Why doesn't Safari wrap text?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by scoloplastic, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. scoloplastic macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    Since I bought my first iPhone a few months ago, my main use for it has been web browsing, which is for me a much nicer experience when I can just lay on my sofa instead of sitting in front of a desktop (I would buy an iPad but I can't afford one atm).

    The only problem I get is when I reach text heavy websites. The text on these sites is so small, that even when I turn the device to landscape (which I hate doing) it's still small enough to hurt my eyes.

    My dad recently bought a Motorola Droid, and after trying it out I noticed that the browser wraps the text to whatever level you zoom into.

    Why doesn't Safari do this? It makes no sense to me that when you zoom in, you have to start scrolling sideways to read the text.

    I don't mind the iPhone having a smaller screen than some of the other smartphones, but I fail to understand, why would such a simple feature would be omitted? Does anyone know if there's anyway to add such a feature?
  2. irich25 macrumors regular

    Jun 20, 2010
    i think it has more to do with the website than safari
  3. scoloplastic thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010
    not exactly - some websites have layout that fit the iphone better and thus the text is more readable, but that is not the point.

    What i'm talking about is an auto text wrap - when you zoom in with safari, as the fonts get bigger, the text layout doesn't change - so at a certain point, the text width will be bigger than the display and you will have to start scrolling from side to side to read the text.

    this doesn't happen on android for because its browser wraps the text around whatever zoom level you're at

    so for example, this sentence, if you'd zoom on it with an android device

    would look like this:

    this sentence, if you'd
    zoom on it with you're
    android device...
  4. MotionxxUSxx macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2007
    I agree, that is the one feature I like about the android browser. It may be a non issue with the new iPhone display. Heavy text sites will be sharper and easier to read.
  5. Rooftop voter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 26, 2010
    Yeah I'm with you. I wish it would do that, since I hate to keep swiping left and right trying to read everything.
  6. InvalidBassist macrumors regular


    Feb 8, 2008
    Android devices change the words in sentences!?


    I know what you mean, though. It gets a little annoying having to scroll side to side to read an article whose font wasn't large enough to begin with.
  7. carltonzone macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2010
    iPhone and text wrap (word wrap, word re-wrap, text re-flow)

    I have searched all over the internet for more information on this topic and I am very surprised that more people like US aren't annoyed by this. I am going to attack this problem with a blog page and try to draw as much attention to this issue as possible. I'm sick of seeing all of these new fantastic Android devices like the Evo 4G & Droid X, for example, being equipped with word wrapping, unlike my iPhone 4. I have had an iPhone 3GS for a year, and recently upgraded to the 4. I use my iPhone to read a LOT, and this issue is one that has become a thorn in my foot! I HATE scrolling from side to side to read articles. On the new Android devices, you can double-tap to realign the text, and it will wrap around. On the Evo 4G, you can dynamically reflow the text as you zoom! The Droid X may do this also, but when I tried it, my friend may not have had the setting to allow for the dynamic re-flowing. When you read tons of articles and you have to stay up on current events in your field, text wrapping is VITAL. I can read around 800 words per minute on an Android device just by scrolling in far enough that the sentences are only 2 to 3 words in width. I then flick down the article, and I can read at an incredible rate. It is similar to the software programs you can get on the web that allow for easier speed reading. There's nothing like it. Scrolling side-to-side on my iPhone is archaic. And I am sick and tired of the excuses for why this is not available. Please email me and I will send you the address of the blog page when I fire it up so you can help me draw some attention to it!
  8. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Most iPhone owners are new to mobile browsers, and have never seen any other way, which is why there's little complaint except from people with more mobile experience.

    Mobile Safari took the zoom factor and applied it universally instead of thoughtfully.

    Almost all other mobile browsers for the past ten years did/do text wrapping.

    Besides making it far easier and more natural to read text at any magnification, it is good HTML behavior to reflow text to fit the current view. Desktop browsers do it all the time.
  9. tctony macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Agreed. Hopefully this feature is added to Safari.
  10. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    This is one feature I really miss from Opera Mobile.
  11. bevhoward macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Austin, Tx, USA

    Really need a good solution for this as well. In addition to other observations, on sites that format specifically for the iOS devices (for example, http://MSNBC.com), the text is wrapped to fit the 3.5" screens, but is too small for me to read even with reading glasses.

    Rotating to horizontal helps somewhat, but any zoom expands the text off the edges of the screen and must be scrolled to read.

    "InstaPaper" (the paid version) is the best solution I have found to date. For the majority of text heavy sites that I am interested in, I use "later" of my desktop to collect end of day reading material. Text size is settable and the tilt scrolling makes one handed reading a great experience.

    The "pro" version also offers live browsing options... in portable safari, highlight and copy the url, switch to InstaPaper and it offers to text process and download the page for reading in InstaPaper.

    Back to the need, windows mobile PIE (Pocket Internet Explorer) has offered text wrapping that worked on any text content that did not have any strict text formatting commands since the pocketpc was introduced in 2000.

    imho, this _may_ get addressed when Steve has to use reading glasses ;-)

    Beverly Howard
  12. ihightower macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    simple thing cannot be done on ios - funny!

    I am an android user.. and very happy with it.. and will never switch to the iOS.

    even simple thing like this wordwrap doesn't work with both iphone and ipad.

    I am used to the android word wrap feature since android 1.5 and a heavy user of reading text on android browser.

    I tried out iPad just yesterday.. and even that doesn't do word wrap when the text is zoomed..

    this is just plain stupid.. with the iOS.. and so simple thing.

    And, why I am on this forum.. I was evaluating my options for a tablet yesterday.. and tried out ipad in shop for over 15 minutes.. and this text wrap feature was an absolute necessity.. and such simple feature was not available.. which I was always used to on Android..

    Actually there are more on Android.. but I don't want to keep on going.

    Then, i was wondering what Ipad users do.. do they complain.. or they are happy with what they have.. and came across this posting.. and wanted to reply to this here..

    ok bye now.
  13. vachargerfan macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008
    Sounds like iOS isn't for you then. Me, it really doesn't bother me. More and more websites are going to the mobile version, so you don't really need to worry about text wraping
  14. ihightower macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    oh you don't have to worry..

    this is just exactly what apple users say..

    oh never mind.. more and more people are moving to mobile site.. so one doesn't have to worry..

    this is a biggest joke.. there are millions of websites not going to move a mobile version of the site for another 10 years or even more.. or perhaps never.

    yeah i will wait for that..

    instead of fixing the problem at source.. (which is the iOS software) you expect the site creators to fix.. this is plain stupid again.

    ''oh your house is on fire''.. don't worry.. it will eventually settle.. you can take the ashes or better yet you can move house..

    if it was me.. I will try to put out the fire.. (nip the bud).

    ok bye now again.
  15. andy2141 macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2010
    That's strange as I had a completely different view of it.

    I've had all the iPhones, a HTC Hero, Desire and Desire HD. On all the Android phones I actually wanted to turn this feature off, yet I couldn't find an option to do so. I really didn't like the way it formatted text at all.

    Maybe I'm in the minority buy I actually prefer the way mobile Safari does it. I agree that a simple "text reflow on/off" option is the way to go though.
  16. ihightower macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    scroll four ways.. left right up and down..

    why would you want this to turn off..

    in a small screen.. you dont' want to scroll sideways (that is four ways.. up down right left) to read a piece of text.

    also.. when a text is formatted with <pre> it doesn't wrap anyway.

    this should really be a feature in all mobile browsers by default.. but I agree there is no harm in having it turned off. but the default should really be the word wrap.

    you should really try to read a site.. on an iphone.. (which is not developed for mobile site) then you will know the difficulty reading text on it.

  17. vachargerfan macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008
    Like I said it doesn't bother Me. Check the attitude at the door
  18. ihightower macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    so looks ios users doesn't do any reading..!

    it just looks ios users doesn't do any reading.. or may be they are just browsing mobile sites (which is a tiny proportion of the world wide web).

    get real people.. just because few users doesn't read will not make the browser behaviour right! the browser without word wrap is plain wrong!!!

    and you know what.. I am pretty sure.. soon apple will change the browser behaviour to have word wrap..

    then it will be like Apple invented the "word wrap" features on browsers.. will scream all the headlines...

    I bet they will do word wrap soon..
  19. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Who have you been talking to? That's the exact opposite of what I've heard.

    I often hear: "I keep getting mobile sites on my iPhone, is there any way to force it go to the real site?"

    I've heard that a lot. I've never heard iPhone owners ask for more mobile sites. Even the OP of this thread, who is complaining about Safari, isn't asking for that.
  20. vachargerfan macrumors regular

    May 28, 2008
    Then why are you here? You don't like iOS, you don't want an iOS device, oh it must be because you would rather just bitch. I do very little web browsing on my phone. If I want to read web pages, I will get on my laptop
  21. Blueline29 macrumors 68020


    Jun 16, 2009
    Indian Rocks Beach, FL
    This. I only browse on my phone as a last resort, when my laptop isn't available. Ergo, it's a non-issue for me and many, many others.
  22. walie macrumors 6502a

    Nov 15, 2010

    Well I do a lot of browsing on my phone during my morning and afternoon commute and its an irritating issue for me and many, many others
  23. ihightower macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    future headline: APPLE INVENTS WORD WRAP ON BROWSER.. YAY!!!

    hah funny.. then you should really argue that.. you don't need a browser on phone at all. even.. why have a phone at all... use some cheap device which can just make and receive calls.

    the point here is that.. not having "word wrap" is plain wrong.. as simple as that.. and iOS should change the behavoiur.

    why I am here.. i was evaluating.. the iPad.. then such a simple feature is not available.. and that made me search to find out how apple users survive without it..

    and the reason so far i get from apple users.. is:

    - read mobile site
    - don't read at all on phone

    which is a wrong answer.. what they should acknowledge is that.. not having "word wrap" is wrong.. and hope apple will fix it soon... and pray for the best.

    and your prayers will be answered surely.. then as I said earlier.. all the head lines will scream...

  24. bevhoward, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2011

    bevhoward macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2010
    Austin, Tx, USA
    >> oh never mind.. more and more people are moving to mobile site.. so one doesn't have to worry.. <<

    On almost all "mobile" sites, the text size assumes perfect vision and, for me, even with reading glasses, the text size on almost all mobile sites is too small to read without zooming... so, even on the mobile sites, you are faced with the need to scroll each line of text.

    When the boss at apple needs reading glasses, maybe this need will be perceived.

    Beverly Howard


    >> future headline: APPLE INVENTS WORD WRAP ON BROWSER.. YAY!!! <<

    That brings up the question of what percentage of iOS users just look at pictures and never read the text ;-)

    Beverly Howard
  25. ihightower macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2011
    thank you exactly!!!

    thank you exactly!!!

    both the boss at apple.. as well as the others who doesn't acknowledge this to be a problem.. when they need reading glasses... they will know..

    but unfortunately.. both the boss at apple and the few others all seems to be NOT readers at all with their phones.. may be all they care about is itunes and music.

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