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Mozilla Thunderbird Tips

The free e-mail client from the makers of Firefox makes an excellent choice for homes and personal use. Here are few tips to make a pro at using it.

Access IMAP Email Inbox Offline

IMAP’s flexibility can be extended by making it available offline. This feature comes handy where you are travelling to a place with no Internet access and would need access to you mail. For this you need to tell Thunderbird to make your inbox to be made available offline.
1. Go to Tools>Account Settings and go to the desired IMAP account
2. Select the Offline & Desk Space category and make sure Make the messages in my inbox available when I am working offline is checked. Click OK.
3. To go offline, go to File>Offline and then select Download/Sync Now.
4. Make sure Mail messages is selected under Download / Sync the following:, also check Work offline once download/sync is complete. Click OK.

Adding Senders Quickly To The Address Book

A dirty, but quick way of building your e-mail Address book is to add e-mail address from their e-mail directly. Mozilla Thunderbird allows doing so in just two mouse clicks, here’s how:
1. Open any e-mails you have received and look out for the From: header.
2. Right-click of the highlighted name or e-mail address and from the context menu that appears select Add to Address book.
3. Edit the card and enter other relevant information.
4. Click on OK, to save the changes done to the card.

Avoid Downloading Large Messages

If you are on dial-up or slow Internet connection, it is advisable to leave a large message on the server and save your POP account from getting stuck. Once configured, Thunderbird will truncate large message and will get just the header. If you want to read the full message you can do so later by using the link inserted at the end of truncated message.
1. Go to Tools>Account Settings.
2. Go to Disk Space sub-category of the e-mail account.
3. Make sure Do Not download messages locally that are larger than is selected.
4. Enter a maximum value for the message size. Default is 50 KB, you can increase it as per your liking. Click OK to save the changes.
Change Message Priority
You can set priority of your outgoing message to convey its importance. Three levels of priorities are available—Low, normal and high. Here’s how you set the priority.
1. In the message composition window menu, go to Options>Priority.
2. Select the priority you want to assign to your message.

Check For New Mail And Set Periodical Checks

Though Thunderbird has nice big buttons to Get/Send mails it’s better to learn the key combination which lets you do it quickly. If your e-mail traffic is high then it’s better to automate the checking process.
1. For checking new mail quickly, just press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [T] and client will automatically connect and pop your mails from the server.
2. To check mails periodically, go to Tools > Account settings.
3. Go to the Server Settings sub-category of the desired account and make sure Check for new messages every is selected. To check new mails as you launch Thunderbird, also tick Check for new messages at startup. Enter the appropriate time interval for auto-checking of mail and click OK.

Creating A Mailing List

When working in a group sending mails to everyone using the To and Cc field becomes tedious, creating a mailing list smoothen the process. To create a mailing list in Thunderbird follow the below given steps.
1. From the main menu select Address Book and click on the New List icon.
2. Give the mailing list a specific Name, Nick name and Description.
3. Start typing e-mail address of people you want to be that particular list, that done click on OK.
4. Now that you have the list ready, sending an e-mail to the group is very easy. Click on the Write button to compose a new email.
5. In the compose window, click on the Contacts button to launch the contacts sidebar.
6. From the sidebar, the list will be displayed by its name, drag that name in to the To: field and you are done.
7. Compose your mail and send. It will go to everyone present in that list.

Displaying Only Unread Messages

At times, you need to display just the unread messages because we all tend to mark important messages as unread even after reading it so that we can attend to them later. Most of the time we get lost in the sea of read mails.
1. By default, the View Items isn’t on the toolbar by default, you need to get it on the toolbar.
2. Go to View>Toolbars>Customise.
3. From the customize page, drag and drop View: drop down menu on to the toolbar.
4. From the drop down, select unread to display all unread messages in your inbox.

Exporting Contacts From Thunderbird

You have been using Thunderbird for long and have accumulated important contact details but now you need to transfer them to a different machine. How do you do that? By exporting data that is common to most email clients. Follow the steps;
1. Click on the Address Book button to launch the Address book and then select the desired book.
2. Select Tools and then click on Export. In the File name field give a proper name to the address book and in the Save as type field select Comma separated and then click on Save.
3. The Comma Separated file will be saved in the location you choose. This file can be open using excel or can be exported in any other email client.

Adding Background Images

To Messages
1. First step is to create a new message in Thunderbird. Click on Write to do so.
2. In the new message window, select Options and click on Format, make sure Auto-Detect is selected.
3. Left-click on the message body to select and then click on Format from the menu in the new message window.
4. Under Format, click on Page Colours and Background and in the subsequent dialog box, click on the Choose File… button.
5. Select the desired file you want to insert as the background, click Open and then click OK.

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