enter image description here I'm noticing that my browser isn't always showing all the characters from questions and responses. Is there any chance that the site creates a "character map" page for users to verify if their web browser is displaying all characters correctly?

Example: enter image description hereé

  • A solution might be to add a fallback font (if there is one providing blank glyphs as narrow no-break spaces on the offending OS, which must be an old Windows in this case). Commented Sep 22, 2011 at 17:12
  • @StéphaneGimenez, I think it's your nnbsp's, Windows doesn't like them either - they get displayed as squares in the TaskBar.
    – Benjol
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 9:32
  • 3
    @Benjol: Those nnbsp's are not mine ; this character is in Unicode 3.0 (that is year 1999), how come your Windows don't know it ? Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 9:44
  • @StéphaneGimenez, dunno
    – Benjol
    Commented Sep 23, 2011 at 10:51
  • 1
    That's because Windows (at least XP) does not know the Unicode narrow non-breakable space
    – rds
    Commented Jan 12, 2012 at 10:23
  • Good ol' [ALT+0151], always playful with OSes. Commented Jul 11, 2012 at 14:36
  • @RomainVALERI Oh, you mean AltGr + Shift + Space?
    – Evpok
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 10:23

4 Answers 4



  • e acute: é É
  • a grave: à À
  • e grave: è È
  • u grave: ù Ù
  • a circumflex: â Â
  • e circumflex: ê Ê
  • i circumflex: î Î
  • o circumflex: ô Ô
  • u circumflex: û Û
  • e dieresis: ë Ë
  • i dieresis: ï Ï
  • u dieresis: ü Ü
  • y dieresis: ÿ Ÿ
  • c cedilla: ç Ç


  • oe ligature: œ Œ
  • ae ligature: æ Æ

Special chars

  • guillemets: « »
  • en dash: –
  • em dash: —
  • ellipsis: …


(Between ")

  • Unbreakable space: " "
  • Thin unbreakable space: " "
  • en space: " "
  • em space: " "


If you can read the two tables here you should be fine.

  • Consonants: ʃ (ch), ɲ (gn), ʒ (j), ŋ (ng), ʁ (r); also the semi-vowel ɥ (u')
  • Vowels: ɑ (posterior a), ø (most closed eu), œ (less closed eu), ə (central vowel, so-called e muet), ɛ (è), ɔ (open o)
  • Nasal vowels (ɑ/ɛ/ɔ/œ with a tilde above): ɑ̃ (an/en), ɛ̃ (in/en), ɔ̃ (on), œ̃ (un)

A little poll, just to have a clue about what we should do about narrow no-break spaces.

Is the space before the question mark displayed correctly at the end of this french sentence:

L'espace est-elle affichée correctement avant ce point d'interrogation ?

For comparison purposes, here is the same sentence with no space, normal space and normal non-breaking space:

L'espace est-elle affichée correctement avant ce point d'interrogation? (no space)
L'espace est-elle affichée correctement avant ce point d'interrogation ? (normal space)
L'espace est-elle affichée correctement avant ce point d'interrogation ? (normal non-breaking space)

If you want to test it with question titles, e.g. for window titlebar behavior, try Alternatives à la finale « -é » tonique dans « Chanté-je juste ? »

Please fill in your browser information here, if someone hasn't already reported the status:

  • It works, I see a narrow space:
    • Firefox: 3.0.4/Fedora [chepseskaf]; 3.6/Linux Ubuntu [Unfrancophone]; {4,…,16}/Linux [Gilles,Stéphane,Evpok]; {3.5,5,…,14}/WinXP [Gilles, Evpok]; 3.6.3/Mac OS 10.4.11 [Joubarc]; 3.6.11/Win7 [Evpok]; 32.0a2/WinXP [Sifu]
    • Chrome: 8/WinXP [Gilles]; 14/Linux [Gilles]; 14/Win7 [chepseskaf]; 16/Win7 [chepseskaf]
    • IE: IE8 (8.0.7601.17514) / Windows 7 enterprise SP1 [Joubarc]
    • Safari: 4.1.3/Mac OS 10.4.11 [Joubarc]
    • Opera: 11.52/WinXP [Stamm]
  • It doesn't work, I see a big square or other strange glyph:
    • IE: IE8/WinXP [Gilles, Sifu];
    • Android 2.2.1 default Browser app [Joubarc]
    • Firefox: 5/WinXP [chepseskaf]
    • Chrome: 15/WinXP [chepseskaf]; 36/WinXP [Sifu]
  • It doesn't work, I see a normal space
  • It doesn't work, I see a very wide space:
    • Firefox {10.0a1, 11.0a1}/Kubuntu 11.10 [EVpok]
    • Firefox {3.6.22, 12.0}/Linux RHEL5.5 [Unfrancophone]
  • It doesn't work, I see no space:
    • Safari 5.1, Mac OS 10.6 [F’x]

And if you have some spare minutes, the developers might send you free cookies if you file a bug.

  • Works for me in FFx at work and at home, but doesn't paste well into Word (FWIW), and shows squares in Windows XP Taskbar (stackapps.com/questions/2569/…)
    – Benjol
    Commented Sep 26, 2011 at 11:55
  • I just noticed that it doesn't necessarily shown in the edit pane even if it renders properly.
    – Joubarc
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 16:42
  • Why not use a simple non-breaking space?
    – chepseskaf
    Commented Sep 29, 2011 at 6:39
  • @chepseska: To comply with usual French typography usages. And because an orphan guillemet is insufferably sad.
    – Evpok
    Commented Oct 8, 2011 at 9:30
  • Possibly an ANSI/Unicode issue?
    – Paolo
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 11:35

IMHO The problem should really be solved server side. It is out of question to ask whoever visit the site to tweak with charset and maybe install some extra fonts.

  • 2
    I don't necessary agree.If we respect standards, there is no reason to have a normal space instead of non-breakable space because some non-conforming browsers/OS are around.
    – rds
    Commented Jan 10, 2012 at 13:36
  • Actually it seems that most of the problems are browser bugs. I didn't realize this before.
    – Paolo
    Commented Jan 11, 2012 at 14:47

Heureusement qu'on a pas trop de signes diacritiques en français. Sinon on pourrait avoir des probl`̴̵̶̷̸̡̢̧̨̛̖̗̘̙̜̝̞̟̠̣̤̥̦̩̪̫̬̭̮̯̰̱̲̳̹̺̻̼͇͈͉͍͎̀́̂̃̄̅̆̇̈̉̊̋̌̍̎̏̐̑̒̓̔̽̾̿̀́͂̓̈́͆͊͋͌̕̚ͅ͏͓͔͕͖͙͚͐͑͒͗͛͘͜͟͢͝͞͠͡mes...

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