Viewing non-printable characters in text files


I have the option to “Show invisibles” but when I cant view the non-printable characters when I open a text file with non printable characters in it.

What am I missing?



What non-printable characters are you trying to view?


I am trying to view a file which contains Group separators, Record separators and Unit separators.
The file is UTF-8 encoded. In sublime text 2, they appear as GS, US, RS. Is there any way I can view those characters in Atom?

Sorry for not being more descriptive in my first post


To my knowledge, there isn’t support for them yet. You may want to open up the Developer Tools and use the web inspector to inspect the characters in question to see if they have any particular character class on them so you could perhaps style them in your personal stylesheet?

It’s quite alright. We get there eventually :smile:


Has this functionality been added yet? I preview log files regularly that contain FS, GS, ETX and STX so support to view them would be excellent.

Thank you!


There is the hex package that allows you to view the actual bytes of the file (useful for figuring out encoding issues). But no, I don’t think there are any packages that allow viewing control characters inside the normal view.


+1. I don’t use these particular record separators, but I often work with text files that have null characters. It would be great to be able to see them right away.

At the moment, I use BBEdit for this, as it will display them and other uncommon invisibles (usually with an upside down red question mark or a circle larger than the one typically used for space invisibles). To see what I’m dealing with, I highlight it and look at the character inspector palette. It’s really helpful for seeing what kind of nonsense I need to clean up.


tried the “Window: Toggle invisibles” option but it seemed to not really work. so there’s a menu option there but it’s not showing me anything.

i discovered some zero-width space characters in a YAML file, which caused a YAML parser to choke. would not have been able to find this without running the YAML file through unix/linux less command. horrible. would love to see this feature added and improved.