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Why does the line break after some number of characters that only occupy half of the line width in the formatting mode?

  • 1
    Good question - I know you can force a newline by adding <br/> at the end of each line. Commented Jul 6, 2010 at 6:21

3 Answers 3


If you include the "> " in the line, it's 40 characters at the longest (lines 4 and 7). Each linebreak occurs where adding one extra word would push it past 40 characters. It isn't 40 characters excluding the "> " because then you could fit Donec sollicitudin scelerisque suscipit. in one line.

The standard character width tends to be 80 characters for a full screen text, but the edit box is much smaller. It seems that to compensate, the number is reduced by half. However, I don't know how much it helps readability in the edit field, but that's the first impression I get, is that it is to reduce it to 40 characters per line.


Because the whole quote (continuous lines preceded by >) is treated like a single paragraph. This is the same for non-quoted normal text: single line breaks are treated as a single space for formatting.

  • I think you misunderstood. What I am asking is why does the line break after in (the first line of paragraph) in formatting, while there is so much of space left on the line?
    – Lazer
    Commented Jul 6, 2010 at 8:24
  • @Lazer: I did misunderstand... I thought you were questioning the difference between markup and rendered :-)
    – Richard
    Commented Jul 7, 2010 at 10:35

AFAIK this is a stylistic ASCII choice by John Gruber; quoted text seems to be treated as shorter lines for some reason.

(at least when you click the quote button in the editor, I mean -- that's what it does.)

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