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I was looking at an old post and when I expand the comments they spread way over everything on the right. Has anyone else experienced this problem?

I see it in Firefox 4.01, Chrome 11.0.696.68, and Opera 11.10 (on Mac).

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What browser? It looks fine on IE8. – mmyers May 16 '11 at 15:52
Certainly looks like a problem, I see it too (Firefox 3.6, Mac) – NickC May 16 '11 at 15:52
@Renesis , @mmyers am I posting this to the right place ? – mcgrailm May 16 '11 at 15:54
This is a know bug. Jeff has stated many times that it is difficult to limit the width of comments because they have variable width. – jjnguy May 16 '11 at 16:03
@jjnguy but it wraps just fine until i open the additional comments – mcgrailm May 16 '11 at 16:15
@mcg, that's because the comment that is causing the problem is hidden until you expand them. – jjnguy May 16 '11 at 16:19
@jjnguy right but that shouldn't matter see my answer – mcgrailm May 16 '11 at 16:21

2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Yay! More unicode fun!

So far we were inserting soft-hyphens ­ into long comment lines without whitespace to force line-breaks; but it seems that not all browsers can be convinced to make this work in all cases.

We can't use the zero-width space ​ because it doesn't work in IE; we can't use the zero-width non-joiner ‌ because that doesn't work in all browser as well.

But alas: It seems the using both actually works everywhere. So, from now on, our Stack Exchange™ WhiteSpace EnforcementOfficer™ is


Next build, as usual.

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ok I'm sure this is good logic to this but why not use what I suggested..please keep in mind that I am not a css expert – mcgrailm May 16 '11 at 17:30
@mcgrailm See Jeff's answer here as to why CSS changes don't help in comments. – balpha May 16 '11 at 17:39
still don't get it, seems the answer is because hes not willing to make it fixed with or max-width seems like it's not a good reason but its not my site LOL – mcgrailm May 16 '11 at 17:50
Did you consult with badp or are you putting him out of business? (; – Rebecca Chernoff May 16 '11 at 20:25
@RebeccaChernoff: He's the Deputy. Which is good for him, because the Deputy is still alive. – balpha May 16 '11 at 20:45
Favoriting this answer for my own use in the future. Also, such a good answer maybe this should be migrated to SO; then again, it's probably a duplicate there :) – NickC May 16 '11 at 23:27
I guess you'll see it one day, but just in case you would not: what about inserting <span style="display: inline-block"></span> instead? – Arjan Mar 9 '13 at 10:31
Instead of the often proposed word-wrap: break-word, there's also word-break: break-all, which works nicely in all my browsers, but apparently not in Opera... :-( – Arjan Mar 9 '13 at 19:46
(@NickC, late response: if that future has come for you already, then maybe some other non-Unicode trickery is better, if your visitors are copying text. See my comments above. And of course all trickery might make it hard for search engines to index correctly.) – Arjan Nov 23 '13 at 23:52

I think this could be fixed with


no ?


example image

it doesn't look like overflow is hidden here

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So, you propose overflow: hidden? – jjnguy May 16 '11 at 16:23
@jjnguy see edit – mcgrailm May 16 '11 at 16:36
why the down vote ? is this not a logical answer ? – mcgrailm May 16 '11 at 18:09
dunno, it wasn't from me. – jjnguy May 16 '11 at 18:13

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