I recently had some debates around how console/logs should be displayed inside a web page, I decided to ask people that likely know better the subject.

I tried to make a recording of vertical-horizontal scrolling issue which affecting touch-pads more than mouse users.

If you want to test the scrolling yourself, look open a random page

I asked this question on Zuul CI/CD discuss mailing list but I think that getting some feedback from UX designers would be more than welcomed. If you also can point to some more or less official sources that could back some claims, even better.

Note that I am fully aware about the fact that in theory it could be user configurable, still this does come with a high cost, especially on a system that does not have login support.

  • Hello @sorin, welcome to UX.SE! How much of your application involves reading these logs? Is it a primary function of the application, or only used on occasion? I imagine you're talking about display of a monospaced, preformatted text block (i.e. text that includes line breaks and spacing), correct? Who are your users? Jun 18, 2020 at 12:41
  • I would say a LOT. This is why these are there, to be read by humans. Users are software engineers that submitted patches for testing which likely failed, so they beed to look at the log to find the cause.
    – sorin
    Jun 18, 2020 at 12:55

1 Answer 1


Every text reader on my machine that I'd consider using to open a log file should provide the option to toggle word wrap.

In your case, since viewing of these log files is a core function of the application, I'd definitely provide the option to toggle word wrap on and off. As a technical user, I may want word wrap off to increase scannability of the logs, or toggle it on once I find the location I need to investigate.

It doesn't need to be synchronized to a user's profile as long as it's easy to access (one or two clicks without taking me out of my current flow). You could toss the "enable word wrap" preference in the browser's localstorage to try and help out, but it's not a big deal if the value is not what the user expects—it's a quick fix.

Toggle word wrap option shown in menu

  • +1 the need to provide both. Sometimes you want to see all the information (wrap on); sometimes you want to skim logs or see the "shape" of the log (many logs have a "pattern" to them when not wrapped so that anomalies "stick out").
    – TripeHound
    Jul 19, 2020 at 11:15

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