Customizing Toolbars

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Thunderbird enables you to do some limited customization of the toolbars. Toolbar buttons can be added, moved, and removed from the toolbar; however, you can do this to only a limited set of buttons.

Additionally, an extension is available to improve Thunderbird's toolbar button support. It's called Buttons!.

Add Buttons

To add buttons to the Thunderbird toolbar, right-click the toolbar and select Customize in the pop-up context menu. The Customize Toolbar window is displayed, with all the unused toolbar buttons.

Each button you add to the toolbar is moved from the Customize Toolbar window to the toolbar, so a button can't be added in two places. This is in contrast to some other applications, in which a toolbar button can be added in several places.

Three special items on the Customize Toolbar window are the Separator object; Flexible Space object; and Space object, which is used to separate buttons on the toolbar. These special items can be added multiple times, but they merely change the look of the toolbar and don't add functionality.

The Space object adds a space that is one half the width of a large icon (this space does not shrink or grow when toggling between small and large icons).

The Flexible Space object adds space that enables you to have some buttons forced to the right side of the toolbar. For example, the throbber is on the right because there is a Flexible Space between the last toolbar button and the throbber.

The Separator object places a single vertical line between two buttons, allowing you to create groups of buttons.

Rearrange or Remove Buttons

Any of the buttons on the toolbar can be removed or rearranged by dragging and dropping them in their new location. To rearrange a button, click and drag the button while the Customize Toolbar window is open.

To remove a button, drag it off the toolbar to the Customize Toolbar window. This puts the button back on the Customize Toolbar window.

Button Extensions

These are a few of the extensions that add buttons or extended functionality to Thunderbird:

  • Buttons! An extension that adds a number of useful buttons to Thunderbird (see Figure 13.3). Toolbar buttons included with Buttons! are Archive, Delete Thread, Search, Label, Images, HTML On/Off, Select SMTP, and Delete Junk.

    Figure 13.3. The Customize Toolbar dialog box shows the buttons added by the Buttons! extension.

  • compactfolder Makes available a toolbar button to purge and compact folders.

  • Move Search Items Does not add more buttons but allows moving the search bar to the toolbar.

  • Signature Switch Adds a Signature Management button to the toolbar. This extension does more than just add to the toolbar.

  • Translation Panel Adds a button that facilitates translation of content to different languages.

  • View Headers Toggle Button Adds a button that turns on or off message headers. Being able to view the headers is great for trying to track down the source of spam.

Many more toolbar-related extensions can be used but are not listed at the Mozilla Update website.

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    Firefox and Thunderbird. Beyond Browsing and Email
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