Image example

In the picture above, I sent two messages. One has 4 characters, the next has 6 characters.

How and why is it that they are both able to fit in the same bubble size/container although one has more content than the next, and how is this decided by the design?

  • Are you sure this case is not due to 'mhmm' and 'thanks' being exactly the same width in the given font and on the given display / app / OS?
    – Vincent
    Nov 24, 2014 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


My guess is that the bubble just calculates the required margin at both sides of the word:


What happened in this case is that, because the letters of the typeface have different widths, it looks like the bubble is staying the same size. When, in reality, it's just a coincidence. If the font were fixed-width, so each character measured the same horizontally, then you would notice the difference in length:


The same with a non-fixed-width font:



(both have 3 characters, one uses more space).

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