4

The SE screen has essentially 3 columns.

enter image description here

The central (main) column is for (editing/viewing) (Q/A).

I found at least 2 cases where the limited width of this column leads to inconvenient visualization. These are:

  1. When viewing a wide code block. One has to scroll to the left then. This is even more inconvenient when the code block is also high. Scrolling left/right also may require sliding back and forth the Windows right scroll bar just to access the horizontal scroll bar, and then going back to the lines one was reading.

  2. When editing code. For indented text in code blocks (when using 4 spaces instead of ```, even more needed for itemized lists), having overflowing lines makes reading inconvenient.

Is it possible to give SE the option to collapse the left and right columns, so the width of the central column increases? There will always be cases which are not covered (depending on the size of the code blocks, and other possible situations), but this suggestion would at least eliminate the problem in many of these cases.

Increasing size of Question Edit region is an old related question. I think it is not the same. Plus, the images pointed at are not available anymore.

Sample code block #1 to illustrate item #1:

This is text just to show what I mean. This is text just to show what I mean. This is text just to show what I mean. This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean. This is also text just to show what I mean. This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean.
This is text just to show what I mean. This is text just to show what I mean. This is text just to show what I mean. This is text just to show what I mean.
This is also text just to show what I mean. This is also text just to show what I mean. This is also text just to show what I mean.

This image illustrates point #2. There are more extreme cases for how inconvenient this is.

enter image description here

  • 4
    You can already remove the left bar here: meta.stackexchange.com/users/preferences/current – Mark Kirby Jul 17 at 8:22
  • 3
    @MarkKirby - I didn't know about it. But I just tested. It removes column #1, but it only moves the other two so they are centered in the screen. Columns width doesn't change. – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Jul 17 at 8:28
  • @sancho.sReinstateMonicaCellio Centered on the screen? I don't have the left column in my view, and the remaining two columns have increased in size to fill up the space that the left column used to take up. (I believe it's only the middle column that increases in width, but there is definitely an increase in width for me.) I don't see any kind of centering going on with white space on the left or right of, or in between, the two remaining columns. – Jason Bassford Jul 17 at 9:10
  • @JasonBassford - Hmmm... strange thing, this is what I see in Chrome. Will try other options (although it shouldn't matter). What browser do you use? – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Jul 17 at 9:13
  • @sancho.sReinstateMonicaCellio I'm using 64-bit Firefox 77.0.1 on Windows 10. – Jason Bassford Jul 17 at 9:17
  • 1
    As a temporary fix you could select the mobile view in the footer. This leaves you with only the central column, full width of the screen. As a side-note the mobile view is scheduled for deletion in 6-8 units of time, once the responsive design is rolled out across all pages. – Luuklag Jul 17 at 9:22
  • @Luuklag - Mobile view did the trick. Too bad it is going out of business. Do you know what does it mean in a human-readable time scale? Thanks! – sancho.s ReinstateMonicaCellio Jul 17 at 13:59
  • Your guess is as good as mine. – Luuklag Jul 17 at 14:37

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