I want to wrap to 80 characters in Outlook, just like Gmail does to emails sent as Plain Text. Apart from Gmail, this feature also works in Evolution email client in Ubuntu OS and Apple Mail in Mac OS.

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I am unable to do this in Outlook 2010, even if I compose in Plain Text.

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Composing email in Outlook with Plain Text selected. Other options are Rich Text and HTML.

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Plain text is not wrapped after receiving email:

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  • See if there's some way of setting margins in the program -- lookup up margins in the Help. – martineau Dec 11 '12 at 10:50
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    @martineau the only method I can see that would use margins would be to set a right margin of a fixed width (eg 3cm right margin). However that would mean the width of the email content will re-size dependent on the size of the window, so you can't guarantee 80 characters. – Andi Mohr May 10 '13 at 8:18
  • In that case for a plain text message your only option may be to put line-breaks into the content where you want them to occur -- like using a yypewriter. @AndiMohr's suggestion of using HTML might be a good option. I do something like that only I use a borderless table one row tall and one column wide and specify its width in pixels. – martineau May 10 '13 at 8:43
  • Thank you for your suggestion @martineau! Gmail automatically inserts the line-break character after every 80 characters in emails sent as plain text. I want the same functionality in Outlook 2010, i.e., the ability to automatically insert line-breaks after every 80 characters in plain text emails without manual effort. – Shumon Saha May 10 '13 at 17:11
  • I think that historically many email readers wrap plain text messages based on the display window's width, dynamically inserting line breaks as needed to make it fit -- even though this can make things almost unreadable if the window is very wide. However more modern ones (like Gmail and Thunderbird) let you specify a right edge in number of characters for plain text messages received. I think you may just be stuck with Outlook's limitations. – martineau May 10 '13 at 18:15

The only way I've come up with is to create a HTML template containing a fixed width box with white/no borders. You can set the width to approximately 80 characters.

Here is a guide to creating Outlook stationery from MS Word.

When following the guide, where it says 'design your stationery', create a table with 1x1 rows and columns, and switch off the borders.

Then when you come to write your email using the template, simply write within that table cell.

NOTE: You may need administrator access to add files to the C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Stationery folder.


Two possible correct answers as to how to set line breaks in plain text mode would be:



It's impossible.

Outlook works as designed when it does not wrap the e-mail while you are composing it. The setting will just affect how the message is delivered to the recipient, not how it is displayed while you write it.

More details at:


The truth (and therefore the answer) is:
This is a bug which will never be fixed because it is low priority.

Automatically wrap text at character 76 doesn't work.

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