Emoji 😄 in topic title rendered as a square in browser tab under Windows 7


(Jay Pfaffman) #2

Works ok on try:


(David Taylor) #3

For the tab title, it will be using your system font. If your system font doesn’t have the correct emoji, then it won’t display. There isn’t really anything Discourse can do about this.

Are you running chrome on Linux? I’ve seen similar issues on Ubuntu before.


I’m under Windows 7.

Here are some more cases I’ve got:

  • Chrome : square both in tab title and taskbar
  • Chrome : character string :smile: both in tab title and taskbar
  • Firefox : correct icon in tab title, but square in taskbar

The later point seems to indicate there’s no system font issue. Plus the fact that, when I click “view page source” in Chrome, I see this (check the <title> line):

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en" class="desktop-view not-mobile-device  ">
    <meta charset="utf-8">
    <title>😄 This is a topic title - Discourse</title>
    <meta name="description" content="This topic this topic this topic this topic.">
    <meta name="discourse_theme_key" content="57e540c7-bce7-4b87-93d5-a041e8b99c8a">
    <meta name="author" content="">

(Jeff Atwood) #5

Works fine for me on Windows 10 so I suggest updating to a more recent OS.


There might be a problem with my specific configuration. But if it’s not the case, i.e. if more reports confirm the issue, then I think this should be fixed, because Windows 7 is the most popular OS on desktop. The fix could be to remove emoji from the html page title.
@codinghorror, until further information, I think people will find this topic more easily if you put the ‘bug’ tag back.

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Sorry, windows emoji support is dependent on OS as well.

(Stephen Chung) #8

In Discourse, emoji’s rendered as images, not using a font AFAIK. So you always get it regardless of what fonts you installed on your Windows.

In browser tabs, however, text is rendered using a system font. So if you have an emoji font installed on the system, it’ll display fine. If you don’t have an emoji font installed on the system, it will just be a square.

Newer O/S’s, including Windows 8.1 upwards and Mac and Linux etc. have standard emoji fonts installed on the system. For example, in Windows it should be the Segoe UI Emoji font.

Windows 7 is VERY OLD (like Oh-My-Gosh Old). When Windows 7 came out, emojis were still text-based. Emoji’s as we know it today did not exist. Therefore, Windows 7 did NOT come with an emoji font.

Notice, however, the Microsoft Office automatically adds a bunch of fonts to Windows (for example, the eternally useful Arial Unicode MS). If you install a new-version Office on Windows 7, it is likely that you may have an emoji font. For example, Office 2016 automatically installs Segoe UI Emoji if you don’t have it. Then your emoji’s may display correctly even in browser tabs.

Conclusion: For Windows 7, it really depends on what software the user has installed and whether those software install additional emoji fonts with them.

In order to make sure Windows 7 has emoji support, you need to:

  1. Make sure you have an emoji font, e.g. Segoe UI Emoji. Install it if you don’t have it.

  2. Use a tool to modify the standard Windows font mapping sequence. Make sure it searches the emoji font somewhere within the sequence. Later versions of Windows do not need this, as they treat the entire family of Segoe fonts as a whole, but it really depends on Windows version.


As already stated, I don’t think my problem is a system font issue (see my second post).

(Stephen Chung) #10

I think it is. Firefox may simply have an internal font that contains emoji’s and uses it to render instead of the system font.

It cannot fudge the taskbar though, which is rendered by Windows using the system font.

When you View Page Source in Chrome, Chrome again uses a font to display your sources. That font probably contains emoji’s; that’s why you see it.

The fact is, you don’t have an emoji font for the SYSTEM.

Your applications (e.g. browsers) have their own emoji fonts.

(Stephen Chung) #11

Seems like there may be a Windows 7 update to get the emoji font:


I see, thanks for the explanation.

(Stephen Chung) #13

In fact, when you View Source in Chrome, check the fonts used to display the source.

You’ll see Segoe UI Emoji at the end of the fonts list.


I’ve just checked: KB2729094 is installed in my system, as well as the Segoe UI Emoji font. So I’m still not sure about what’s happening here.

Anyway, my own case is not important, as long as my future users are ok. So if nobody else faces the same issue, there’s no need to investigate further.


Any feedback from others? I’ve just added an emoji :smile: to the title of this very topic. Can you see it correctly in the tab title under Windows 7?

(Stephen Chung) #16

This is on FireFox 57 running on Windows 10:


NOTE: Beware, when the title changes and an emoji is added, it DOESN’T show the emoji, but the emoji code surrounded by colons. You need to REFRESH the page for the emoji to show. Not sure if this counts as a bug…

Switching list:




On Chrome it is exactly the same. But I’m on Windows 10. Haven’t touched Windows 7 for a long time.