How can I get addresses from bulk-downloaded posts to populate my address book?
I'm reinstalling my operating system and everything else all over again. I'm running Linux Mint 19.1 with xfce desktop. Thunderbird 60.7.2 (64-bit). I subscribe to five mailboxes on an independent service. On my previous installations, I recall that Thunderbird populated the address book automatically from received posts. That's what I want to have now.
I've downloaded all the messages that are saved on the server. But automatic population is not happening. I've checked all the settings and they look right. What should I do to make address auto-population work?
I think your concerns are misplaced in this case. It's fairly common for add-ons to indicate they might not work in the current TB, but often they do, and the preference switch mentioned above is a standard method to test this. The crawler add-on works here in TB 60, and I would be surprised if the other one didn't. I'm not aware of any other add-ons that accomplish this operation, but if you're unsure, feel free to create a separate test profile and try them before applying to your normal profile.Read this answer in context 1
Additional System Details
- User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Ubuntu; Linux x86_64; rv:67.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/67.0
Adding addresses automatically to the address book requires the Incoming Addresses Collector add-on. To install it in TB 60, you will have to open Edit/Preferences/Advanced/General/Config. editor and double-click the preference extensions.strictCompatibility to false, OK to close Preferences. Whether or not it still works after installation is untested by me.
If you want to collect addresses manually, try EMAIL ADDRESS CRAWLER.
"WAS THIS HELPFUL TO YOU? YES/NO" Unfortunately, I've got to think hard about this before attempting it. The first link appears to be very old, mentioning TBird v2, whereas I'm on v60.7.2. The second one says "Works with Thunderbird 1.5 - 3.1.*" and it's from 2010 (I can't find an explanation for the asterisk). Yet, on its own page, a couple of people have (with some manipulations) achieved some success with it recently.
I've been highly experimental with software in the Microsoft world for more than three decades. But now I'm in Linux: it's a whole different world. I just can't be as trusting now: following that path just resulted in the need for a complete system reinstallation from "bare metal." So, I'm feeling a bit apprehensive right now. Hope you understand. I don't know where to go from here.
I think your concerns are misplaced in this case. It's fairly common for add-ons to indicate they might not work in the current TB, but often they do, and the preference switch mentioned above is a standard method to test this. The crawler add-on works here in TB 60, and I would be surprised if the other one didn't. I'm not aware of any other add-ons that accomplish this operation, but if you're unsure, feel free to create a separate test profile and try them before applying to your normal profile.
I made the suggested change: "Edit/Preferences/Advanced/General/Config. editor and double-click the preference extensions.strictCompatibility to false"
I Installed Add-ons (the most recent versions): emailcrawler-51.2.xpi Incoming_Addresses_Collector-0.3.3.xpi
Both add-ons are performing as described. Each has bugs, but they're working well enough for daily use.
I disabled Incoming Addresses Collector because we don't always want the source of every message to be automatically put into our address book: spam, for example.
If it's appropriate, I'll be happy to provide further details, including usability information of each.
Thank you sfhowes!
Modified by rsteinfilt
Yes, by all means include info on usability.
I realized afterwards there's an alternative to IAC that's probably more useful. The FiltaQuilla add-on has the option to add the sender's address to an address book, as an Action in a message filter (see picture). So, one could apply the action for incoming mail that satisfies rules such as being from (or not from) certain domains, with certain Subjects etc.
Here are my usability notes about these two Thunderbird add-ons.
Incoming Addresses Collector: If loaded out-of-context, the Incoming Addresses Collector menu will accept changes but won't execute them or save them: the "OK" button won't work. You can close it but no changes are retained. However, the program is working and does what it's supposed to do: when a new post arrives, its address appears in the address book. I can't find controls for IAC anywhere.
I disabled Incoming Addresses Collector.
Email Address Crawler: Right-clicking a received message title reveals "Crawl selected emails for email addresses" at the end of the long menu. Clicking here produces a window: "Search parameters," with multiple choices. At first, handling will be disconcerting. You must check a box under "Search fields." As soon as you do this, the program will appear to leap to a different window, but it's really just the same one with additional options. Now change the default in "Further From and Reply-To settings." You must choose an address book target, too, or the program will scold you.
You can select multiple messages with Ctrl+Click, and the action will be applied for all of them. This is excellent behavior. However, none of your menu change will be retained: you'll have to make them again next time. That's not so good, but chances are that you're going to do a large process with this utility, and then, more occasionally.
I noticed that when I replied to an old message, the "to" address appeared in my Collected Addresses with no intervention from me. I don't think want that action to be automatic and see no way to stop it. When I used TB's excellent search function, Email Address Crawler was nowhere to be found in the results window. In a post that had been sent to two addressees and right-clicked/"Crawl...", the function simply did not do anything. It didn't work with a single sender either, in a searched/found received message. It worked fine on that same post when it was normally positioned within the list of received messages.
The content that's chosen to copy by default is the "Reply-to" field, if it's populated, not the sender's name. If this field is blank, Crawler will default to the sender. You may also select the sender on Crawler's menu (your choice won't be saved for next time). The utility works perfectly with sent messages, also. On the first menu, just choose "to."
So far, I've found both of these add-ons to be well-behaved concerning existing address book entries: they don't duplicate them. When a correspondent has multiple mailboxes, they are all honored, receiving separate mailbox listings, as they should.
Modified by rsteinfilt
Thanks for the additional comments.
Just to add a few points: the crawler is also accessible from the folder right-click menu. To collect the addresses from a single message that is addressed to several recipients, e.g. a mailing list, it's more common to use the MoreFunctionsForAddressBook add-on (by the same author), and right-click any recipient's address to add all of them to a mailing list or address book. Adding a single contact is usually done by applying the built-in option to click the star next to a contact in the Header Pane; click twice to choose the address book and edit the details.
TB by default adds outgoing recipients to Collected Addresses. The setting is under Tools/Options/Composition/Addressing.
Aha. So, the address was added to the address book, not by the add-on, but by a settable built-in TB feature.
"TB by default adds outgoing recipients to Collected Addresses. The setting is under Tools/Options/Composition/Addressing."
In my own TB, this item is not in the Tools menu. I did find it, though, in Edit/Preferences/Composition/Addressing.
"...the crawler is also accessible from the folder right-click menu." I hadn't noticed that. Clicking it told me that I first had to open the list and select a message. There was only one message in that particular mailbox. But I used the right-click menu of the folder, instead of the right-click menu of the message itself. The utility announced "Successfully parsed 2 addresses!" which was incorrect: it only pasted one address into the book.
So, I went to a different mailbox that has a lot more in it and selected three of them with CTRL+Click. Then, leaving the list open, I right-clicked the folder and chose "Crawl folder..." This time, the utility returned "Successfully parsed 50 addresses!" And so it did! But I had selected only three of them.
And herein, I submit that this function is klutzy and buggy! It has to be used carefully if we run it from a folder, where no matter what's implied, it's going to be all-or-nothing!
I cleaned out the mailbox, went back and selected the same three files. This time, running the command from one of these selected files, their three addresses were copied into the address book: it worked correctly.
Thank you again!