Thunderbird Mail - How to Use
Thunderbird is a stand-alone, graphical mail client that runs on Linux, Mac, and Windows computers. It is written and maintained by the Mozilla group, who created the browser by the same name.
To configure Thunderbird, read this information.
To start Thunderbird from a Windows computer, go to Start | All Programs | Mail & Scheduling | Mozilla Thunderbird. From Linux, type Thunderbird in the search bar and select Mail/News Client Thunderbird when it appears below the search bar.
When you launch Mail and provide your password, Thunderbird opens to your Inbox. (If you launch Thunderbird from your computer in the Seamans Center and have already authenticated to the network, you will not need to provide your password.)
After logging in, you see three major windows. The one on the left shows your folders on the mail server, local mail folders, and any other mail folders or news folders that you have set up. The two windows on the right are the message and preview windows. When you start Thunderbird, the open folder at the top is your Inbox. Select a message to read by clicking on the desired message; that message opens in the bottom, right-hand window. If you double click on the message, the message opens in a new window. You can change the size of the preview window: position the mouse over the bar that separates the mail index listing and the message preview area until the icon changes to a double headed arrow are a hand; then drag the bar up to increase the preview area or down to decrease it.
You can sort your mail by subject, sender, date, etc., by clicking on the appropriate column. By default, the program displays your messages in date sent order.
When a message is selected or open, you have three options for responding to the message. Select Reply to send a response to the sender. Select Reply All to send a response to the sender and others who received a cc: of the message. Select Forward to send the message to another person; the person to whom you forward mail will see the original sender noted in the first line of the message. To redirect a piece of mail, open the mail and select Message | Edit Message As New.
Within Thunderbird, check for new mail by clicking the Get Msgs button. If you have configured Thunderbird to read mail from more than one account, click the triangle on the Get Msgs icon to Get All New Messages or select the account(s) for which to get messages. New messages in your Inbox are bold, to indicate that the message(s) is unread.
To write and send mail, click on the Compose button in the top left corner of the toolbar. The Compose window opens. In this window there are three main parts: the address area, the subject area, and the message area.
Enter the email of the addressee, or click on the Address icon to open your address books and directories to search for an address.
The To: address area contains a pull-down tab (shown below), which lets you select the recipient type. Use To: for the primary recipient(s). You can also specify recipients to get a carbon copy (cc) or a blind carbon copy (bcc) of the message. To send a carbon copy of the message, click the triangle by the To: field and select cc: or bcc: if you want to send a blind carbon. You can chose among these six options when sending a message:
To: The message recipient(s).
Cc: The recipient(s) who gets a copy of the message; use this to include someone for information purposes only.
Bcc: The recipient(s) who gets a copy; no one else who receives the message knows that this person has received the message.
Reply-… Sets your address so that when the recipient replies to the message, the reply goes to the Reply-To address instead of the sending address. For example, the Reply-To address might be your mail alias (firstname.lastname@example.org), where the sending address is your engineering mail account (email@example.com)
Newsg… The newsgroup to receive the message.
Follow… To redirect a newsgroup posting so that subsequent threads go directly to the redirected newsgroup instead of the original newsgroup.
To include an attachment, click on the paper clip icon labeled “Attach” on the toolbar. You can attach a file or a web page. Browse to where the file or web page is located, highlight the file to attach and click Open.
Thunderbird allows you to remove an attachment from a message but save the message. When viewing a message with an attachment you want to delete, right click on the attachment and select Detach ... (or Delete), as illustrated at right. From this menu you can also open or save the attachment, as well as save, detach, or delete all attachments included with the message. See also Thunderbird help for attachments.
Enter a subject for your message; if you don’t, Thunderbird will ask for one when you send your message.
Below the subject line is the area where you type your message. Once you have composed the message, click the Send button to send your message to the listed recipient(s).
Sending Mail Later
If you want to think a bit longer or add more to the message later, from the message composition window select File | Send Later instead of pressing the Send button. To send a deferred message, go to File | Send Unsent Messages. If you press the Save button, the message gets moved to the Drafts folder. You can open that folder and send the message later.
To provide increased email security, CSS added TLS/SSL security to the server that sends email and requires authentication to that server. To send email on the engineering mail server, you need to set these things: 1) the correct SMTP address: mail.engineering.uiowa.edu; 2) allow or use TLS/SSL to send mail; and 3) authentication to the SMTP mail server.
When running Thunderbird, go to Tools | Account Settings... then to Outgoing Server (SMTP) to set the SMTP server, TLS, and authentication. See illustration at right.
1 ) Server Name: mail.engineering.uiowa.edu and specify port 587
2 ) To set authentication, check "Use name and password" and enter your User Name, which should be your login ID. In this example, the User Name is "bgreene".
3 ) Use secure connection: select TLS, if available.
If you are using Thunderbird outside of the Seamans Center, make this additional setting: go toTools | Account Settings.... Select Server Settings. In the "Security Settings" section, under Use secure connection check TLS, as well as checking Use secure authentication.
To delete a message, select that message in the message list. Then either press the Delete key or select the Delete button in the toolbar. Thunderbird either marks your message with a red X, sends it to the Trash to be deleted later, or removes it immediately, depending on the preferences that you have set in Tools| Account Settings |Server Settings.
Thunderbird's default is to move deleted message to the Trash. You can change that setting in Tools | Account Settings | Server Settings. You may need to purge messages if you are near or over quota and cannot send mail or receive mail. You can purge messages in the Trash by selecting File | Compact Folders.
Open a message that includes an address you want to keep. With the message open, right click on the sender or recipient whose address you want to store in your Address Book. Select Add to Address Book…. The New Card dialogue box opens with Display Name and Email filled in. If you have several address books, at the top of the New Card dialogue box, click the down arrow next to Personal Address Book to select a different address book in which to save the address. Add information that you want, and change the Display name if you prefer something shorter. Click OK. If you fill in a Nickname, when you write a message, you need enter only the nickname, not the person’s entire name.
To write mail to someone whose address is in an address book, start a new piece of mail and enter the nickname in the To: field. Thunderbird will fill in the person’s name and email address.
You can create folders to organize your saved mail. Right click on the account name (the left side of the screen), and select New Folder. Name the folder, and it appears in the listing below the account name.
To save a message in a folder other than your Inbox, drag the message from the current window to the folder you want to save it in. You can move the message to folders on the mail server or to your local mail folder on your home directory or hard drive. To save a message as a file, select the message, and then go to File | Save As | File. Or right click when the message is highlighted and select Save As…. Thunderbird asks you to specify where to save the message, and you can give the message a file name other than the default message.eml
Another way to organize mail is to use filters, which can sort, file, or delete mail. Because there is so much that can be done with filters, that is a separate document called Filtering Email with Thunderbird.
To create a signature, use any text editor (WordPad, for example) to write the file, then save it. Go to Tools | Account Settings and click Attach this signature: and then choose the signature file you created. To change your signature, edit the signature file.
Once you have created a signature file, Thunderbird automatically uses it with each message you write.
Thunderbird lets you check mail from different mail accounts. For example, if you have a mail account at ITS as well as an engineering account from which you read mail, configure Thunderbird to get the mail from both those accounts. Go to Tools | Account Settings... and select Add Account…. Answer the questions in the set-up wizard to configure another account.
To read mail on your new account, click on that account’s Inbox. Enter your that account password; then that inbox will open.
To look at the messages stored in a different folder, click the folder in the mailbox listing. Thunderbird opens a new display with the messages in the selected folder.
To create a new folder, go to File | New Folder
To move a message to a folder, select the message, right click and select Move To or highlight the message and select Message | Move
By default Thunderbird keeps copies of messages you send. To change that setting messages, go to Tools | Account Settings | Copies & Folders. Under “When sending messages, automatically:" uncheck the box next to Place a copy in. If you want copies saved in the Sent folder saved locally rather than on the mail server, click the down arrow to the right of your account name and select Local Folders. (You must have set the local folder in “Server Settings” on the same dialogue box, just above “Copies & Folders”.) Or select the Other radio button and specify another folder to save the sent copies. Then select OK.
From the same screen, you can also set if and where draft messages and templates are stored. By default Thunderbird stores them in your account on the mail server.
Mail saved in the Sent and Draft folders count against your mail quota, so if you keep copies, you should regularly delete messages in the Sent folder. If you run out of mail quota, a good place to reclaim space is to delete messages in the Sent folder.
Go to Tools | Options to set preferences for the look of the mail window, the messages display, whether or not to send in HTML automatically, spell checking, and more.
To leave Thunderbird, choose File | Close or click on the X in the upper, right-hand corner of a Thunderbird window.
If you have questions about configuring or using Thunderbird, see the consultant at the Engineering Help Desk in 1253 SC, 319-335-5055, or send email.