For more than a decade, Thunderbird has been my e-mail client of choice. It provides flexibility and customization via plugins and configuration files that helps me to adapt it specifically to my needs. Over the years, I’ve compiled my very own configuration set and selection of Thunderbird addons which I’m sharing with my fellow readers, hoping that some of these customizations also make your e-mail life easier, especially when you have to deal with a huge amount of messages.
In this first posting, I’ll share my favorite Thunderbird addons with you. In a subsequent posting that follows soon, I’ll show you my configuration tweaks.
A word of warning
Changes via plugins and in the configuration files can lead to problems if done wrong. Before trying out the add-ons and tweaks from this article, I strongly recommend making a backup of your profile folder. In general, you should only continue if you know what you’re doing.
Where to start
Plugins should be installed from the official Add-Ons repository if available, only very few in this documentation are from third-party sites. All plugins can be installed via the Thunderbird Add-on manager, available via Extras | Add-ons.
Be advised that several configuration options and plugins will not become effective until Thunderbird has been restarted.
As of today, I have installed the following plugins:
- AddressBookTab shows the address book in a tab instead of a regular window
- Cert Viewer Plus provides more details on S/MIME certificates
- Copy Sent to Current let you decide if and in which folder each outgoing message should be copied to
- Enigmail integrates OpenPGP-encryption into Thunderbird
- Advanced Unread Folders provides a new view on your folders and shows only favorites and unread messages
- Folder Pane View Switcher allows switching folder views by the click of a button
- Forward let you decide whether to forward an e-mail inline or as attachment on a per-message basis
- Inverse SOGo Connector integrates remote address books from a CardDAV server
- Keyfixer changes the behaviour of the Home and End keys, only for OS X
- Mail Redirect adds functionality to redirect messages in their original form; functionality may depend on your mail provider
- MoreFunctionsForAddressBook extends the integrated addressbook with a range of useful features
- NestedQuote Remover strips quote levels when replying to messages
- No Message Pane Sort by Mouse prevents accidential changes of the mail sorting by disabling clicks in the message pane headers
- Quick Folder Move allows moving messages to folders by typing their first characters
- Quicktext provides canned responses and text templates via keyboard and shortcuts
- QuoteAndComposeManager features a variety of options for message composition and replies; my favorite feature is the ability to have English message headers when forwarding an e-mail
- QuoteCollapse condenses quotes in e-mails, to make reading of long messages easier
- Select Address Book Text makes the address book entries selectable, to help you copying individual details to the clipboard
- ToggleReplied let you manually change the replied and forwarded state of e-mails
And did you know…
…that you can configure Thunderbird to write plain-text e-mails per default, and then press the Shift key when composing, replying to or forwarding a message, to manually switch to HTML mode?
More details on my Thunderbird setup will be shared in a follow-up posting soon.