Thunderbird Address Book
The Thunderbird address book stores your contact information, including email addresses and names, phone numbers, instant messaging addresses, along with other information. When you write a message or reply to a message, the recipients are automatically added to the address book. For Macintosh users, entries in address books that Mac OS X maintains also appear in Thunderbird's address book. You can also manually add addresses to the address book.
When you compose a message, Thunderbird uses the characters you enter in the "To", "CC" and "BCC" fields to try to determine the email address you want to use. Thunderbird compares the characters you enter to the first and last names of people in your address book, and the "name" portion of the email address (not the domain). Matches appear in a drop-down list.
Open the Address Book
Here's how to open Thunderbird's Address Book. Once it's open, you can view, edit or delete the entries in your address book.
Open the Address Book by clicking the Address Book button.
The left panel in the address book displays individual address books. The top panel on the right displays the addresses within the selected address book. The bottom panel on the right displays information for the address book selected in the top panel.
When you open the address book, you will notice that there are two (and possibly more) Address Books listed in the left column.
- Personal Address Book: This is the default address book.
- Collected Addresses: Thunderbird automatically adds addresses to the address book when you send or reply to a message. You find these addresses in the Collected Addresses address book.
- Operating System Address Book: Some operating systems (such as Mac OS X) maintain an address book that is available to all applications running on the computer.
Adding a Contact from Email Message
When you view an email message, a star beside an email address (in the "from", "to" or "CC" field) indicates whether or not the address is saved in your address book. If the star is colored (blue on a Mac, yellow on Windows and Ubuntu), the address is already in your address book. If the star is only outlined, the address is not in your address book.
To add the address to your address book, either click the star or right-click the email address and select Add to Address Book
Adding a Contact Manually
- Open the Address Book.
- Click the New Contact button.
- The New Contact screen opens. At a bare minimum, you should enter your contact's name and e-mail address. You can also enter other information about your contact, including phone numbers, address, birthday, and there's even a place for a photo. To save your contact, click the OK button.
Your contact is now saved in Thunderbird's address book.
Editing a Contact
- In the Address Book, find the contact that you want to edit and select it by clicking it.
- You open the contact for editing by clicking the Properties button or by double-clicking the contact record.
- The Edit Contact screen opens. Make your change and then click the OK button to save them.
Your changes are now saved.
Deleting a Contact
- In the Address Book, find the contact that you want to delete and select it by clicking it.
- Click the Delete button to remove the contact.
Your contact has been deleted from Thunderbird's address book.
You can save contacts from the Address Book into a text file for use in another application. The process for doing this is called exporting. Here's how to export your contacts.
- Open the Address Book by going to the Tools menu and clicking Export.
- You will be prompted to specify an output file name and an export format. The three export formats are LDIF (LDAP Interchange Format), CSV (comma delimited text), and tab delimited text.
If you plan to import the contacts into another email application, make sure that you check the file formats that application supports.
- Use LDIF if you are export to an LDAP system.
- The CSV and tab delimited file formats are supported by many systems.
- Use CSV or tab delimited if you want to open your contact list in a spreadsheet program.
- Click the Save button to save the file to your computer.
Adding a Mailing List
- Open the Address Book.
- To add a new mailing list, click the New List button.
- The Mailing List window opens.
- Give your new list a name in the List Name field.
- Enter e-mail addresses by typing them in the list field. If you enter a contact that is in your address book, type its name and Thunderbird will attempt to auto-complete it for you.
- Click the OK button to save your changes.
Editing a Mailing List
- In the Address Book, find the mailing list that you want to edit and click on it.
- You can open the mailing list for editing by clicking the Properties button or by double-clicking the mailing list record.
- Add a contact to your list by entering it into the list field.
- To remove a contact from your list:
- Click the contact that you want to delete.
- Right click the contact and click Select All.
- Right click the contact and click Delete.
- Thunderbird removes the contact from the list.
- Click the OK button to save your changes.
Deleting a Mailing List
- In the Address Book, find the mailing list that you want to delete and select it by clicking it.
- Click the Delete button on your keyboard to remove the mailing list.
Writing an Email Message
To write an email message from the address book
Click the Write button or right click on the name of the contact and click Write from the menu.
- Thunderbird opens a new email composition screen. The name of the contact that you chose appears in the To: field. Create a new message, as described in the chapter Composing and Formatting Messages.
Searching Your Address Book
If your address book contains a large number of contacts, you can find contacts using Address Book search feature. The search feature allows you to create searches that filter contacts based on criteria that you set up.
To search your address book:
- In the Address Book, select Search Addresses from the Edit menu. The Advanced Address Book Search window opens.
- Select an address book from the Search In list.
- Click either Match all of the following or Match any of the following.
- Select your search criteria from the drop down lists. You can, for example, select Display Name and contains from the lists.
- Type the search term in space beside the lists. For example, if your search criteria are Display Name and contains, you can type "jo" in the space.
- To add more search criteria, click the button and repeat steps 4 and 5.
- Click the Search button. Thunderbird displays a list of contacts that match your search criteria.
- To edit a contact, double-click a contact name or select a contact by clicking it and then click the Properties button. This will open the contact properties window.
- To write an email to a contact, select a contact by clicking it and then click the Write button. This will open an email composition window.