Getting around LiveJournal's new minimum page width

February 20, 2007

LiveJournal recently started forcing at least some pages, such as the default style for individual entries, to have a minimum width. Worse, the forcing is done in such a way that text is wrapped to the width even if your browser is narrow, which makes the pages pretty unreadable. I noticed this change right away, because they picked a minimum page width that was somewhat larger than the width my browser is basically fixed at.

Today I got irritated enough to do something about it. First I had to find what CSS setting on what element was doing this. Some digging with FireBug led me to the navigation toolbar's CSS, where I found a 'min-width: 760px;'; pulling down the entire CSS file and doing a brute force search found another one on the <body> element.

(I'd say that fame and fortune awaits the person who writes an extension that explains why Firefox laid out a particular element the way it did, but I'm not sure it's possible.)

Once I knew the CSS rules doing the damage I used Stylish to override them, with the rule:

@namespace url(;
@-moz-document domain("") {
  #Navigation {min-width: 100px !important;}
  body {min-width: 100px !important;}

(The 100px is arbitrary, and I don't know if the !important bits are necessary; I tend to spray them on all of my user CSS. Also, this has finally made Stylish one of my essential extensions, at least for my main browser environment.)

One of the interesting things about this whole episode was that I hadn't noticed how much this one small change was pissing me off until I read LiveJournal with it fixed and realized I wasn't gritting my teeth any more. I've known for a while that I'm very picky about small bits of interfaces, but it's one thing to know it intellectually and another thing to have it shoved in my face.

(Being quite picky about small things has its downsides; for example, I am probably soon going to have to give up the font that I've been browsing the web with for the past ten years or so. I am very attached to it, so this is probably going to be traumatic.)

Written on 20 February 2007.
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Last modified: Tue Feb 20 22:44:46 2007
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