How to NOT add addresses automatically

February 12, 2007

I recently got this email:

My problem isn’t deleting addresses but not adding them. I seem to have Tbird set such that any new replies get added to the address book. I’d rather put all new entries in manually (mostly because ‘m a lecturer and don’t need all my students’ emails in my address book). I can’t seem to find a way to unset this. Can you help?

After poking around, I think I found what you would need to stop adding entries to your address book automatically.

Auto Add

  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. Go to:
    1. On a Mac: Thunderbird > Preferences
    1. On Windows: Tools > Options
  3. Go to the Composition tab
  4. Uncheck that last checkbox that says “Automatically add outgoing e-mail addresses to my:”.

This should stop adding addresses to your Collected Address or Personal Address Book when you reply to an email.


How to export a group

November 29, 2006

Ok, I normally don’t post tips about using an extension, but this one is too good to pass up, and I’ve had a bunch of people asking…

So you want to export a one of your lists and send them to someone else? The easiest way to do that would be to use a vCard group and attach it to an email to that person. Unfortunately, Thunderbird doesn’t support vCards, at least not without an extension. Fortunately, a developer has made an extension for Thunderbird (named MoreCols) that allows Thunderbird to import, export, and use vCards. If you download and install that extension (see this post for instructions), it will allow you to follow these instructions:

  1. Export vCardOpen Thunderbird and click on the Address Book icon at the top
  2. Click on the list/group you want to export
  3. Go to Tools > Actions for Lists > Export as VCF
    1. You can also right click (option-click for Macs) and go to Export as VCF
  4. This will open a Finder/Explorer window asking you where to save the file. Save the file in an easy to find location (like the desktop)
  5. Close the Address Book and click on the Write button
  6. Attach the file to this new email and ship it off to your buddy.

How to import an address book from a file

September 25, 2006
  1. With Thunderbird open, click the Address Book button to open your address book.
  2. Go to Tools > Import.
  3. Choose Address Books and click the Next button.
  4. Select Text File (LDIF, .tab, .csv, .txt) and click the Next button
  5. Select the file of the address book you want to import and click Open. Thunderbird will import the file automatically.
  6. Click Finish. You should see the new address book you just imported in the list.

How to remove contacts from a list

September 25, 2006

If you want to remove someone from a list, click on that list, click on the person’s name you want to delete, and hit the Delete button at the top. This will remove them from the list…it will not delete from the address book.

How to add a new contact

September 25, 2006

If you need to add a new person to an address book, start by making sure you are in the correct address book. Then click the New Card button. This will create a new card in the address book you have highlighted and brings up a form for you to fill out. There is a drop down menu at the top of this form that allows you to change which address book this contact will go into, in case you selected the wrong address book. This form allows you to put in their name, address, any phone numbers you have, two email addresses, as well as their birthday, spouse’s name, and much more. When filling out the name form, be sure to separate the first and last name. It will automatically fill out the Display field if you keep them separate. When you are finished, hit the ok button and that contact should be in the address book.


How to make a list (or group)

September 25, 2006

Creating a new list and adding users to that list is very simple. Just follow these steps:

  1. New ListOpen Thunderbird
  2. Click on the Address Book button
  3. Select the address book where you want to create your list
  4. Click the New List button. Very important: lists are created in the address book you have selected. Be sure you select the correct address book for the list. This brings up a form.
  5. Give the list a name
  6. Hit the OK button. This will take you back to the address book

To add people to this list:

  1. Click on the address book where you just made the new list
  2. Find the user(s) you want to add to the list
  3. Click and drag the names to the list. Make sure before you let go that the name of the list highlights (that tells you are adding him to that list).
  4. Repeat this process for each person you want in that list.

You can double-check your work by clicking on the name of the list. This will show all the people that are in that list. Click back on the address book to continue adding people.

Lists vs. Address Books

September 25, 2006

There are big differences between a new address book and a list/group. Think of these as you would a phone book: there’s the Yellow Pages with the business listings and the White Pages with the individual listings. If someone was listed in both books, it would be rather confusing – is that the same person, which phone number would allow me to speak to that person, etc, etc. Try not to duplicate the same email addresses in multiple address books. Thunderbird will be confused and so will you….and then you’ll tech support…and none of us want that, or at least I ‘m sure they don’t.
An address book is basically a collection of contacts that are usually related in some way. For instance, the “Church” address book will probably have everyone from your church and the “Family” address book will have your family members.

A list is simply a collection of addresses within that address book that allows you to email a bunch of people at once, without having to add each person’s email address separately. For instance, if you wanted to email all your uncles, you would set up a list named “Uncles” inside the “Family” address book. It wouldn’t make sense to create the “Uncles” list inside the “Church” address book would it? Ok…maybe in some cases it would, but let’s just pretend it wouldn’t! I’ll write a follow-up article on Making a List with a step-by-step tutorial on creating a list and adding people to it.

Address Book Layout

September 25, 2006

The address book is accessible by the Address Book button on the main layout.addressbook

Across the top you have buttons just like the message browser:

New Card – This button pulls up a blank contact form. If you have a new person you want to add to your address book, this is the button you want. Pay close attention to which address book you have highlighted because it will add the new contact to that book. We’ll talk more about this later.

New List – This will make a group email list inside your address book. This is helpful if, for instance, you want to write all the people in your bible study group on a daily basis. Instead of adding each person’s email address to a blank email everyday, you can make a list with those people in it, then just write to that group and the message will go to everyone.

Properties – This button opens the information for an existing contact. If you need to change a contact’s name, email address, etc, this is the button for you.
Write – This button will bring up a new, blank message to the person/group you have highlighted.
Delete – This button deletes the selected contact, group, or address book.