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Introduction to Thunderbird, part 3, adding email signature and writing messages

Well, you should now be able to receive mail, in this part of the introduction i will try to show you how to write/send mail and attach a signature. Functions that add a nice touch to your mailing skills. :)

We start by making a signature.

Making a signature

Open your notepad or any text editing program, any will do, just remember to save the file as plain text. It's up to you what you want in your signature, however, I would suggest you add your name and how you can be reached. A link to your personal and/or business webpage can also be added. Save your signature as a text file wherever you like.

An example of a signature is shown here:

Signature editing window


For ease of access, I stored the signature file on my Desktop.

How to attach a signature:

Go to the Account settings window;  try pressing "Alt-T" to get the tools menu and select account settings from there.  You should get the following screen, where you select the email-account you want to add a signature from on the left-hand side, and then check off for signature and select the signature file to the right:


Thunderbird account settings, select account, add signature view


Press OK and you're done.  :)

There, easy? Send a mail to yourself to see the result, if you don't like it you can always edit the text file.

How to write/send mail:

In this part of the introduction I will only show you how to send a mail (in different formats), use of the address book and other more "advanced" functions will come in part 4.

So, to begin, press on the Write mail icon in the upper left corner, you should get a window like this, I've already entered the recipient, message subject as well as some message body content:


Thunderbird compose message view


And as you can see, the signature I added earlier is automatically added to the bottom of the message.  So, create a message, find a recipient, add a message subject, enter a message (body) and when you're satisfied - press send in the upper left corner.

There is a thing to say about messages, and that is they can be sent in two different formats.  Text format and HTML format..  the difference is that Text format is just that, you only add text to the message, similar to writing text in Notepad or some other simple text program.  HTML format is the mode in which you can make text bold, italic and so on.  I guess common sense is that if you mail someone for the first time, use text format.  If they send you messages in HTML (which you can see from how the message looks), it is OK to send them HTML messages as well.  :)

Your account might be setup to use Text format or HTML format by default.  To change the format a new message is created in, hold the Shift key while clicking on the Write icon (or Reply/Forward).

Voila - you're now a more advanced email user, with an automatic signature - congratulations. :)

This is the third article in a series about Thunderbird, if you have Thunderbird-related topics you want covered here, let us know. Comments on this article, thumbs up or flames, can be sent to If you need help using Thunderbird, we recommend using the Thunderbird forums.

If you know a language or languages besides English and would like to translate these articles, let us know via as well. :)

Go on to the next article that features some more advanced message writing features, such as adding attachments and using the address book.