Garbled character display

In various places, the desktop Anki client is displaying extra characters on top of other characters, garbling them:

  • Note Types
  • deck browser
  • Shortcut Key
  • Syncing

The extra character appears to be a question mark in a box (difficult to tell, as it’s jumbled together with other characters), which may be the unicode Replacement Character. It typically, though not exclusively, appears around numbers.

Restarting Anki or the computer, disabling Anki add-ons and checking the database (as recommended in " When problems occur") do not affect the issue.

Have others experienced this apparent bug? Is this something for the developers to address?

System Info:
OS X 10.13.6, 10.14.6
Anki 2.1.40, 2.1.42, 2.1.44

I don’t have access to a 10.13 system, but can’t seem to reproduce it on 10.14. Maybe your system has some unusual configuration or some non-standard fonts that are causing it? The characters are Unicode Character 'FIRST STRONG ISOLATE' (U+2068) and 2069

That’s a good lead, though looking in the Character Viewer on my computer, neither of those characters shows glyphs.

The standard system font (SF Pro) wasn’t installed on my computer. After installing & restarting, Anki still shows the odd glyph. Are you sure about the codepoint? The browser test page for FIRST STRONG ISOLATE shows a blank glyph in the server generated image. It could be the local copy of the font Anki is using; any idea of what the name of the font Anki uses is? I’ll look into it as well.

After a fair bit of digging, the table in the browser window is using font .SF NS Text, which is an earlier system font (used in 10.11 & 10.12). Looks like even though SF Pro was installed, the older system font is still used in some places.

Yes, first strong isolate is the character - it’s not supposed to be visible, as it is a hint to the text engine about the direction text should flow.

IIRC the toolkit is choosing the font in those windows. Did adding the required fonts back fix the problem? In any case, it sounds like whatever changes you’ve made to your system are the cause of this :slight_smile:

Neither adding the missing fonts nor reinstalling macOS Mojave have had any affect on the issue. Looking more closely at the system font, it’s the appropriate version. It’s officially named “SF Pro”, but the font file still has a family name of “SF NS Text”.

Under a new user account, Anki does not display the missing glyph symbol. Removing Anki’s app data folder and clearing system font caches (and other font caches: ~/.cache/fontconfig, ~/.fontconfig, /opt/local/var/cache/fontconfig, /opt/local/var/cache/fontconfig-.cache) has had no affect.

I’ve now posted a question on Apple.SE to see if anyone there has ideas as to cause or resolution (though I haven’t had much luck there with trickier issues).