Body preview length

Is there any documentation about how the body preview that can be displayed in the drafts list is calculated?

It seems to be affected by multiple things, including number of lines, number of blank lines, line length, number of characters/words, etc.

As a result, I’m never sure of what to expect it to show or how to control it.

The inconsistent height of items in the drafts list has always been distracting to me. The only way I’ve found to make it consistent is to disable showing the body preview in the list, but then I lose the bit of helpful context.

I would love if I could limit it to a certain number of lines consistently…something like 1-3 lines of space total, not counting the title, and not distinguishing whether the previewed lines container line breaks or are just visually wrapped.

But just knowing how it is calculated currently might also be helpful.


The exact logic to generate the body preview as it is currently implemented is…

  • Remove the initial title line
  • Trim any leading white space
  • If the remaining content is more than 4 lines, truncate to only the first 4 lines
  • If the remaining content is more than 120 character, truncate to only 120 characters
1 Like

Thanks! That’s really helpful to know.

Would you be willing to consider a feature request for an option to configure the max number of lines in the third step to something less than 4?

Also, on Mac, because the width of the sidebar can be changed, I can get it to have a lot of visible lines due to word wrapping. Compare Mac vs iPhone/iPad (the first draft is actual notes from a meeting, but I changed the URL while trying to maintain its length; the second draft was one I was using to experiment with the body preview):

I know it’s somewhat of a minor UI thing, but it also affects how many drafts appear in the list, and it makes it somewhat harder for me to scan as well.

Specifically, I’m thinking of something like the List preview option in the Viewing tab of the Mail app’s settings that has options for None and 1-5 lines.

It’s certainly an area that could use a review. Will put it on the list to consider this Summer.


Thanks! Sounds great.