I copy pasted init.lua from Neovim kickstarter.

Now while writing c++ code I am getting the below '?' character inside a box in Neovim

enter image description here

I am using Neovim in Ubuntu subsystem windows 10.

I think some character not supported in WSL, maybe.

  • Is you move your cursor on the character and hit ga what is the message you get? What is the result od the :set listchars? command? Oct 27 at 20:29
  • Did you solve your problem? How can we help you further? Nov 6 at 5:27
  • ga gives Null and :set listchars? gives , trail:-, nbsp:+
    – Sam Jones
    Nov 9 at 9:58
  • Thanks. Could you precise what you mean by "give Null". For a Null character I have in the message area the following text: <^@> 0, Hex 00, Octal 000. If I hit g8 I have 00. Could you tell me what exact text you have? Nov 9 at 10:51
  • 1
    :set listchars? gives nolist and ga / g8 gives NUL in message when I put the commands for ? character i.e the tab
    – Sam Jones
    Nov 9 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


I believe the tab part of your listchars option is set to a character that is not supported by your console font.

You could change that characters or characters using:

:set listchars^=-->

More information with: :help 'listchars'.

Of course you could also change the console font and select a font that support that character (Consolas is a standard choice).


Used these below config lines in init.lua to get it resolved.

local o = vim.opt
-- Set your characters here
o.listchars = { space = ' ', tab = '| ' }
o.list = true
o.relativenumber = true

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