I need a good font for representing control characters. And it seems one is installed on my system and that my keyboard layout creator software use it as it’s default installed font (I have thousands of fonts installed so it’s difficult to find a particular one)..
The various font services I tried identifies characters inside the symbols. And I couldn’t found one which is able to select the whole symbols.

I tried to look at opened files by the process. I searched for an alternative, but I couln’t found one which is able to represent special spaces as well as ʀʟᴍ characters or the ᴢᴡᴊ (of course I also need to represent all of the characters on the image).
I know for things like the The Unicode Last Resort Font or The Unicode BMP Fallback font but I need a descriptive way to represent them (not simply use numbers) for each of them. Also it seems they don’t exist in the ɢɴᴜ unifont.

Note that it can be an another font which would allow to display those characters, it doesn't have to be the font of this picture. Also I tried to run the software on a very old windows® version and the chars didn’t appeared, So the font is present on every windows but I don’t know which one is it.

  • Are you on a Mac? If so, check out the glyphs in Apple Symbol. If not, consider the possibility this is not a font and just drawn that way.
    – Jongware
    Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 11:54
  • @Jongware : ᴍꜱᴅɴ is not Apple. This is not just drawn, as I can change everything (like their size on keys). It must use a font, or at least a bitmap one. Commented Jul 31, 2015 at 12:00
  • 1
    @user2284570 that does not demonstrate it has to be a font, the probream amy be drawing the vectors manually.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 14:19
  • @joojaa : but I can change it (the current one is the default after installation)!. However, the selector doesn’t let me know the current font. Should I upload a larger picture of the window? Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 14:21
  • @user2284570 Still, it can be default drawing does not have to be a publicly available font, or even a font at all.
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 1, 2015 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


While searching for something entirely different in the Arial MS Unicode glyph set in Adobe InDesign, I came across this section:

glyph set for Control Characters

This shows that there is a dedicated set of Unicode Code points for the control characters, and indeed looking it up on Unicode.org you can find them in code block U+2400.

This gives you a Unicode code point to look for in a font's list of supported glyphs. FileFormat.info lists, amongst others: Arial Unicode MS, Code2000, and Segoe UI Symbol. Unfortunately, none of the fonts listed have the dotted outline of your example.

If you don't mind using Flash, it seems FileFormat can check your local font set, and so determine if the symbols indeed do come ready and all out of one of your locally installed fonts, or possibly from somewhere else.

  • which exist only for ascii not unicode. Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 16:34
  • Was that meant as a question? The problem with displaying control codes as characters is that in general, software cannot display them as characters. "Enter", for example, inserts a return character instead of displaying the CR character.
    – Jongware
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 17:27
  • As long as the font don't have values assigned to the corresponding Unicode points. Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 18:18
  • But there is no reason for software to do that! If you are referring to your key caps software: surely you don't believe they jumped through hoops just to be able to print a glyph for the exact code 08, rather than just having a lookup table which translates it to "Backspace".
    – Jongware
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 20:38
  • I am monospacing gnu Unifont and I can say the first results confirms my last comment. I need to publish my layouts on internet and lefting keys selectable which means no MSKLC. Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 20:56

I need a good font for representing control characters. ... it seems they don’t exist in the ɢɴᴜ unifont

No, they do. GNU Unifont has complete coverage as seen in Glyph Mini:

Gnu unifont font

fileformat.info is a good resource; according to it, control character #003 (ETX) is supported by the following fonts: https://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/0003/fontsupport.htmUnifont is among them.

The control characters, in their nature are invisible, they were not meant to be shown as visible characters. If you are designing a specialty tool like text cleaner web app for example, where you want control characters to be visible, I believe Unifont is a good font for that.

When you say:

.. I couldn’t found one which is able to select the whole symbols.

Actually you can select the whole symbols, maybe they will not be displayed properly, but if you have a text input form field with invisible characters and single-click its area, then CMD/CTRL + A select all, you will be able to copy input contents into the clipboard.

For example, you can copy ETX #003 from here: https://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/0003/browsertest.htm, then you can inspect the contents by pasting here: https://apps.timwhitlock.info/unicode/inspect?s=%03

preview any pasted characters

Again, the code editor is a challenge but it's not the font, it's the software you use the control character to select it that's the problem... For example, same ETX, when pasted into Sublime Text 3 is rendered as the sequence of characters <0x03> and you can copy-paste it as ETX. Atom shows it invisible but you can get plugin to alert you about the presence of invisibles, https://atom.io/packages/highlight-bad-chars

Generally speaking, Sublime Text 3 is the best to deal with control character operations: preview, copy and paste.

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