Russian font is ugly

Steps to reproduce

Open Chrome or Desktop App. Type on Russian.

Expected result

normal text

Actual result

ugly text with big spacing between letters


Mac, Chrome and Desktop app;

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Some other Russian user has made a comment, but he didn’t reply me after I asked what are the standard fonts to use for Russian text.

We do not know all the languages in the world… in fact I can barely tell that is considered “ugly” (since I’ve never really seen much Russian text).

There are a few options in Settings - Preferences - Font options - East-asian fonts and most of them are suggested by our users. We’d love to add prettier fonts for Russian (or Cyrillic in general), but we need your help.

Most fonts have both serif and sans serif, where serif looks more academic/formal (like Times New Roman) and sans-serif looks more casual (like Arial), is that the same with Russian text?

I think there’s a problem with the Whitney font. Maybe it lacks cyrillic symbols? Here’s how it looks for me with Russian and English text (in Firefox).

Other fonts from settings look pretty much the same in Russian and in English. Here’s Roboto:

I think that apart from some non-Latin symbols the Russian texts look mostly similar to English, the serif/sans-serif thing is the same. And the weird letter spacing Pavel saw is definitely ugly =).

Yes, the problem with Whitney font. Other fonts looks good. Thanks, I didn’t see this settings. Whitney font also looks not bad in Safari. Chrome and Desktop app has this issue.

But if I switch font from Whitney to any other, in some places I still can see ugly spacing. For example in search results and bookmark removing alert:

It looks like the font setting doesn’t get applied to the search results page. I use Roboto but the text on the search page still tries hard to be Whitney. Here’s what I see:

I don’t have the spacing issue but the mismatch doesn’t look nice either.

Ok, I see, I’ll investigate the Whitney font and see why it’s missing those symbols. It’s especially important as it’s the default font.

That’s definitely a bug, could you please file a bug for this? Thanks!

Erica, symbols are not missed. They have too wide spacing.

This is what I see on desktop app:

There might be something different about our systems…

I’ve looked that happen in HTML code when I change font in the Settings.
When I set Roboto elements, I get this style.
style=“font-family: Roboto, “Microsoft YaHei”, 微软雅黑, “Hiragino Sans GB”, 冬青黑体;”
When I set Whitney
style=“font-family: Whitney, “Microsoft YaHei”, 微软雅黑, “Hiragino Sans GB”, 冬青黑体;”

The different is not mach, only first element is changed. This list tells web browser where to search character. Now it knows what to do if it can’t find character in the font. It must search in the second font, in the third, and so on.

On my system I don’t have Microsoft YaHei and 微软雅黑 font. I have “Hiragino Sans GB” font. And this font on my system has a lack.

Maybe Erica has “Microsoft YaHei” font in her system.

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Ah, I see!

If you just want to use the system font, maybe try out the “System” option under “Font”?

On that note, I think this is related.

If I set system or any other, I still has a problem with search results, bookmark alerts, and item dragging.

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Re: search results, that’s the same bug raised by @dvasyukova above.

The other places are system text. To distinguish them from user-input text, they don’t use the custom set font.

Pavel, that’s not what I meant. I meant all this is because these Russian symbols are missing in Roboto, which leads to the weird spacing as “Hiragino Sans GB” is used. If Whitney were complete in the first place, all this would be solved.

Makes sense?

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The search results font bug has already been reported here.

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Thanks for digging this up!

How will you fix this?
Can you add missed characters to Whitney?
I think you also could add default font to the list
Whitney, “Microsoft YaHei”, {NEW}, 微软雅黑, “Hiragino Sans GB”, 冬青黑体;
Where {NEW} - is some russian compatible font, which is look alike on Whitney.

It might break other fonts because of the exactly same reason we talked about here, so I still prefer figuring out how to add the missing fonts in Whitney.

we can change font in settings, but when we share a list it opens with default options. I suggest two ways for this:

  1. open shared lists with options setted by author
  2. change default font to Roboto (or almost any other from existing list) for Cyrillic

So… the latest update says the bug should be closed, but even after clearing the cache in Chrome, I still see something like this: