iOS when text doesn’t wrap while you’re writing an email

Writing email is one of those fundamental things most of us have to do, so you’d expect doing it on your iPad or iPhone to be pretty painless.

Lately, this hasn’t been my experience at all. I’ve found that text wraps fine when I’m reading emails, but when it’s time to write one (whether by replying or starting from scratch), I’m writing into a window with a horizontal scrollbar, which makes it impossible to see all of my text (or, for that matter, the text I’m replying to) without continuously swiping left and right to see the beginning and end of each line.

It’s like is enforcing a message width wider than the window it’s giving me to write in. Super frustrating, especially for correspondence that isn’t pithy.

It doesn’t seem to be a new phenomenon, and none of the workarounds I’ve found on forums have worked for me:

  • rotating the device
  • power cycling the device
  • disabling “Increase Quote Level”
  • removing and re-adding the account
  • using Gmail instead of IMAP (I noticed the same behaviour on both types of accounts)

The only “solution” that “works” is dropping my iPad text size to the smallest available setting. But that makes text tiny across the entire device, and I’m too old for that.

I had just about given up on Apple’s Mail app when I noticed that hitting “Send Again”–on an email I had just sent with the wrapping issue–brought up the exact same message without the wrapping issue.

It turns out my fancy HTML signature (not actually very fancy–just a table to keep things aligned) was causing the whole thing. I’ve deleted my iOS email signatures and wrapping works perfectly.

Apparently Mail on iOS doesn’t know what to do when email signatures contain HTML tables. I’ll have to figure something else out. Meanwhile, hopefully this discovery (that took me far too long to make) will help someone else.

2 thoughts on “iOS when text doesn’t wrap while you’re writing an email”

    1. That’s not quite true.

      If no formatting is used in emails, they get sent as plain text (from iOS anyway). Most email software renders plain text as Helvetica or similar.

      Also, monotype for my work signature wouldn’t be a good look. I use the table for reliable cross-platform control of spacing and alignment around my logo. It works perfectly with on macOS and Thunderbird on PC/Linux, but not at compose time on iOS (it’s totally fine at other times).

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