Automatic paragraph breaks with the Enter key
This is a change you will notice immediately: Whenever you press the Enter key while writing an e-mail, Thunderbird will no longer insert a line break, but a paragraph break – just like in a word processor. If you want to suppress the extra space below, press Shift+Enter – again, just like in TextMaker or Word.
It is likely you will be annoyed with this change on the first day – just like the writer of this blog article was. But then you will get used to it and probably don't want to go back to the old ways. Give this change a chance. If you absolutely do not like it, you can disable it in Tools > Options > Composition: Switch to the dialog tab General and remove the checkmark in front of When using paragraph format, the enter key creates a new paragraph.
Freely selectable "From" address
Does spam annoy you as much as us? Many internet services require registering with your e-mail address. A pretty efficient way to find out if a company has sold your address or has been hacked is to use a different e-mail address with each service:
If you start receiving unsolicited e-mail at such an address, you know not only the culprit but also can set up a filter in Thunderbird that discards future messages to this address unread.
Employing this strategy in Thunderbird was quite complicated until now, since you had to create a separate account for each such address. With Thunderbird 45.1, you can now enter an arbitrary e-mail address when sending out an e-mail message:
Just click into the "From" field, choose "Customize From Address" and enter the desired e-mail address.
This function requires your e-mail server to be configured that it (a) allows sending messages with such a sender address, and (b) forwards replies to this address to your regular e-mail address. If you run your own mail server, you should set it up that all e-mails to any address in your domain are forwarded to you.
Some commercial e-mail providers let you create distinct e-mail addresses on-the-fly, too:
Improvements to spell-checking
Thunderbird's spell checker now also checks the subject line of the e-mail that you are writing. If you have installed multiple dictionaries, you can switch between them with a button in the Mail Compose window.
One more thing: If you have installed several dictionaries, the active language is shown in the bottom right of the Mail Compose Window's status bar.
Selecting the font size easily
When you create an e-mail, you can not only change the font size with the "Larger" and "Smaller" buttons, but now also pick a font size directly from the menu:
Even better protection from being spied on
One of the key goals of the Thunderbird developers has always been to protect your privacy. As protection against spam and tracking, external images in e-mail messages are not displayed automatically. This prevents the ad industry from employing tracking pixels that track if you opened their advertising e-mails.
You can add trustworthy senders with just a click, resulting in their images to be displayed automatically. Thunderbird 45.1 now offers more fine-grained control by letting you whitelist not only by sending address, but also individually choose the web servers from which the images are loaded. This way, you can see relevant pictures but skip ad images.
Exporting from the address book
If you want to export an address book into CSV or text format, Thunderbird now offers the UTF-8 character set in the export dialog. UTF-8 handles all Unicode characters.
In addition, you can now export all address books in one step. For this, place the highlight bar on the entry All Address Books in the list of address books, then start the export.
Change mail overview
Thunderbird 45.0 introduced a change that was not liked by all users: In the mail overview, the "From" column was automatically replaced by a new column, "Correspondents". If you collect e-mails that you receive as well as those that you send in the same folder you will see the recipient's name instead of your own. The "sending direction" is indicated by an arrow that either points left or right.
Yes, this takes getting used to. But many of those who tried this change appreciate it. What users didn't like was that this change was implemented silently for all users. With 45.1, this option is off by default and must be activated manually. If you want to try it out in single folders, click on the icon in the top right of the mail overview, remove the checkmark in front of "From" and set a checkmark in front of "Correspondents".
If you want to activate the "Correspondents" option by default for new folders, proceed as follows:
- Choose Tools > Options and click on the icon Advanced in the top right of the dialog box.
- Switch to the dialog tab General and click on the button Config Editor.
- As soon as you acknowledge the warning message by confirming that you know what you are doing, Thunderbird's configuration editor will appear.
- Type correspondents in the search field.
- Only one entry should remain in the list: mail.threadpane.use_correspondents.
- Right-click on it and choose the Toggle command.
- You can now leave the configuration editor and the settings dialog box.
Sending correct e-mail messages to Asia
Thunderbird now sends correctly formatted e-mails in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Previously, unnecessary spaces were inserted, and Japanese-language messages violated the internet RFCs.
Tip: Thunderbird "powered by SoftMaker"
If you use SoftMaker Office 2016, Thunderbird "powered by SoftMaker" is included. You not only profit from the improvements that come with Thunderbird 45.1, but additionally from the add-ons developed by SoftMaker. These improve Thunderbird's user interface and add powerful functions for filing messages and for folder navigation.