My vim-airline has an unexpected ? symbol next to the program being run: enter image description here

I have tried manually setting the airline_symbols from here, for ex: let g:airline_left_sep = '>' and so on but this does not seem to do anything about the ? symbols next to vim and utf-8 on the right hand side.

As you can see from the rc file (below), I have also done let g:airline_section_y = '' but this does not seem to be removing the utf-8 tag from the airline bar.

How can I fix this?

This is my rc file (excluding plugins because it is too long):

" Color Schemes and Themes
set t_Co=256
set background=dark
colorscheme toast
highlight Normal ctermbg=NONE
highlight nonText ctermbg=NONE
let g:airline_theme='deus'
let g:airline_section_y = ''
let g:airline_section_z = '(%l,%c)'

" Basic Vim Settings
set number
set relativenumber
set autoindent
set tabstop=4
set shiftwidth=4
set smarttab
set softtabstop=4
set mouse=a

" NERDTree Keybindings
" <C-t> refers to <control+t>
nnoremap <C-t> :NERDTreeToggle<CR>
set encoding=UTF-8
  • I believe this symbol is g:airline_right_sep. What is the result of :echo g:airline_right_sep? Jan 17 at 23:57
  • 1
    Setting g:airline_right_sep to my .vimrc does not fix this. It adds the '<' as a separator between the different sections and you can see it but the ? symbol still remains exactly where it was. Jan 18 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


I would try:

let g:airline_symbols_ascii = 1
let g:airline_right_alt_sep = '>'
let g:airline_right_sep = '<'
  • 1
    Perhaps an explanation of why you would do this? (Like me, you probably suspect a font issue?)
    – D. Ben Knoble
    Jan 18 at 15:56
  • 1
    Your "I would try <vimsrcipt>" answers keep piling up in the low quality posts queue. Maybe add some explanation to satisfy SE's algorithm?
    – Friedrich
    Jan 20 at 20:17
  • @Friedrich Thanks for telling me :-) I try first to find what is the problem. Without being able to reproduce it :-/ Jan 20 at 21:24

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