So you can copy paste even if you can't see it - subscript "s" (Unicode Character “ₛ” (U+209B))

My main meta question Should I edit the squares in this title? Is it just me who's seeing them? explains that when I view the site https://www.compart.com/en/unicode/U+209B

Question: I use unicode characters from compart.com and elsewhere frequently (greek letters, arrows, degrees symbol) and I've never had a problem, what is suddenly so challenging about this subscript s?

I see this in MacOS 10.11 and Chrome on a late 2012 MacBook Air


and this in MacOS 10.15 and Safari on a brand new 2020 MacBook Air


  • Seems it's just not included in the default font set at all. Checked macOS 10.14 [web page & full character viewer] & Windows, on which I can see it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


The display of any unicode character requires that your machine has a font installed which contains the glyph for it. Apple doesn't provide fonts for all 130000 unicode characters. For U+209b you need to download one. A possible list is here.

And a font that can be used as a source for installing these glyphs is here: https://dejavu-fonts.github.io

  • Yup - confirmed activating Deja Vu now lets me see it.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 9:25
  • Okay thank you, I'm getting the picture now! Seeing "...all 130000 unicode characters" reminds me that we're talking about hundreds of languages and alphabets and symbols and emojis etc. I can see subscript "i" (compart.com/en/unicode/U+1D62) but not subscript "s" (compart.com/en/unicode/U+209B) because someone decided that a subscript "i" was much more universal and so should be included in my computer, but I'd be more likely to need a smily face (compart.com/en/unicode/U+1F600) than a subscript "s" :-)
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 9:28
  • 1
    I have thousands of fonts on this machine, for typesetting etc. Not all are activated at any given time as it can slow the machine to a crawl every time you need to choose a font for anything, so only certain ones are active at any time. I checked Tom's list against what I already had & found Deja Vu was a match…. so I switched it on.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 9:32
  • 2
    @Tetsujin Oh, the font called Deja Vu! Okay got it, thank you!
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 9:33
  • I've quoted you here
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 16:01

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