Thunderbird Address Book 2.0

I’ve discussed this a bit before, but I thought I’d take a deeper look into what the Address Book needs to “kick ass”.

  • More than just 2 Email fields. 2 initially appear on the form, but a button to add more. I’ve got a few people who I have a work, and more than 1 personal address. Additionally the ability to specify the preferred message format per address. Work uses Eudora, but home uses Thunderbird. Different prefs for each.
  • “Internet Names”, this should succeed the “Screen Name” field. The user is presented with 1 pull down menu containing a list of services, 1 text field, and a button to “Add More”. The user can select a service, enter the screenname/username/id. “Add More” adds another field (similar to how a filter is displayed). The last option in the service pull down is “Edit Services”. This should bring a window allowing the user to specify a new service, or modify an existing one. Do things like select an icon to show next to it (URL, or file), URL to link to (use text like %n to represent name), and the name of the Service.
  • Photos. The simple ability to drag/drop a photo onto the address card, and have it appear as the photo for the user. Store the photo in a directory within the profile.
  • View All Books. Many people simply use “Address Books” as a way to categorize addresses, for example “Work”, “Friends”, “Family”, etc. There should be a view option in to view them combined. So you just get a list of all of them. Would make it easier to sort/sift. This way, I can view them all easily, but still keep them orgamized.

This would make substantial strides from being an “Email Client” to a “Personal Information Manager”. Address Book is good, but it could be great.

42 replies on “Thunderbird Address Book 2.0”

I have been asking for a great feature which was in older Netscape versions and disappeared later. Which is, to have a comma separated email list to be added in a list by pressing enter on one of the email field when creating a list. Never been implemented. I hope someone does something about this.

Would it be possible, to add a birthday field? This would make the step towards PIM almost complete… :mrgreen:

I have alot of clients, a blend of the addressbook with e-mail would be great, filter all e-mail addresses listed within a “New List” to a folder rather then setting up a msg filter for 900 e-mails.

Agree with Kevin, my address book has over 500 entries. Either letter tabs (all A’s, all B’s, etc) or some other category sort mechanism such as Henrik suggested would be good. Beefing aside, the import from large hairy .PST file went very smoothly, congrats to author(s)

– birthday field
– I can’t copy or select anything on the preview pane !
– drag and drop of an address card to the desktop should create a VCF !
– dropping a VCF card to the address book should add the card !!
– instant messaging support

Hey, IM about to undertake getting the current address book talking to an MySQL server, for network addressbook (cause LDAP cant save changes, etc). I am very interested in your ideas, however IM not too familiar with thunderbird/mozilla source, but i’d love to help out, re-writing the addressbook. Feel free to contact me about it.

Yes, the address book needs additions. Like a propper printing facility. For address book, telephone list (with photo’s, so kids can use it), birthday calender.

What about the search feature (ctrl+shif+f). It´s almost useless. For example, you cannot delete a listed address from the search results. Why not?? Should be simple as that.

Or when you select multiple addresses from the sidebar, you cannot add them to a bcc: field, only to To: or Cc:. It´s not snesible.

Well, I know there is still a hard way to go before thunderbird becomes perfect. But I gotta agree with some suggestions. Especially the bithday calendar (may be a list of the next 10 birthdays coming up on the frontpage) and a better search are really needed. A little calendar for normal appointements wouldn’t be bad as well because the extension doesn’t work at all.
Nevertheless it’s already great and much better than outlook. :mrgreen:

Just my 2c
Maybe it’s worth to make address book a separate plugin (like Calendar).
This would allow those interested in community to try to implement some features themselves (like selectable fields in card view) via plugins.
From the other hand it would make more clear to main development team of how hard it would be to implement other features – and so prioritize them.

I agree with all of the original poster’s requests. Mozilla Address Book just needs to make a few modifications in order to eliminate all incentives for using any other program.

* primary contact medium – Ability to specify what each contact’s preferred contact medium is allows for a VERY useful column to be added to the display bar.
* photos – Like in Palm Desktop, including the nice ‘detail pane’ to the right of the contact choosen.
* birthdays – Like in Palm Desktop. Additional birthday reminder integration with Mozilla Sunbird would also be excellent.
* more email address fields

“Categories. I REALLY could need categories. I never understand why do few addressbooks have categories.” ..i agree!!! i need too!!!!
how i have to do?? do u know if there are any extension for thunderbird to do this? ..please, can u send me an email if u know…

I am seriously thinking about doing something with the addressbook and mySQL. I have an LDAP server for my addressbook set up now, but it’s almost useless since I can’t add addresses through thunderbird, using GQ instead to add users. But write support through thunderbird is necessary!

For the multiple email address field(s), do people think that a comma separated long field would be the best way to do for this sort of thing?


I was curious if anyone wanted to print the address book. I would like to simply select the field and print an address book alphabetically by last name, first name but it won’t do that. Is there a method of extracting the data?

it would be nice if someone here could help me!

I have to write a program (in delphi) which is able to create thunderbird addressbook files – the existing database is simply *.csv.
(the build in import feature doesn´t help, because the conversion has to work automaticaly)

Has anybody written such a tool? Or could explain the structur of that addressbook files to me??

Thank you,

bresslau’s completely right: the search feature is stiil quite lacking. One of the great features of computer based address books is the fact that on ecan search for key words in some description buried deep within a file – if I need to remember the person’s name or email to find the name or email, what’s the point? Palm Desktop was excellent for this – I never really got too excited by Outlook to try it, but if Thunderbird is to be as big a player as Firefox, it needs to have this issue checked out. That being said, I do very much like the look and substance of Thunderbird – it’s a step up from Outlook Express, imo.

On a slightly different note, does anyone know if Lightning will allow users to move from date to date using the arrow keys? I know it sounds trivial, but it’s definitely something I miss from Palm Desktop.

Would be great to print just part of the address book based upon a certain field – the best being “category” which does not exist, yet, but would be helpful.
I know you can create more address books and just print one address book, but then searching all contacts is a problem.
This is one thing that Outlook actually managed to do quite well.
One then needs to view by category, etc.

Don’t know if you’re still taking “requests”, but a way to eliminate dupes. Automatically eliminate exact dupes, automatically merge exact name matches with different email addresses into a single record (maybe asking what to do about information in other fields), semi-automatically merge records with identical email address and different names (by asking which name to use, and merging additional information), and ask about near matches of names.

the two main things a want have been mentioned but are, to my mind, connected as well: a “view all” page (maybe tabbed in alphabet) in which i can search the whole contents of cards.

Hope this comes soon… i installed recently, conection to palm is great but now i need my PDA to find in whichg addressbook someone is filed.

Thanks for the great work, Thunderbird-crew!


Like Categories is a must for me, and as n3gun said, it would be a good idea to be able to customize – “home” and “Professional” if you like. I know I do not need birthdays for work but for home it would be great.

Oh and a copy accounts/rules feature for multiple accounts would be nice.

Cheers, Thunderbird-crew, Thunderbird is a diamond.

So, now we’re at July 2006 – only 4 months away from the 2 year aniversary since this blog was started – does anyone know when we might see some of the more basic features requested/suggested here? I mean all of them seems excellent and I don’t have any new of my own to add – all my requests are already there – but, I mean, how/when will/could/can they be reality? In another X years??


that was it – lack of knowledge and understanding on my part I guess…

Bst rgds

bresslau, Tobias, Nomad and Jevos – if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can change the default behaviour of the quick find. You’ll have to do some reading, but take a look at:

Personally, I use the following string:
It searches just about every field you can use in the address book, but not every field listed in the .idl file above.

Is there a way to just print a List of the names & e-mail addresses?
To print these cutsy cards, it will take 57 pages! 😯 And most of it will be blank paper forms. I just want a back-up copy of all the basic names and e-mail addresses. Use to do this in other programs, but can’t figure out where or if possible in Thunderbird.

You can have birthdate in the Thunderbird – it already is in the Addressbook format, only not displayed. Use the Extension named MoreColsForAddressbook – as simple as that. However, it will not give You anything but storage of the digit characters, which You may do in any of the four additional info fields.
Visit Mozilla Thunderbird 2 proposal and discussion sites and think, how many benefits would there arise, if the Mozilla Addressbook 2.0 was a separate application or module, accessible from Firefox, Calendar and Thunderbird… If you get a mailto: link on a website with Firefox, you could import it right away. If you encounter a complete hCard microformat data, the same. And If you encounter hCalendar entry containing iCalendar event data, you could (from Firefox) add it to Your Sunbird calendar. That’s how I see it, but i’m not sure if we’re not too close to Firefox 2 to make him do it… There will be still lots to do for the plugins and add-ons. Greetings, Nj

My life’s been dull. I just don’t have much to say right now, but it’s not important. More or less nothing seems worth thinking about.

for those of you wanting to add birthdays to the thunderbird address book, i agree, this should be added. however in the mean time i found a cool add-on for thunderbird called birthday reminder. install the add-on and then edit a contact in your address book. click on the “other” tab and in “Custom ” field you can add the birthdate there in a date format you can configure in the birthday reminder add-on configuration. then click on Tools in the main Thunderbird window and click on Show All Birthdays. You can see upcoming birthdays and how old they will be on their next birthday – it can also give you reminders. this sort of feature is handy and should be built in to thunderbird 2 but it is available to download on the mozilla add-ons site.

Last year I’ve deleted several addresses in my address book but now some of them are saved again in my address book.
I’m deleting address so that it would be faster for me to send emails to personal friends of mine and avoid the pulldown menu that appears when you type letters in the To: or Cc: space.
My question is how is e-mail address being saved in my addressbook? kindly specify all the posibility.

There is a software to download any video from YouTube called RipTiger ( Im running it for over a month and captured any video I was playing from internet on my computer 1 to 1.
BTW, its possible to save up to 10 12 videos in parallel

4 years after this initial blog, I cannot believe Thunderbird has not addressed point #1 — adding more than 2 distinct and discrete email addresses per address card & different formats (HTML/plain text) per address.

Mozilla, please, please…. PLEASE!!!

Hi, I’m not a power user but there are two things I would like to see:
1. To be able to sort the address books alphabetically, same way you can ‘sort by name’ the programs in the XP start menu.
2. Like some other people here I would like to search all the address books at once instead of having to copy everything into one book to be able to do this.

HAPPY 2009!

Even if it’s not perfect, it would be a vast improvement if thunderbird used google’s contact format or something else similar which can have unlimited phone numbers, unlimited emails, etc.

I thought it would not be so hard to buy a laptop in this country. That is my spot to put one thousand to get my MacBook Pro. Buun, but it’s not that easy, just living in Romania. Emag command that every man and I contact a sales lady. “Sorry but the importer does not have product in stock that can occur after September 7. E crisis MacBooks, I say. But let’s see if I find the pseudo-store Apple Iulius Mall Timisoara. Have you got it, but did not have in stock tomorrow morning will tell me if I can make it. You realize, like I ordered a limited edition Ferrari not a ******* laptop. Obviously, one morning they called me and I chose to call directly from importers. Surprise, laptoapa was a stock and I could send in 24 hours.

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