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Is it possible to make Gmail display messages with only text/plain content using a constant width font? To clarify, I'd still prefer multipart/alternative messages with an HTML part to be shown in HTML mode. (In other words, just like Thunderbird does it.)

I receive some plain text messages with table-like formatting, which obviously depends on constant-width font. Gmail breaks the formatting like this:

alt text

I would want something like this, of course:

alt text

(Showing messages matching a certain filter (or tagged with certain label) in fixed width would be an equally good solution here, so if that's possible, please let me know!)

I looked around Gmail settings, but couldn't easily find anything related. The "Show original" option is a work-around, but it's rather clumsy if you always have to do that.

This is a repost of an old (unresolved) Super User question (Google cache). I would have rather migrated it to Webapps, but that's not possible as it seems delete-happy SU moderators have recently removed it altogether for some reason.

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6 Answers 6

If you are using Chrome, the Gmail Fixed Width Text extension takes care of it.

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+1, good to know, even if this doesn't do exactly what I want (it uses fixed width also for multipart messages that do contain a HTML part) –  Jonik Jan 5 '11 at 14:30
This doesn't seem to work with the new Gmail compose. –  6005 Feb 17 '14 at 16:38

In August 2015 the only way to send monospace content in gmail without any extensions appears to be to use the classic mail.google.com (because it's not available in inbox.google.com) and choose Fixed Width font:

enter image description here

Though this question is about received gmail, it comes up first googling "gmail monospace". So hopefully this answer is useful for sent gmail. For gmail-receivers, one way to view in monospace is to reply and then modify a portion of the quoted message. (Thanks @amrok, @Jonik.) By the way, Show-Original is also missing from the new inbox.google.com.

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This question is not about sending though, but how received text/plain messages are displayed in Gmail. –  Jonik Aug 1 at 0:17
Adding an answer to a different question just because this question ranks high in a certain Google search is not a good reason to do it. You would be better off writing a good version of the question you're looking to answer, and then answering it. –  Al E. Aug 1 at 16:15

Ok, you have to try Gmail Fixed Font userscript

// ==UserScript==
// @name           Gmail Fixed Font
// @namespace      http://www.indelible.org/
// @description    Fixed-font message bodies for Gmail
// @author         Jon Parise, James Tunnicliffe
// @version        1.3
// @include        http://mail.google.com/*
// @include        https://mail.google.com/*
// @include        http://*.mail.google.com/*
// @include        https://*.mail.google.com/*
// @grant          GM_addStyle
// ==/UserScript==

// Plain-text Message Body
var css = ".ii, .Ak { font: medium monospace !important; }";
// Compose Interface
css += ".editable { font: medium monospace !important; }";

if (typeof GM_addStyle != "undefined") {
} else if (typeof addStyle != "undefined") {
} else {
    var heads = document.getElementsByTagName("head");
    if (heads.length > 0) {
        var node = document.createElement("style");
        node.type = "text/css";
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disclosure: extension author.

If you are using chrome, you can use: https://github.com/dnozay/gmail-fixed-width-chrome-extension

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Google has really locked down the ability to add extensions from anywhere other than the Chrome Web Store. –  Al E. Aug 1 at 14:47

You can try Show original in right dropdown list (from ▼ right to Reply in message box header).

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Uh, thanks, but did you read the question? It said: the "Show original" option is a work-around, but it's rather clumsy if you always have to do that. –  Jonik Oct 2 '10 at 10:49
I prefer the “Message text garbled?” option because it preserves non-ASCII characters (which appear in “Show original” as quoted-printable, e.g. =C3=A9 instead of é) –  törzsmókus Oct 6 '12 at 12:28
And that one really doesn't work if the email was base64-encoded, sadly. –  me_and Jan 14 '14 at 12:43

Next you can choose "Reply" or "Forward" and change Font to Courier New.

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Frankly, this seems clumsy. Even the "show original" workaround (mentioned in the question) is handier, and what I'm looking for is something automatic... –  Jonik Jan 5 '11 at 14:33

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