When composing, my text area is usually large enough, but in replies I seem to have about 17-lines visible, and almost always have issues when scrolling to see what was typed before (either response or my own text).

Is there any way to resize the text area for the reply box when in (my preferred) rich-text mode?

rich text gmail reply, no resize

In plain-text mode, the reply window can be resized (and is much larger initially, anyway):

plain text gmail reply, resize

Okay, I use a custom signature, and if I deleted that, I'd gain another 5 lines -- but being able to custom set the size of the rich-text reply window would be best.

  • In the browsers I've tested (Chrome, Firefox and Epiphany on GTK under Linux) the rich text edit area automatically resizes to the size of the window. Is this not the case for you?
    – Kothar
    Oct 12, 2010 at 15:22
  • 1
    I have not experienced any resizing with FF3.6 or FF4, or under Chrome (all w/in WinXP). Oct 13, 2010 at 16:46
  • This is still an annoyance with the "new" gmail IMO. The old interface was much better in this respect.
    – MrWhite
    Nov 10, 2012 at 10:52

7 Answers 7


It's not really possible, unless there is a script to do it. One thing that you can try, just to get some more lines inside the editor, is to Reply (or Compose) in a separate window. You can achieve that by holding Shift and clicking on Reply button (or Compose).

  • Not my preferred solution, but a sideways solution. Thanks! Oct 12, 2010 at 14:06

install this script: http://userstyles.org/styles/userjs/27916/Bigger%20Gmail%20compose%20box%20(tested%202010-05-04).user.js

from website: http://userstyles.org/styles/27916


You can resize the editor window by changing the iframe's height. The following steps are specific to Chrome, but you can probably do this with any browser. Also, this only works when replying, since when composing a new email, the editor window automatically resizes depending on the size of the browser window.

  • right-click anywhere in the editor window and select "inspect element"

  • find the iframe element in the DOM path at the bottom of the developer tools window

    enter image description here

  • set the iframe's height by adding something like "height: 100em" to the iframe's style

    enter image description here

  • Whilst this might be technically possible, it's not a practical solution as it's way too much hassle to have to do this every time.
    – MrWhite
    Nov 10, 2012 at 10:48

I remember the first version of Google Chrome allow you to resize any multi-line text input form. It still works on most pages except gmail.

I believe there was a firefox greasemonkey script that does this also, if it's absolutely necessary.


Gmail as of august 2013.

  1. Reply to email.
  2. Hold shift and press the normal reply button.
  3. Hold shift and press the expand window button.

Now you have a fully popped out reply screen.


Workaround that makes the window larger, but you still don't control it. After getting a separate window for the reply, In the reply portion of the window, click on the ... ellipses to show the earlier emails in thread. The composition portion of the window will expand to show more information. As you type your reply, the earlier part of the thread will slowly shift down and out of the visible portion and more of your reply is visible.


In Chrome at least you can widen then To or CC field and the reply text grows with it. This doesn't help height, only width. And thanks for the new window tip, I'll use that.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.