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Thunderbird - Importing Multiple accounts

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David 2
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Post Posted May 17th, 2005, 4:50 am

I am a new user and have used the Import function to incorporate my two Outlook Express e-mail accounts into Thunderbird.

However, only one account's worth of e-mail has been imported, which has got duplicated (so I'll delete the copy), although both e-mail accounts' e-mail Addresses have been incorporated, which is very puzzling.

At present, when I wanted to send a test e-mail to myself, I've discovered that my Secondary account is the main account, I then get "David(1)" for my first account and "David(2)" for my second account, and instead of being able to switch between two accounts separately, there is an arrow on the right, giving me the option to switch between two copies of Account 2 and one copy of Account 1. After sending the test e-mail, nothing arrived back in Thunderbird or my Secondary OE account but it was returned undelivered to my Primary OE account.

How do I clear the duplicate account and import my secondary e-mail account but making my Primary account become the first account? (I can't Export from Outlook Express, as Thunderbird is not in the drop down menu) and

Has anyone else noticed some bugs in Thunderbird? which

1) prevent the "Delete" button from automatically removing all text that follows (in Outlook Express, all text following the text I wish to retain, whether on the same line or below is quickly deleted but in Thunderbird, the deletion process stops after a certain point) and

2) alter the Width of the text, even though I'm sure "Fixed Width" is supposed to mean that the specific text or whole page of text (if "Select All" has highlighted the whole text) is one size.

What's happening at the moment is that some text is very small and other is medium sized, even though I'd only planned one size of text throughout my e-mail message. As highlighting the whole text doesn't erradicate the problem, the only other way I'm aware of to fix this is to manually highlight the individual areas of text and click on the "Smaller Font Size" or "Larger Font Size" buttons to equalize the text.

For those of you who don't already know, who've wondered if Thunderbird has an equivalent of Outlook Express's "Preview" facility, to protect users from the risk of unsuspecting virus e-mails, click on "F8" to hide the Preview pane then click on "F8" again to unhide it.

Like the browser Firefox, which has Tabbed Browsing, among other useful features that aren't available in Internet Explorer, Thunderbird's interface is very good and it has some exciting additional features not found in Outlook Express but if there's a way to fix the above faults, I'd be very interested in more details.

old SKopischke
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Post Posted May 17th, 2005, 5:07 am

Re: Importing from Outlook
Have you looked at <<this knowledge base page>>? <<<b>This link</b>>> points to a third-party utility that may be able to help you move your Outlook data to Thunderbird.

Re: Question 1
Can you rephrase the problem? What happens? What do you believe is supposed to happen?

Re: Question 2
-> Which version of Thunderbird?
-> What operating system?
-> Do you have any extensions installed?
-> Do you use a theme other than the default?
-> What are all of your settings in Tools>Fonts?
-> Are you composing in HTML?

David 2
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Post Posted May 18th, 2005, 7:54 am

Hi SKopischke

SKopischke wrote:Re: Importing from Outlook
Have you looked at <<this knowledge base page>>? <<<b>This link</b>>> points to a third-party utility that may be able to help you move your Outlook data to Thunderbird.


Thanks for these links. With so many elements per software, I'm not always sure what the key words are to bring up the right information and then, often there's so much to read. All very useful but difficult to pinpoint the exact answers, so I hadn't seen those links before, which are very invaluable.

Since I posted this thread, as my test e-mail accidentally got deleted while I was trying to delete the duplicate folders of my first e-mail account (two copies of my e-mail appeared, I deleted one and the other disappeared mysteriously, not even in "Trash"), which for some reason resulted in the one and only remaining copies of some folders disappearing and my e-mail Folders were very cluttered, I uninstalled Thunderbird then reinstalled it (after the Download finished, I went offline, scanned the file for viruses, which always do to play safe), I restarted my computer then switched off all Running programs, I doubleclicked on Thunderbird to activate the file then restarted my computer again (as I believe is required for Mozilla programs) and set it up, as follows.

"Select the type of material to import:"

". Address Books"
". Mail"
". Settings"

Yesterday, not being used to this, I opted for all three in succession but I now believe that "Settings" covers both the Address Books and Mail. Saying that, today, having seen that both of my Address Books had been imported after reinstalling Thunderbird, I opted for "Mail", which then said that both Addresses and E-Mails would be imported, but this time nothing has been duplicated in the drop down menu. Instead, one copy of "David 1" and "David 2" are listed.

I will keep in mind the suggestion of the third-party utility Aid4Mail but in the meantime, after reinstalling Thunderbird, which this time didn't offer to import my Internet Explorer and Outlook Express settings (as I found that, despite the prior uninstallation, Thunderbird had retained my IE and one account of OE settings, including my Address Book of e-mail contacts), I followed the knowledge base page instructions for exporting multiple e-mail accounts from OE to Thunderbird, added my two accounts separately and discovered that three lots of folders are now in the left Folder column - The first set are reserved for messages posted from Thunderbird and the second and third sets are the imported e-mails from my two accounts but upside down (eg my secondary account is in the middle, instead of at the bottom). This may be due to me ticking "Use this identity when starting a program" (David 2), instead of (David 1) and "Use this identity when a program cannot ask you to choose an identity" - On the drop down menu, I opted for "David 2", as I'm not used to exporting from OE and wanted to avoid duplicating any e-mail accounts (although I use my "David 2" account most, so the one-column triple e-mail folder will suffice for now) but if need be, I'll uninstall then reinstall once again (or delete one account and install it manually, instead of as an import), as it's useful to have the extra ZoneAlarm Security protection Folders, which come with the Imports, but as I'm now downloading software through Firefox, instead of IE, any future upgrades of the ZoneAlarm Security Suite should automatically incorporate the three additional ZA folders.

Ideally, I'd prefer to adopt the same storage concept in Thunderbird as in Outlook Express, in which instead of having two OE e-mail accounts and two Address Books with different contacts grouped underneath each other in the same Folder lists with a drop down menu on the right for switching between "David 1" and "David 2", I can literally switch identities and have my two e-mail accounts and Address Books stored separately, but it seems that the only way I could do this would be to use a third-party program, like the one you recommended - Aid4Mail. This sounds a very good program, but as it's Shareware, it probably means that, once the 30 days have expired, I would be prohibited from switching between accounts unless I pay to continue using the service.

David 2
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Post Posted May 18th, 2005, 8:06 am

Hi SKopischke


Re: Question 1
[quote="Can you rephrase the problem? What happens? What do you believe is supposed to happen?[/quote]

In Outlook Express, if I've got a block of text and I wish to delete some or all of the text that follows, holding down the "Delete" key enables me to delete it, whereas in Thunderbird, once I hold down the "Delete" key, after a certain point, the Deletion facility sticks and it won't delete all of the text I wish to remove, which must be a bug of some kind, as I have to move my mouse over the remaining text to delete it. The same applies if I've copied text over from another document, a few lines below the point where text is normally placed in Thunderbird. Once I click on the "Delete" button to move the text up to the top position, the cursor sticks, so I have to manually move the mouse down to highlight, cut and paste the text into its correct position. I did another test, by clicking the cursor right next to the wanted text, which deleted some text but got stuck again.

For example, in the above paragraph, if I wanted to retain just the words "In Outlook Express, if I've got a block of text and I wish to delete some or all of the text that follows," but remove the remaining text that follows in the rest of the paragraph, from "holding down the "Delete" key" through to "as I have to move my mouse over the remaining text to delete it.", Thunderbird would only remove a fraction of the above text then the cursor would flash, signalling that it won't remove any more text. To remove the remaining text, also applying to paragraphs, I would have to hover the mouse over then highlight the remaining text that I want to remove, which again sticks after a certain point. In other words, Thunderbird won't do a clean sleep of removing the whole of the unwanted text in one go.

Also, during the deletion process, the left text moves slightly to the right then gets stuck soon afterwards, and when I highlight certain text to have say one part with the Times New Roman font and another with the Arial font, it only retains one of the two fonts throughout, so that despite indicating "Arial" in the Font menu, it's actually displaying text in Times New Roman. This is very puzzling and so far, the only solution I've found is to copy the text into Outlook Express, change the font there then copy it into Thunderbird for it to be displayed in a different font.

After initially finding that my e-mails kept remaining in "Ascending" order after I'd manually clicked on the arrow to "Descending", closed Thunderbird then returned to it, I've since discovered in "View-Sort by" that clicking on "Descending" under "Date" and the mode already set to "Unthreaded", Thunderbird now keeps e-mail drafts, sent and received messages in "Descending" order every time I close then return to Thunderbird. Due to this discovery, there's hopefully a solution to the other outstanding issues.


Re: Question 2

-> Which version of Thunderbird? - I have the current version, 1.0.2

-> What operating system? - Windows XP

-> Do you have any extensions installed? - Not yet. I'm currently deliberating over which ones to install, as there are so many to choose from (and would like to be able to download a set in one go to save time, if there's a program that does this) but an Ad blocker would be very good (there's apparently one built into Firefox but when I visited Myownemail a few days ago, a Firefox information bar appeared at the top left of my screen saying something like "Casale Media ads have been blocked out" but as that appeared, the ads then appeared shortly afterwards!, which contradicted the information bar and is very puzzling.

Also, although today the same font hasn't varied with different text sizes throughout my test e-mails, if I highlight a whole block of text to change it to One text size, it still appears with different text sizes but not of the same fonts. How do I change a whole series of text to appear as one font in one width?

-> Do you use a theme other than the default? - No, not at present. I clicked on "Tools-Themes", which lists "Thunderbird (Default) 2.0". Underneath this information, it says "Arvid Axelsson", who I presume is the software author, and at the bottom, the Active options are "Install", "Update" and "Get More Themes". After reading various opinions on Firefox 1.0.4, which I have, I've been very cautious about what I add to the two Mozilla products I have, to avoid the risk of incompatability, which seems to be the predominant cause of technical problems, although luckily, nothing's gone wrong since I switched to 1.0.4 (which automatically deleted and replaced 1.0.3. without any problems. Likewise with Adobe Reader 7.0, which saves the need to manually uninstall old versions then install new versions). Personally, other than the "Myownemail" and BBC "TOTP2" web site problems in Firefox (and Opera), which are beyond the control of these browsers, the only problems I've experienced have been in Thunderbird.


-> What are all of your settings in Tools>Fonts? - Brace yourself, there's quite a lot to list!, which must be the Default settings:-

Fonts for: Western
Proportional: Serif (Size (pixels) 16)
Serif: Times New Roman
Sans-serif: Arial
Monospace: Courier New (Size (pixels) 13)
Display resolution: 96 dpi (Minimum font size: None)

(Ticked/Checked) Allow messages to use other fonts

Character encodings:

Outgoing mail: Western (ISO-8859-1)
Incoming mail: Western (ISO-8859-1)

(Unticked/Unchecked) Apply default to all messages (ignore character encoding specified by MIME header)
(Unticked/Unchecked) Always use the default character encoding in replies. (When unchecked, only new messages use the default.)

In the "Write" (compose e-mail section), the Fonts consist of: 2 drop down menus.

In Menu 1 - It's in "Body Text",

In Menu 2, to the right - It's in "Variable Width". Below this is in the menu is: "Fixed Width", then "Helvetica, Arial"; "Times"; "Courier" then the imported fonts from Outlook Express - Alba, through to Wingdings.

-> Are you composing in HTML?" - No, not in Thunderbird so far. Some of the e-mail messages I've imported from OE have HTML web site links that I click on for quick access to web sites and a small number of others have photos from web sites and e-mail contacts, which display as HTML documents. In test e-mails in Thunderbird, I've just used text, including some HTML web site links but I've noticed that, upon clicking on "Options-Format" in the top menus, it's in "Auto-Detect" mode.

old SKopischke
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted May 18th, 2005, 8:28 am

David - you sure provide a lot of detail. Think about cutting back a bit. One tends to get a bit lost in all of the text.

Re: Outlook
Please understand that Outlook and Thunderbird do things differently. That's why they both exist. Once you have successfully brought your Outlook data into Thunderbird (and it appears you have), you now may have to reorganize it and get used to a different e-mail client interface. Thunderbird can do most of the things Outlook can do, but it takes a different path to get there.

You are correct in your observation that Thunderbird does not segregate its mail data files by account. They are all kept in your profile. It's up to you to determine how best to organize the data.

Aid4Mail is only a tool for importing Outlook data to Thunderbird, not "switching identities."

Re: Question 1
Let me see if I understand. You are editing a message you are composing. You want to delete a block of text. You place the cursor at the beginning of that block of text, press and hold the 'Delete' key. At some point, the delete action seems to stop, despite your continuing to hold the delete key down. Is that correct so far?

Re: Question 2
"Variable Width" is a term used to refer to fonts spaced propotionally according to the size of the letters, numbers and characters. Times New Roman is a good example of that. "Fixed Width" is a term used to refer to fonts that are spaced according to a set size per character. Courier is a good example of that. The settings in Tools>Fonts give you control over that.

You might be composing in HTML if you are seeing those menu choices in the Compose window. Check your settings in Tools>Account Settings> <i>account</i> >Composition & Addressing.

David 2
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Post Posted May 19th, 2005, 10:59 am

Hi SKopischke

I've since deleted the duplicate account and the text is no longer changing size within the same paragraph but what I have found is that, if I highlight a whole page's worth of text then click on a different font to change its appearance, the different font remains the same as the original text for some paragraphs but changes for other paragraphs, and conversely, if I wish to change part of a page, eg one paragraphs, to another font, no matter which fonts I click on in the drop down menu, the paragraph remains in the original font. So far, the only solution I've found is to copy the unchanged text into Outlook Express then copy it back to Thunderbird, which then displays it correctly to the desired change font.

-> Are you composing in HTML? - On further thought, I think I am. I've since looked up "View-Message Body As" and it's set to "Original HTML". The other options are "Simple HTML", whatever that is and "Plain Text".

Outlook Express - I can appreciate Outlook and Thunderbird doing things differently with a different interface. It's just that, while there are several similarities between the two, there are many differences, and additional features in Thunderbird, like Firefox that look very interesting but I've yet to become acquainted with to get the most out of the e-mail client, including displaying and deleting text accordingly in Drafts, as not everything is displaying or deleting as it should.

Thunderbird - You've given me some very good suggestions already but is there a way to import two or more e-mail accounts so that they're stored separately, instead of underneath each other? and does Thunderbird have a facility to switch identities, like in Outlook Express? If not, perhaps I should reuninstall then reinstall Thunderbird and set up my two accounts manually, without the Imported settings. Firefox and Thunderbird both look a lot of fun but as I'm a new user of both, I've got a long way before I get the optimum out of each piece of software.

SKopischke wrote:You are correct in your observation that Thunderbird does not segregate its mail data files by account. They are all kept in your profile. It's up to you to determine how best to organize the data.


That's the thing. At present, I don't yet know how best to organize the data, as like the Text issue, I haven't yet mastered the basics in Thunderbird e-mail but I know I'll have a lot of fun as and when I get to grips with it all.

SKopischke wrote:Aid4Mail is only a tool for importing Outlook data to Thunderbird, not "switching identities."


I'm not sure what facilities are lost beyond the 30 day free trial period but I could uninstall then reinstall again Thunderbird, preferably with both accounts imported but if there is a way for Thunderbird to enable users to have the other option of storing two accounts separately and switching between the two accounts, even better.

SKopischke wrote:Re: Question 1
Let me see if I understand. You are editing a message you are composing. You want to delete a block of text. You place the cursor at the beginning of that block of text, press and hold the 'Delete' key. At some point, the delete action seems to stop, despite your continuing to hold the delete key down. Is that correct so far?


Yes.

SKopischke wrote:Re: Question 2
"Variable Width" is a term used to refer to fonts spaced propotionally according to the size of the letters, numbers and characters. Times New Roman is a good example of that. "Fixed Width" is a term used to refer to fonts that are spaced according to a set size per character. Courier is a good example of that. The settings in Tools>Fonts give you control over that.

You might be composing in HTML if you are seeing those menu choices in the Compose window. Check your settings in Tools>Account Settings> account >Composition & Addressing


I now understand the concept of "Variable Width" from your description. I can tell that I'll have a lot of extra scope in Thunderbird but it's just me getting ued to how everything works. I've checked my settings, where "Compose messages in HTML format" is ticked. What is the difference in the results of composing messages as HTML documents and as Plain Text documents? I've sent and received a small number of photo documents in attachments but mostly, I send and receive text only e-mails, including web site and e-mail links, which then become underlined upon closing Thunderbird, unless the links are HTML.

old SKopischke
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted May 19th, 2005, 12:26 pm

David 2 wrote:Thunderbird - You've given me some very good suggestions already but is there a way to import two or more e-mail accounts so that they're stored separately, instead of underneath each other? and does Thunderbird have a facility to switch identities, like in Outlook Express? If not, perhaps I should reuninstall then reinstall Thunderbird and set up my two accounts manually, without the Imported settings. Firefox and Thunderbird both look a lot of fun but as I'm a new user of both, I've got a long way before I get the optimum out of each piece of software.

I think you might want to look at the use of profiles. Check <<<b>this page</b>>> for information on Thunderbird profiles.

David 2 wrote:
SKopischke wrote:You are correct in your observation that Thunderbird does not segregate its mail data files by account. They are all kept in your profile. It's up to you to determine how best to organize the data.


That's the thing. At present, I don't yet know how best to organize the data, as like the Text issue, I haven't yet mastered the basics in Thunderbird e-mail but I know I'll have a lot of fun as and when I get to grips with it all.

You might want to take a look at <<<b>this page</b>>>. Make sure you go through all of the linked pages.

David 2 wrote:
SKopischke wrote:Aid4Mail is only a tool for importing Outlook data to Thunderbird, not "switching identities."


I'm not sure what facilities are lost beyond the 30 day free trial period but I could uninstall then reinstall again Thunderbird, preferably with both accounts imported but if there is a way for Thunderbird to enable users to have the other option of storing two accounts separately and switching between the two accounts, even better.

I agree. This goes back to the profile idea.

David 2 wrote:
SKopischke wrote:Re: Question 1
Let me see if I understand. You are editing a message you are composing. You want to delete a block of text. You place the cursor at the beginning of that block of text, press and hold the 'Delete' key. At some point, the delete action seems to stop, despite your continuing to hold the delete key down. Is that correct so far?


Yes.

That is indeed odd. What happens if you release and re-press the Delete key? What kind of computer do you have - laptop, desktop?

David 2 wrote:I've checked my settings, where "Compose messages in HTML format" is ticked. What is the difference in the results of composing messages as HTML documents and as Plain Text documents? I've sent and received a small number of photo documents in attachments but mostly, I send and receive text only e-mails, including web site and e-mail links, which then become underlined upon closing Thunderbird, unless the links are HTML.

Generally, when composing in HTML, you have control over fonts, font attributes, paragraph settings and smileys. All URL and e-mail addresses will become links in the resulting message, no matter whether you compose in plain text or HTML.

David 2
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Post Posted May 20th, 2005, 12:50 pm

Hi SKopischke

Thanks for the links. I'll have a look at the use of the Thunderbird profiles and other links as and when time permits, as I've got a lot to do but I'd like to persevere with resolving the Thunderbird issues, as I'm sure it's just a matter of narrowing down the settings in one or more section to trace which ones need adjusting to enable my secondary account to work fully but please bear with me.

Thunderbird Deleting text function

Normally, when I release then re-press the Delete key, the cursor flashes and the Delete function sticks, so that the only way to delete the rest of the text is to keep moving the mouse over the individual areas (or full remains) of text, in order to delete it. However, there are inconsistencies, as in contrast, I've just typed in 10 columns of the word "Hello" over several rows (copied and pasted to save time) and when I positioned the cursor to the top left of the first letter, it deleted the whole lot in one go. As well as this, when I'd deleted text above the horizontal line, it first got stuck then when I deleted the contents below the line and I went back to above the line, this time the line got deleted and changing text in one paragraph in sizes, font types, emboldening, etc and colours has worked fine today but didn't yesterday. I don't know why the results have changed, as I hadn't changed any settings but there must be some bugs in the software and it's very puzzling indeed.

SKopischke wrote:What kind of computer do you have - laptop, desktop?


I have a desktop computer.

SKopischke wrote:Generally, when composing in HTML, you have control over fonts, font attributes, paragraph settings and smileys. All URL and e-mail addresses will become links in the resulting message, no matter whether you compose in plain text or HTML.


Ah, now I understand. I've since learnt a lot from you and others on this forum, which is all very useful to know.

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