Doesn't seem to matter what browser I'm using. I have the prebuilt ol.js v5.2.0. As well as the prebuilt ol.css

Here is the code to create the view, it doesn't get any simpler:

    <link rel="stylesheet" href="css/ol.css" type="text/css">

    <script src="ol.js"></script>
  <body style="width:90%; height:100%;">
    <div id="map" class="map" ></div>

      var tiledLayer = 
        new ol.layer.Tile({
          extent: [-8222827, 4994547, -7968767, 5177517],
          source: new ol.source.TileWMS({
            url: <my url>,
            params: {'LAYERS': 'MyTestLayer', 'TILED': true},
            serverType: 'geoserver',
            transition: 0

      var layers = [
      var map = new ol.Map({
        layers: layers,
        target: 'map',
        view: new ol.View({
          zoom: 15

I inspect the elements of the zoom control in the browser debugger, here they are:

<div class="ol-zoom ol-unselectable ol-control">
   <button title="Zoom in" class="ol-zoom-in" type="button">+</button>
   <button title="Zoom out" class="ol-zoom-out" type="button">−</button></div>

Notice the odd characters where it should just say "-".
A quick google of these characters indicate they may be "Unicode 8722 – the MINUS SIGN"

If so, how do I get my browser to display it properly? Is this my issue or an Openlayers issue?

2 Answers 2


This is a problem related to the charset used by your browser. I ran into the same problem, adding the <meta charset="utf-8"> tag in the head of the html file will fix it.

You might check out this answer on stackoverflow for more information.

  • 1
    That was it! I was hoping it was something simple I was missing. Thanks.
    – Brian B
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 0:31
  • Glad I could help!
    – root676
    Commented Oct 18, 2018 at 6:56

We have just updated our website from OpenLayers 2 to OpenLayers 6. On our test server the [+/-] rendered just fine. The [+/-] rendered with the stray character in ol6, but was ok in ol2. This fixup took all of 20 minutes to resolve and fix.

Note the <meta charset="utf=8"> had to be the first <meta...> tag in the HTML file.

This did not work:

   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
   <meta name="hand-generated html (primitive, aint it?)">
   <meta charset="utf-8">

This did work:

   <meta charset="utf-8">
   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
   <meta name="hand-generated html (primitive, aint it?)">
  • That is useful to note, it should like like: <head> <meta charset="utf-8">
    – Brian B
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 16:29

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