Composing, Sending, and Reading Mail

Now it's time to get to the fun part, composing and sending mail. You might want to configure a few options before you begin sending mail. Most of these configuration options are located in Tools | Options in Windows:

Forwarding Messages

Tools | Options | Composition

Address Autocompletion

Tools | Options | Composition

Saving Attachments

Tools | Options | Attachments

Enable the spellchecker

Tools | Options | Composition

Adjust your font sizes

Tools | Options | Fonts

Customize your toolbar

Right-click the toolbar to get the customize menu, and drag and drop items to the toolbar.


Buttons! ( is a cool extension that allows you to add buttons to your toolbar. My favorite? The Delete Junk button. It makes me feel like I don't have to take out the trash for another week.

Composing Mail

Thunderbird gives you a few different ways to compose mail. You can click the Write Icon on the toolbar, choose File | Message | New Message, or press Ctrl+M to compose a mail message.

Here is a message I just composed. You will see a few things that you can do to the message before and after it is sent.

To: Alice

From: Chase

Re: Quality of our Maple Syrup


It has come to my attention that our current Maple Syrup production is not up to our usual standards - can you please investigate? You know how important it is for our company to generate high-quality Vermont Maple Syrup.

Also, please set up a meeting with myself and Elaine to discuss how we can further commodify our Maple Syrup. I have some ideas about getting into the ice cream/gelato business.

By the way, I hear you are going up to Maine this week-end. If you would be so kind as to pick me up some wild blueberries, I would greatly appreciate it.

FAQ: What if I want to...

Resend it?

Select the message, choose Message | Edit Message as New, and click Send.

Add a cc or bcc?

Click the dropdown widget on the left side of the Compose window to access the options for the various addresses.

Save as a draft?

File | Save as draft.

Get a return receipt?

Options | Return Receipt.

Send with the highest priority?

In the Compose window, click Options | Priority | Highest.

Have it look like it came from an alternate email address?

Set up the address in the account you are using by going to Tools | Account Settings | Manage Identities. Then select it from the dropdown list when you compose the email from that account.

Flag the message so I can read it offline?

Message | Mark | Flag. To read it offline: File | Offline | Get Flagged Messages.

Sending Mail

To send this message, I can click the Send icon or File | Send Now or File | Send Later. But because everyone seems to be in a rush these days, I usually opt for the former.

Reading Mail

The two options you should configure for reading mail are the mail window option and the message window behavior, which are both located in Tools Options | General.

Advice from a Starry-Eyed Reader: What to Do If Your Headers Are Out of Control

If you don't want to see all those headers when reading mail (especially when you want to print emails), you can toggle the Headers preference by going to View | Headers and selecting Normal instead of All. Phew.

    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage (Garage Series)
    Firefox and Thunderbird Garage
    ISBN: 0131870041
    EAN: 2147483647
    Year: 2003
    Pages: 185

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