Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
New member
Status: New idea

Tbird needs the ability to set a right-margin when inputting text.

Tbird treats all input as one, long, continuous line broken only by screen width or hard returns. But for text- intensive emails that are lengthy and multi-paragraphed, shorter lines are much easier to read. At present, in order to use shorter lines, one is forced to type as though using a typewriter, periodically hitting <Return> each time a chosen line length is reached, that or go back and edit the line lengths throughout the message.

Recognizing that others' email clients won't necessarily have the same feature, the effect of a user-set right margin in Tbird would be for it to automatically insert a hard-return each time the line limit is reached. If that happens mid-word, then it would back up to the last space, and simply drop that word to the next line. Going back and hyphenating a few words manually thereafter if necessary would be a lot easier than having to through an entire message line-by-line as is now required.

What's more, if something like that could be implemented, a true justified right margin could also become possible.

Status changed to: New idea
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks for submitting an idea to the Mozilla Connect community! Your idea is now open to votes (aka kudos) and comments.

Familiar face

What you are failing to get with online text is wrapping is done to fill a space.  More space = longer lines.  Less space shorter lines and more of them.



You will notice that he first parragraph of this text,  composed at a maximised Thunderbird window consists of only two lines under the first heading.  That same text in a "non" maximised windows has three lines and by reducing the width of the lines available to display text be further reducing the width of the windows it increases to six lines.

When you click send, you have no control of the size of the screen on which the information will be read.  It might be as small as a 4 inch phone screen.  Which have very short lines in text blocks.  It might also be as large as someone's 75 inch television.  So hard coding any sort of line breaks except for paragraph breaks is actually a rather bad idea as while some of those sizes have special challenges, you do not want to be making them worse by trying to force line lengths.  Auto wrapping of lines is very important to be allowed to happen.

If you want Thunderbird to wrap to shorter lines as you compose for your ease of reading,  make the compose window smaller.  Likewise, those reading your mail can usually control the width of the viewing area they are reading in if they are struggling with line lengths.




New member

I do get it. I also object to it, exactly my point. As such, I disagree with your premise that auto-wrapping of lines is very important.

To your point that the sender has no control over the receiver’s screen size is precisely the issue, and why the ability to hard-code the line lengths is needed. You cite two extremes for which you argue that hard-coding line length would be problematic: a viewer with a 75" screen and one with a 4" screen. In fact, in the former case, the 75" screen only exacerbates the problem; shorter lines would be an advantage there. In the case of a 4" screen, or for users employing large fonts, the only adverse effect would be an occasional line breaking early. Paragraphs would otherwise wrap normally.

The suggestion about reducing the width of windows misses the point. I want to make sure to the extent I can that the material is easier to read by my reader. For while indeed, readers can control the width of their viewing area, in reality absolutely no one does. They accept the cumbersome and harder to read line lengths as an unfortunate characteristic of email. My point is that it needn’t be.

One additional observation: What I’m asking for is not the universal imposition of right margins, but the ability to elect to use them. If they would not fit your message or your typical email usage, you needn’t use them.