines can rid you of trailing spaces and similar, there is little use for such a font and it will likely not satisfy your needs.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Apr 16, 2015 at 8:55

1 Answer 1


I have another solution for you, using Indesign, which not only can show hidden characters but has the unique option of

Find and replacing hiddent characters

What you need to do is

  1. Paste your text in indesign
  2. Go to type>show hidden characters
  3. Choose a glyph to come instead of every single hidden character
  4. Go to the find and replace window (cmd+f)
  5. Copy the hidden character and paste in in the find box, and paste the glyph that will come instead of it in the replace box.
  6. Click the Replace all button
  7. Do this for all of the hidden characters you want to print
  • 2
    Its not so unique as all my text editors can do this.
    – joojaa
    Apr 16, 2015 at 14:20
  • 1
    You maybe mean text editors for code , But what software for print can do this?
    – Naty
    Apr 16, 2015 at 14:21
  • 2
    well, given that indesign is the defacto pagesetter its moot. MS word can do this too if you enable certain switches. Anyway you can copy the text from the editor one you have replaced no matter what you use.
    – joojaa
    Apr 16, 2015 at 14:30

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