Sunday, December 25, 2011

Change font size and font type of text-only mails in gmail webinterface

Writing emails in gmail webinterface using the 'plain text' option results in wrong aligned text because gmail uses a non-fixed-width font.
Additionally some forwarded mails are displayed very small.

Steps to reproduce the 'very small font' effect:
  • Write mail with 'plain text' option in gmail.
  • Send mail.
  • Receive mail with stand-alone mailclient, e.g. Thunderbid/icedove,
    • configure client to compose mails in html/rich text mode
      ( Edit|Account settings|Composition&Addressing|Compose messages in HTML format (Icedove 3.1.16) )
  • Forward mail to gmail account
  • View mail in gmail webinterface.

Found a userscript which sets the font in gmail to the browsers default monospace font. No further configuration needed.
The script can be found on - Gmail Fixed Font or directly downloaded from GitHub - jparise / gmail-fixed-font.
  • Chromium pops up an install notification. Userscripts are directly supported. Browser restart seems to be needed after install to apply changes to the gmail webinterface display style.
  • Firefox needs an extension to be able to handle userscripts. Greasemonkey can do that. Get it here (installation of the greasemonkey extension needs a browser restart). Now greasemonkey pops up a notification when clicking on a userscript and asks for installation. Reload gmail tab to apply display changes made by the script.

See the following screenshots for the difference. Take a look at the mail text for additional information.

Default gmail display settings:
The composed mail. The same mail forwarded with an external email client set to html mail-formatting back to gmail.

This time with the userscript 'Gmail Fixed Font' enabled:
The composed mail like above. The forwarded mail like above.

(Btw: It will be listed in the extension tab in chromium.)
Tested with chromium 15.0.874.121 (Developer Build 109964 Linux) Debian wheezy/sid and
Firefox 8.0 with Greasemonkey 0.9.13.
'Gmail Fixed Font' version 1.23 in both cases.

edit: (25.12.11)
- added install information for chromium and firefox.

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