Compact e-mail list views

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
Posts: 5
Joined: July 10th, 2014, 6:09 pm

Post Posted April 4th, 2017, 4:43 pm

Is there a built-in way, or even an extension, for displaying compact lines of e-mail lines within the message lists similar to how phone apps display e-mail, i.e., a block with a sender image to the left (that optionally could double as a check-box for selection), a top line with the subject line to the right of this in bold followed by a sender line below this and another line showing the first line of body text then a star on the right that indicates the starring and can be toggled on and off and a date below this. Optionally, it would be great if the spam flag was included as well. The list header would still remain unchanged but would just be used to change sort order and not what is displayed.

Image example: ... a-Mail.jpg


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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted April 4th, 2017, 5:39 pm

The CompactHeader add-on lets you configure Thunderbird to display either one or two lines of headers when viewing the contents of a message. However, there is no support for having two lines per message in the folder listing like Outlook supports. There have been bug reports requesting that for many years.

The basic problem is that there isn't a good tree widget to do that which works with Gecko (the rendering engine in Firefox, which Thunderbird also uses). Several have been proposed, but they were too fragile/hard to maintain as Gecko changed (mainly to meet Firefox's needs). There is a commercial version of Thunderbird called Postbox (based on enhancements to a fairly old version of Thunderbird) which supports that feature. They can get away with that as they are using a frozen snapshot of Gecko, that they occasionally backport security fixes to. Its not clear how well that will work long term. Their company also doesn't seem very successful, in part because they offer no support/help/forums and support very few add-ons (you can't use Thunderbird add-ons, you have to use a ported one). They get great reviews in Mac magazines/web sites though as they have added a lot of Mac specific features.

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