Managing Editor White Space

When working with wide monitors it's quite common to get a feeling of too wide of a wall of text when editing. Maxing the editor on a 4k screen can really overwhelm the user with too much text. Studies show that there's an optimal width for reading text which is generally somewhere around 120 characters per line max.

On wide monitors it's often better to have a distraction free view with lots of white space around the edited text, rather than text spanning the entire width of the ultra-wide display.

MaxWidth and Padding in Markdown Monster

Markdown Monster has some support for limiting the amount of space used by actual editor text via two configuration properties you can access in the Tools->Settings->Editor:

  • Padding
    Determines the padding around text in standard fill mode. This is the horizontal padding around the editor text when text fills the entire editing area. The value is a fixed pixel width and defaults to 15 pixels. If MaxWidth is non-zero the padding is ignored once the editor surface is greater than the MaxWidth.

  • MaxWidth
    You can also specify a MaxWidth for the editor content which limits the text width to a maximum pixel width. This means that the editor will fill the window up to that pixel width and once it gets wider than that it'll pad out the margins to keep the width at the MaxWidth size. Using a MaxWidth around 1000 pixels is a good starting point if you want to play around with this but you can adjust depending on your font size. MaxWidth is great if you use distractionfree mode to focus on your content only while still keeping your text width manageable and get a pleasing amount of white space around your text even on very wide monitors. MaxWidth processing can be turned off by setting it to 0.

Here's what the MaxWidth setting looks like when set to 970 pixels on an approx 2k window size:

Notice the padding around the text in the center which increases as you widen the window, and shrinks down to the max width. If the max width is not exceeded the editor falls back to the fixed side margins.


© West Wind Technologies, 2019 • Updated: 01/24/19
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