A reminder of useful Thunderbird keyboard bindings and add-ons

I’m experimenting with moving to Thunderbird (from Evolution). I like Evolution, but I want to be able to view an entire thread of a conversation in one view - i.e. all messages in a thread, irrespective of what folder they are in - and I haven’t found a way to do that in Evolution.

I think I’ve found a good enough way to do it in Thunderbird, but that means learning new key bindings. This is a reminder for me, for the coming days.

Also, a reminder for me of the add-ons I’ve tried and what I thought/think of them.

Viewing a thread in full, including sent items

In-built “Conversations” function

Ctrl + Shift + O: opens a message in a new tab, as a “conversation”. This shows all messages in the thread, including those in other folders.

Ctrl + W to close the tab.

A downside is that it is only visible when I open a particular message in Conversations view, but definitely better than nothing.

Irritatingly, one cannot open a thread as a conversation; one has to expand the thread, then select an individual message, then open that in conversation view. But that is only one additional key press: right arrow key.

(I also looked at Thunderbird Conversations (formerly “Gmail Conversations”, I think), which is different to the Conversations function within Thunderbird. This add-on puts threading, including from Sent items, within the message preview pane. If I hadn’t found the native Conversations feature (which I prefer), I’d have lived with this instead.)


ThreadVis is another add-on.

It gives a nice visual overview, in the message pane, of the thread history. It shows how threads branch out, and rough timescales.

I am not sure if I will keep this. I installed it while trying to solve the conversations / threading need, and it doesn’t do that, but it looks useful, so I’ll keep it for now.

I like to move it move it

Refreshing inbox

(Moving messages from server to client)


Moving between folders

I have loads of folders, and I want to be able to jump between them quickly.

Shift + G, type the first few chars of the folder name, then down arrow to highlight, then Enter to select and move.

Use [ and ] to jump between previous and next folders.

Moving an email to a folder

I installed the Quick Folder Move add-on.

With this, I can move a message or thread to a folder with Shift + M, type the first few chars of the folder name, then down arrow to highlight, then Enter to select and move.

Moving between tabs

Alt + number

(Inbox is Alt + 1 (and also Ctrl + 1).

Moving between sub-applications

Email: Ctrl + 1 Address Book: Ctrl + 2 Calendar: Ctrl + 3

Aliases are Identities

Thunderbird calls aliases “Identities”.

Account Settings / name of the account / Manage Identities