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Top Ten Mozilla Thunderbird Extensions for Collaboration

written by: Karishma Sundaram•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/15/2010

One of Thunderbird’s advantages over other mail clients is its support for third-party additional functionality. A user can then decide how to customize the mail client to suit their unique usage pattern. This article looks at the top ten Mozilla Thunderbird extensions.

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    Thunderbird is a sleek mail client, along the lines of Microsoft Outlook. However, the software application is more secure, less taxing on system resources and also completely free. Additionally, Thunderbird works on most operating systems without a problem, and also has support for multiple languages.

    Mozilla is known for their great applications, and one of their unique advantages is the freedom to create customized add-ons for a better Internet experience. Thunderbird is no different, with great extensions to expand functionality or merely to make the user experience more enjoyable.

    Here we look at what we think are the top ten Mozilla Thunderbird extensions for collaboration and task management.

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    1. Contacts Sidebar

    Contacts Sidebar The Contacts Sidebar extension adds a pane displaying all contacts for easy viewing and access. The extension is highly customizable, with many options to choose from. The extension also replaces the contacts bar in mail-editing mode, therefore creating uniformity across the application.

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    2. FoxyTunes

    FoxyTunes FoxyTunes is a great extension, available for both Thunderbird and Firefox. The premise is simple – it allows the user to control practically any media player currently running on the computer, right from the application. The extension places a small icon in the application which, when clicked, displays a context menu. It is also possible to control a number of media players, merely by selecting the right one from the context menu.

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    3. Lightning

    Lightning is an exceedingly popular calendar extension for Thunderbird. It integrates Sunbird, the Mozilla calendar application into the mail client. Lightning is supported by multiple operating systems, as are both Thunderbird and Sunbird. It is also supports synchronization with Google Calendar.

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    4. Automatic Zip Attachments

    As the name implies, this extension allows button-press compression of all attachments. Usually, to attach zipped files to an email message, the archive must be saved on the computer beforehand. However, this extension lets the user attach all their files, and then compress them right from the mail client.

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    5. Signature Switch

    Signature Switch This is an extremely useful extension which saves a list of automatic signatures in the mail client. The user can choose which signature needs to be appended to a mail, depending on the recipient, without having to change the settings manually each time.

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    6. MinimizeToTray Plus 1.0.8

    MinimizeToTray Plus Multiple open applications may make it easier to multitask, but they also put a great deal of strain on the main memory. Minimizing applications to the system reduces the demand on memory considerably, and at the same time reduces the proliferation of open applications on the taskbar. MinimizeToTray Plus is compatible with all Mozilla applications, including Thunderbird, Sunbird and Firefox.

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    7. Attachment Extractor

    Attachment Extractor does not need much explanation. It facilitates the easy extraction of attachments from multiple mail messages at a time, without having to open each one separately. The great advantage of this attachment is the time it saves.

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    8. Enigmail

    An extra layer of security on email messages is always welcome, and Enigmail adds that feature to Mozilla Thunderbird. The extension facilitates encryption, decryption and authentication.

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    9. Quote Collapse

    Quote Collapse is especially designed for those people who find themselves a part of long discussions via email. Invariably, the conversations keep getting nested in quotes, and become increasingly cumbersome to read. Quote Collapse doesn’t delete, but hides the deeply nested parts of an email message, making the actual content clearer.

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    10. Remove Duplicate

    This extension adds a single option to the context menus of folders: Remove Duplicate Messages. While it may seem minor, the option’s true significance becomes apparent when organizing mail folders. Continuous reorganization, like merges and archival, may result in duplicate message which are then tedious to remove manually.