I would like to check if the new SE-wide changes to fonts have had any adverse effects on the content here.

I used to think that Ubuntu font can't handle the graphemes seen here, but it turns out that Ubuntu works fine. [Or does it? It looks like the browser is falling back to Noto Sans for the missing graphemes.] I have seen more exotic graphemes on other questions, but I don't recall which questions or answers. Can you please provide links to a few such questions? If we're having problems, I'll write a report at the main meta site. (Or you could write the report too.)

My priority is to ensure that the content is legible. Stylistic preferences are personal, and I'd rather not get into that discussion.


system-ui still seems to be the default font on Linux, despite their comment that "Arial" will be the default. I guess some changes take time to go live. In the mean time, if StackExchange font policies are interfering with your utility of this site, please install Stylus in your browser and use this stylesheet: https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/364269/236093

You cannot use the fonts written there if you want unambiguous glyphs. So here are my recommendations for the values of --ff-mono and --ff-sans:

  1. monospace and sans-serif. You can configure this to whatever you want in your browser.
  2. DejaVu Mono and DejaVu Sans. These have excellent Unicode coverage.
  3. Noto Sans Mono and Noto Sans. These have excellent Unicode coverage.
  4. My personal settings, --ff-mono: 'Ubuntu Mono', 'Noto Sans Mono'; and --ff-sans: 'Atkinson Hyperlegible', 'DejaVu Sans', 'Noto Sans'; because I like to visually differentiate between "1Il|", "O0oθ", etc. Atkinson Hyperlegible, IBM Plex, and Ubuntu all have this feature. If a glyph is missing in the first listed font, the browser will choose the next listed font that has the glyph. Configure to taste.

1 Answer 1


The Ubuntu font causes problems for any questions (and answers) that try to distinguish velar fricatives from uvular fricatives, such as this one. This font makes x (Latin x) and χ (Greek chi) indistinguishable.

image showing that x and chi look the same

  • Does it still show Ubuntu by default for you? Aaron's latest update says they will use Arial by default for Linux. I'm asking because even though I'm on Linux, I've customized the heck out of my installed fonts. Even "Times New Roman" shows "DejaVu Serif" for me.
    – prash Mod
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 19:39
  • Seems like their changes haven't gone live yet. This is what I get in the browser's inspector --ff-sans: system-ui,-apple-system,BlinkMacSystemFont,"Segoe UI","Ubuntu","Roboto","Noto Sans","Droid Sans",sans-serif;. I don't know how system-ui behaves. Apparently, it can be quite unpredictable. I'll wait a day for their changes to go live, and will check again.
    – prash Mod
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 19:51

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