I'm trying to show how many letters are in a word.

I want to do that with underscore characters. BUT there is no space demarcating the underscore in most fonts. E.g., how many characters is this? ____

One solution is to use a common web font that does have space, although I'm open to other suggestions. (I'd prefer not to have to put in dummy spaces). Robo Slab happens to do this nicely, but Not sure how common it is.

But I'd also love to do this with standard fonts in our PC software as well.

Are there any special characters what are commonly available in Arial, etc.?

  • I wish I could help, but I don't understand the context of your problem. Is this for a game? Are you looking to program this? Do you need to code a function that takes this space into account? You can easily do this with jQuery... Commented Jul 23, 2016 at 8:00

3 Answers 3


Adding an extra space is the only fully portable answer, as even common fonts are only guaranteed on specific operating systems. Look-alike fonts are not guaranteed to look alike in minor details like underscore spacing. Not all clients support web fonts.

If you are OK with using images, you could use a small 'underscore' image with the desired spacing. If it's alt text was 'underscore' it would remain about as usable for blind users.


Why not instead of dummy spaces insert some straight slashes/vertical lines?

Something like this:

"_ | _ | _ | _ | _ | _"

It would make it look like a string of boxes, or like there are some walls between the letters, but for your purpose it's as clear as it can get.

If the vertical lines are too big, try using some commas:

_ , _ , _ , _ , _

Choose a font where commas are square-shaped, so that they would appear as smaller "walls" between the underscore characters.


System fonts providing that space you're looking for:

Geneva Regular, Sathu Regular, Myanmar Sangam MN Regular, Malayalam Sangam MN Regular, PT Mono Regular, Lao Sangam MN Regular, Khmer Sangam MN Regular, Kannada Sangam MN Regular, Oriya Sangam MN Regular, Gurmukhi Sangam MN Regular.

No system fonts providing that space you're looking for:

Nexa Light Regular, Museo Sans 100, Monaco Regular,

Bottom Line:

grand _ _ _ _ _ _ (using spaces between letters)

I agree with Myrddin Emrys using spaces between letters is perhaps your best option. It really doesn't seem that bad, the spaces are not so distant, and the message of what's happening is clear and understandable.

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