Plain Text Email

Humans tend to tolerate many forms of inconvenience. To paraphrase a well known passage, experience shows that people are more disposed to suffer, while those events are sufferable, than to correct themselves by abolishing the inconvenience to which they have grown accustomed.

I'm no exception.

I always have used plain text in my email client. Currently that is Thunderbird, but in the KDE 3 days I used KMail, and previously in Windows, Eudora. I never paid much mind to how plain text emails were formatted in Thunderbird until working as a Linux admin and being bombarded daily with email alerts and reports.

For a long time I noticed the emails from work did not format properly. Anything in a plain text email that was formatted with tabs looked snaky. I shrugged. Not a big deal.

One day I decided I had suffered enough. I dug into the problem. Initially I thought I might need to convert tabs to spaces. Then I discovered the expand command. Yet the resulting emails continued to look snaky.

I started suspecting Thunderbird. Such as possibly not using a fixed width font. I wondered if I might have to hunt for a hidden configuration option.

I got lucky. Browsing through the Thunderbird preferences I tripped over a formatting configuration option. In Preferences->Display->Formatting->Advanced is the option Use fixed width font for plain text messages.

After enabling that option all plain text emails thereafter using tab formatting looked beautiful.

Problem resolved. No more suffering.

Silly me.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Thunderbird

Next: Laptop Wireless Always Hard Blocked

Previous: A New Workstation