Align "*" with "+" #13

digulla opened this Issue Sep 27, 2012 · 10 comments


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5 participants


Many non-programmer fonts move "*" (asterisk) up but in programming, the "*" usually means "multiply" and as a mathematical operator, it should align with the other math symbols (+, -).

Please center "*" like the other math symbols.




The multi-line comments would lose a bit. /* */.


@Francisc: Yes but how about the middle lines? Here, the asterisk looks a bit off:

  *  <--??

Haha, I still think it's fine, but it's probably because I "got used to it".

@pauldhunt pauldhunt was assigned Sep 27, 2012

I think i will use this opportunity to address an issue that affects some of these glyph design preferences. One thing about fonts is that they have to be all things to people. Even in creating a monospaced font for ‘coding’, there are several language syntaxes that must be considered. In making design decisions regarding characters that have different uses in different languages, I’ve tried to find a compromise. I will also admit that my preferences colored my design decisions: that’s inevitable.

In the particular case of the asterisk, my rationale was that as long as I made it large enough to be discernable as a ‘splat’ at small sizes on screen then I would be happy. I consciously chose not to align with the other math characters because in my own work I typically use the asterisk in the context of regular expressions and I did not feel that handling the glyph as described in this thread would be a benefit. Nor did I feel that handling the asterisk as I have done would be detrimental for those who use it as a multiplication symbol. If you disagree, I apologize.

I am likely not to change the design of this particular glyph. I will probably make an alternate available in a future revision, but that would require the user to then build the fonts to use the alternate glyph as the default. There is a simple tool to do this if the user doesn’t want to get his hands dirty with all the font production software. One can do this using the Font Squirrel @font-face generator: Personally, I feel this is the best I can do when it comes to these glyph design preferences that will vary from person to person.

Adobe Fonts member

We could also consider making a branch of the fonts where the asterisk would be made bigger. After we create such branch it will need to maintained by the community.



Thanks a lot for the insight into the design process. This got me thinking: How about a web site where you can enter your preferences for some glyphs (i.e. it would show the options and you could select those that you want). After entering all options, it would generate the required font (or maybe if these are all boolean options, we could generate the 2^N fonts and just download the correct one).

Correct me if I'm wrong but there is no way to set font options at "runtime" (i.e. like a preferences page in a normal application).


pauldhunt: nice point of view... regular expresions will be very affected, i regret :)


After some thinking, I have decided that the default asterisk will be aligned as described in the next update to these fonts.


The asterisk has been resized and realigned in the latest sources.

@pauldhunt pauldhunt closed this Dec 6, 2012
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