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email text doesn't show in hotmail or gmail in Firefox, but it does in internet explorer

  • 7 replies
  • 5 have this problem
  • 4365 views
  • Last reply by soundskinky

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Some of the text in emails sent from one particular sender does not display at all in either gmail or my hotmail email account when viewed in Firefox. When I view the same email using Internet Explorer, all of the text is there. I have tried viewing the email with add-ons disabled, and that did not fix the problem.

Chosen solution

Thanks for the message. The Inspector shows that the message is constructed of a lot of tags nested inside one another. (Attached screen shot)

I can't see any purpose for having so many tags nested inside one another, as they are very repetitive, but many authoring tools make no effort to write good HTML as long as it works in IE.

The problem is that Firefox fails by not showing anything rather than failing by showing a plain text dump, like you saw when pasting into a word processing document. At least then you would know when there's something missing. I don't know if/when that will be fixed, this problem has been known for quite a while.

The forwarding workaround doesn't work on Gmail in rich text/HTML mode, but if you change to Plain Text mode, the unstyled list shows up as a lump of text (screen shot attached). Not so useful, but it's there in a pinch.

Sorry I don't have a good fix at the moment.

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All Replies (7)

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If you click forward, does the content appear temporarily while editing the new message?

If so, this could be a case of Firefox not fully rendering "deeply nested" HTML tags. More background on this problem: Embedded images not displayed in Gmail.

I'm not aware of a solution at the moment.

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I did try forwarding, but that still did not show any of the text. As far as I can tell, at least in the one case, it's not an image. It's text written in the email. The email displays correctly when I view it Groupwise (which we are about to phase out). It's totally visible if I use Internet Explorer, but not in Firefox (v. 36.0.1), and the issue is the same in both Gmail and hotmail. I tried highlighting the whole part, what I could see all the way down to the signature, hoping something would show up (like when there's white text on a white background). Nothing visible there. I copied the highlighted area and tried pasting that into a forward window--no improvement, although it showed more space in between the first bit and signature line than was originally visible in the message. Then I tried something just for the heck of it--pasted what I copied into a Word document. Voila! Text! Totally unformatted, though, not even any carriage returns, but it's there. So that makes me wonder if there's a rendering issue happening? Since it's not happening in another browser, it can't be the source email, or the email interface itself (Gmail, hotmail). In another case, the text that doesn't show up is from forwarded email that was HTML formatted. I'm attaching images of the same email viewed in hotmail in IE--what it should look like (EmailGoodView.gif) and what it looks like in hotmail in Firefox (EmailBadView.gif).

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Yes, unfortunately, the failure to render is what usually happens in the case of deeply nested tags.

Looking at the different formatting of the items on the list in IE, my guess is that this list has been revised repeatedly over time and gradually accumulated more font or other formatting tags than Firefox will parse. Or maybe it's something from MS Word that converted poorly.

Either way, I am not aware of a solution because the way add-ons work with documents generally requires Firefox to be able to render them.

If this message is not too sensitive, I could take a look at it and see whether I can confirm this bug is the problem. You can send it to my username either @gmail.com or @hotmail.com (I have both).

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You can right-click the text and open the built-in Inspector to check the code of the e-mail.

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@jscher2000, I've forwarded the email to you. Thanks for your help.

@cor-el, I tried that, but it didn't help me much. I haven't done HTML coding since before CSSs, and since all it is showing me appears to be formatting, and not the text of the message, I don't have a sense of what formatting tags go with what part of what. Sadly, I currently don't have enough time in my day to invest in what was at best a hobby (programing/coding). Thanks for the suggestion--I just don't know what I'm looking at. Sigh.

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Chosen Solution

Thanks for the message. The Inspector shows that the message is constructed of a lot of tags nested inside one another. (Attached screen shot)

I can't see any purpose for having so many tags nested inside one another, as they are very repetitive, but many authoring tools make no effort to write good HTML as long as it works in IE.

The problem is that Firefox fails by not showing anything rather than failing by showing a plain text dump, like you saw when pasting into a word processing document. At least then you would know when there's something missing. I don't know if/when that will be fixed, this problem has been known for quite a while.

The forwarding workaround doesn't work on Gmail in rich text/HTML mode, but if you change to Plain Text mode, the unstyled list shows up as a lump of text (screen shot attached). Not so useful, but it's there in a pinch.

Sorry I don't have a good fix at the moment.

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I have had this happen as well. Using the Firefox Inspector, I do see massively deep DIV nesting. The problem email has been created by taking the email from the previous week (in the OS X Mail app), deleting old content, and pasting new content -- which obviously is leaving an outer level of DIVs intact. Do this every week for several years…

Now knowing the cause, I should be able to recreate the base email to resolve the immediate problem, although it will obviously recur in time. Will investigate other options.