I have Thunderbird connected to my GMail account and when I forward a particular message the line breaks in a response I received from someone have been removed - the text is basically all on one line. This only seems to be happening for that one email at this point. Other emails seem to include line breaks. I suspect I will see more of this the longer i use Thunderbird. Are there any settings that I can configure to always include line breaks on forwarded messages?

When I "reply" on this same message the line breaks are included - it's only the "forward" that removes them.

  • What if you forward using Gmail? What was used to write/send the message? Maybe some odd Windows/Mac/Linux newline issue? Maybe a bad implementation of format=flowed? Any chance you could show some of the headers and the content of the message using Thunderbird or using Gmail? – Arjan Oct 23 '10 at 13:22
  • And: does it show as one long line in your Sent Items as well? Or maybe even already while editing? Is it just a single paragraph, or is it even concatenating multiple paragraphs into one long line? Does it show horizontal scrollbars? And I guess you're forwarding to yourself while testing? If not: what email client is the recipient of the forwarded message using? – Arjan Oct 23 '10 at 15:22
  • Related to bug bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=762475 ? – mivk Jun 7 '12 at 13:36

From Word wrap fails :

This may sound a bit technical, but Thunderbird is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. When you have a message in plain-text format which doesn't come with flowed format, by definition of the standard, the receiving client is not allowed to rewrap that message to fit the window width. This is only possible if the "format=flowed" attribute is set. Consequently, Thunderbird assigns a "Preformat" style to any quote which comes from a plain-text message which does not have that attribute set. It would receive "Message Body" with format=flowed set.

A workaround for this is to highlight the entire text immediately after clicking on reply (i.e., CTRL+A), then change "Preformat" to "Body Text" in the left-most drop-down menu. This should avoid the issue you observe. In general though, if the sending client formats the e-mail in a fixed way, it's probably correct if Thunderbird treats it this way. In the worst case, there is always Edit > Rewrap, even though it's not optimal either.

  • Wouldn't this then apply to both replying and forwarding? – Arjan Oct 23 '10 at 13:28
  • @Arjan: Yes it would, if the same problem happened. – harrymc Oct 23 '10 at 15:00

I was able to work around the Thunderbird limitation (or whatever you want to call TB's strict adherence to the standard, at expense of good user experience). I did this in Thunderbird 24.3.0, using a TB add-on:

  • Stationery, version 0.8.4

I created a template for the Stationary that contains CSS instructions to allow line breaks in <pre> blocks:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
pre {
white-space: pre-wrap; /* css-3 */
white-space: -moz-pre-wrap !important; /* Mozilla, since 1999 */
white-space: -pre-wrap; /* Opera 4-6 */
white-space: -o-pre-wrap; /* Opera 7 */
word-wrap: break-word; /* Internet Explorer 5.5+ */

(This code is taken directly from an anonymous comment in the thread Word wrap fails.)

One caveat with this is that it does not work when TB automatically generates and sends a message using the "forward message to" action of a message filter. I haven't found any way to fix this problem in auto-forwarded messages.

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