Markdown Width is Wrong

I would have expected the “width” for markdown text to match the global “width” value:

Real world example were visualizations use “width” and the markdown looks wrong:

Paragraph elements have a max-width of 640px because long lines are hard to read.


Interesting I wonder if there is an acknowledged sweet spot (like the golden ratio) - 800px works well for me and indeed the full “width” is hard to read.

The recommended line length (per Matthew Butterick) is 45-90 characters, including spaces.

By my count, I can get 74 characters (2.85 alphabets), which is right in the sweet spot.


This is highly dependent on the typography (font, font size, line spacing, contrast etc). One rule of thumb is 50-60 characters (which can be approximated via ex/en/em units), but you’ll find that in many situations these will still appear too narrow.

In general you’ll want to allow the reader’s eyes to track a line and easily jump back to the beginning of the next. See e.g.