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Old 4 Feb 2022, 12:42 PM   #1
ralphzak
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Join Date: Mar 2009
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how would you deal with gmail butchering an email by inserting carriage returns?

I sent somebody an email by writing it in notepad, turning off wordwrap, and pasting it into a gmail window.. I clicked send.

Then I looked at the email in my sent folder and it is butchered with a load of carriage returns.

It's not possible to for example copy/paste that email back into notepad and have it as I pasted it in.

I could do it myself, copying the sent email to the clipboard, pasting it into gVim, using the "J" key to join lines together. And I know where the lines should and shouldn't be. Like where my lines were and where they've just inserted lines.

But the person receiving my email isn't technical

For example here is a story. Snow white and the seven dwarfs. https://www.dltk-teach.com/RHYMES/SNOWWHITE/story.htm

I can paste that into notepad, no word wrap.. and get full length lines..

I can paste that into a gmail window and still it wraps to the window depending on the size of the window..

Then I click send and the result in the sent folder is about 10 words per line no matter the size of the window.. It has stuck in carriage returns.

Even going to view original, or even download original , it shows a file with new lines, carriage returns, within my text, that have been stuck in there and weren't in what was there before I clicked send.

The only solution around that that I can imagine is to attach the text to send in a text file so that gmail , google's servers even, won't mess with the text.

I'm curious what other peoples experience is re this issue. It's very easy to see/replicate.
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Old 4 Feb 2022, 05:08 PM   #2
FredOnline
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Does the 'Remove formatting' button, on the Gmail window, make any difference?
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Old 4 Feb 2022, 08:29 PM   #3
TenFour
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That happens when you cut and paste into Gmail. You can choose "plain text mode" in the Gmail formatting tool bar, or choose to remove formatting as Fred said.
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Old 5 Feb 2022, 01:20 AM   #4
ralphzak
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so I see a text mode option which I chose (and that's the only option I see that seems relevant to removing formatting).

https://i.imgur.com/cwTbKVf.png

Now I look in the email in the sent folder

https://i.imgur.com/6Er8poK.png

And it still shows with lost of carriage returns in there. And I look at the options in the sent window too and there's no option to remove them.

So anyhow they still got put in.

Maybe there's another option I can't see?
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Old 5 Feb 2022, 03:51 AM   #5
TenFour
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After you have pasted the text into Gmail choose "Formatting options" from the menu at the bottom, then choose the additional options at the right end using the downward arrow, then choose the icon showing a crossed out T to remove formatting. Try that.
https://i.imgur.com/xaJRzWO.jpg
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Old 5 Feb 2022, 07:47 AM   #6
hadaso
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There is a limit on the length of a line in an email message, and Gmail probably implements the recommendation that the length of a line in email text should be no more than 78 characters.


I think if your usage is for sending carefully structured text to a recipient that is expected to copy it exactly as it is to somewhere else, or at least view it in exactly the form it should look where it will be eventually published, then that text is really an attachment and it is probably more appropriate to send it as an attachment.
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Old 6 Feb 2022, 10:05 PM   #7
ralphzak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenfour
{mentions a particular remove formatting option}
that didn't fix the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hadaso View Post
There is a limit on the length of a line in an email message, and Gmail probably implements the recommendation that the length of a line in email text should be no more than 78 characters.


I think if your usage is for sending carefully structured text to a recipient that is expected to copy it exactly as it is to somewhere else, or at least view it in exactly the form it should look where it will be eventually published, then that text is really an attachment and it is probably more appropriate to send it as an attachment.
Yes that must be it.. That ridiculous RFC!! (if the RFC really thinks it's that important it really should mention an option to override it 'cos I know i'm not sending the email to somebody with some kind of weird badly programmed device that doesn't support word wrap!). Lucky there isn't an RFC saying that a TXT or PDF file can't have long lines because somebody might have a system that truncates the line! How ridiculous.

oh well.
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Old 12 Feb 2022, 04:10 PM   #8
EricG
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Email dates to the TTY era, either teletype or CRTs usually with 80 columns. They didn't necessarily wrap after 80 characters, some just overwrote column 80. That's why the RFC says 78. Few text editors had notepad's notion of word wrap either.
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Old 27 Oct 2022, 08:04 AM   #9
sinan
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You need to send as "rich text" instead of "plain text" on Gmail so that it doesn't hard wrap.
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Old 31 Oct 2022, 08:04 AM   #10
SideshowBob
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The 78 character recommendation was aimed at people still using 80 column terminal, but I think it did us all a favour. Most professionally typeset or formatted text has lines of around 40-80 characters. Long lines are harder to read.

The version on the website was already wrapped, but very badly. IMO gmail improved the layout a lot.

There has been no real limit to plain text line length since the MIME standards introduced content transfer encoding 30 years ago.

Incidentally, here's something I find funny, but quite annoying. In the text it says "Mirror, mirror, on the wall" which is a nearly literal translation of the Grimm version, and the version I grew-up with. This is often given as an example of the Mandala effect, with us misremembering "Magic mirror on the wall" from the Disney film (for example). I've even seen it cited as evidence for information leaking through from a parallel universe.
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