“Hidden” settings, filed msgs, Thunderbird

“Lost” a message you put in a folder that has sub-folders?

Having trouble finding a setting?

I was! Because I just assumed that Thunderbird folders and settings work the way I’m used to such things working… in apps.

In fact, Thunderbird quite sensibly does what Windows (and many other systems) have done for a very long time… it allows things to be filed in the root of a hierarchy element, not just in the terminal nodes.

Here’s what I’m talking about…

Suppose you’ve set up folders to file emails in as follows…

  • Business
    • Bills
      • Routine
      • One Off
      • Misc
    • Creditors
  • Personal
    • Family
    • Friends
      • Local
      • Other

In the email system I was using… and in many other apps… I could store things only in…

Routine, One Off, Misc, Creditors, Family, Local and Other

… under such a scheme.

However, if you think of it the same way as you think of the folders and sub-folders (and sub-sub folders, etc!) on your hard drive, it is “just obvious” that things could be stored at, for instance, the “Personal” level.

A consequence of this fact is that the “Misc” and “Other” folders aren’t needed. Any email that is NOT from a friend who is not local just goes into your files at the “Friends” level.

How was that difficult?

Why was that causing me grief? I’d accidentally put things in, say, “Friends”… but it didn’t occur to me to click on that level in the hierarchy… because in my old system it wasn’t possible to put things there.

Maybe I’m the only one to fall into this trap, in which case I apologize. But even if I was…

How this relates to the Settings menus…

Even if you weren’t confused about where things could be in your filing folders, I wonder if you escaped being frustrated when trying to find the right place to change this or that setting?

There are various ways to open the tabs for “Settings” and, a separate set, “Account Settings”.

On the “Account Setting” page, in the menu at the left, at the top is the email address I have my Thunderbird managing for me. Beside it there is a “>” or a “v”, to open or close a sub-menu. The sub-menu offers…

Server settings, Copies & Folders, Composition… etc

Click on any of them, and a range of settings become available.

But OTHER settings become available if you click ON THE EMAIL ADDRESS at the top of the list of sub-pages for that category of settings. It didn’t occur to me to try clicking there. I thought it was just a heading for that group of settings pages. Sigh. (The setting for signatures resides there, by the way.)