Betterbird: Expert Tips
Betterbird is really a Swiss army knife for mail processing. Here are some tips from our project manager to make your experience even better.
New Messages - Activity Manager
Out of the box, when Betterbird starts, it will show you the number of new unread messages and their folders.
If you have many folders an filters, the Activity Manager is also a nice tool to show you to which folders messages were moved. Betterbird opens the Activity Manager in a tab, so it doesn't get in the way. We suggest to keep it always open.
Multi-line view included since September 2021
Many people have asked us to finally implement a multi-line view, so we're happy to announce that this is now included in Betterbird. To enable it, deselect the subject column in the column picker of the message list/thread pane for a particular folder. There is also a global option View > Layout > Multi-line View On All Folders. Once you enable the global option, all folders will show in multi-line view. If you disable the global option, to need to re-enable the subject column on the folders where you no longer wish to the use multi-line view. Multi-line view is highly customisable via userChrome.css, see below for details.
There are thousands of add-on available for Thunderbird which will work 100% the same in Betterbird. Here are the ones we use:
ThunderHTMLedit - great to fine-tune the sometimes erratic HTML the editor produces.
Shrunked Image Resizer - essential for resizing images before sending.
Signature Switch - great to administer multiple signatures.
Lightning Calendar Tabs - let's you move through the calendar quicker.
Dictionary for recipient - if you write in different languages, store the language you want to use in the address book.
Sender Frequency - adds a column to the message list that lets you determine quickly you writes to you (or spams you) most.
There many excellent add-ons for specific purposes, like Mail Merge, TbSync for access to Exchange calendars, Emoji (not working in Betterbird yet), Quicktext, FileLink (Dropbox, Box, WebDAV, Nextcloud and ownCloud) and many more.
A word of caution: with add-ons, less is more. Don't overload your system with too many add-ons. Some are poorly maintained or potentially not compatible with the latest application version. Check when the last update was made and handle with care if it's more than a year ago. Actively maintained add-ons will ship updates regularly. We think it's best to find the best add-ons that support your workflow and stick with them.
You can modify the CSS used for the display of the UI by adding a chrome/userChrome.css file. You need to set preference toolkit.legacyUserProfileCustomizations.stylesheets for changes to take effect. We are using this file, striping ahead. Here's another example to make it look more like Outlook in multi-line view.
We're not great friends of customising everything, but this simple theme has stuck with us over the years.
You know that there will be dragons if you mess around too much with preferences, but here is a list of a few useful ones to explore:
|mail.ui.display.dateformat.thisweek||Set to 4 to get "weekday, time" display (recommended)|
|mailnews.display.date_senders_timezone||Displays the sender's timezone in the header pane|
|mail.override_list_reply_to||When true (default), overrides the Reply-To header (careful, religious war hiding here)|
|mailnews.reply_to_self_check_all_ident||When true (default), checks all identities in "reply to self"|
|mailnews.display.show_all_body_parts_menu||Enables "View > Message Body As > All Body Parts"|
|mail.inline_attachments.text||When true, text attachments are shown inline (recommended)|
|mail.html_sanitize.drop_conditional_css||When false, conditional CSS (media queries) won't be discarded|
|ldap_2.servers.outlook.dirType||Set to 3 to enable access to Outlook address book (will cause slower startup)|
|mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed||When false, plaintext won't be flowed (not recommended!)|
|mailnews.wraplength||Line length used for wrapping, 0 = no wrapping|
|mail.strictly_mime||When true, forces Quoted Printable encoding|