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Print preview no longer available from the inbox message listing

  • 23 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • 92 views
  • Last reply by Toad-Hall

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Before this latest update i could go to the list of messages in my inbox, rigth click on a message and selecte print preview, i was using this feature to avoid opening emails that i was not sure if it was spam or something that i would be interested on. The option is no longer available with Thunderbird 91.1.1 (64-bit), what happen, why this feature was removed? Programming team running amok again? or QA team sleeping at the wheel? Please put back that option thanks

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Don't you just love "here we fixed it" by removing easy functionality?

I wish I could go back and un-click 'automatically install updates'. If I had known I'd have said Hell No!

I've had mail from friends that turned out to be scams, just someone using their name, post is from Russia or wherever. One click I could see if it was actually from them or not, now I have to open it and print it? Thanks loads.

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And some people in the forum seem to feel entitled to said what is better for someone else. oh my my

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Wilhelm Gere says

One click I could see if it was actually from them or not, now I have to open it and print it?

This is some good old fashioned information because despite all the information posted in the various comments in this question - it seems there are still misguided people who have not understood all the information posted.

People have been using a method designed to preview a print before printing, so allowing the user to alter margins etc because they believe using 'Print preview' is a 'preview' of an email - they think that 'preview' means they have not opened that email, so they believe they are safer.

Let's be clear. There is no such thing as a 'preview' of an email that has not been opened. There never has been and that is still the same. The old right click on email and use 'Print Preview' did the following. It opened the email document in the background to see the contents of the opened email so it could put the contents into a display, so you could see what would get printed prior to printing, so allowing you to setup the headers, footers, margins or check the display - aka 'preview' of a 'Print' .

If people thought getting a preview of a what is going to be printed meant a preview of an unopened email they were very wrong and misguided. They were opening the email. It is no safer or any different than click on email to open and read in the Message Pane.

Thunderbird by default does not automatically allow the display of remote content in emails. Thunderbird does not automatically click on any links in any email nor open any attachments. Only the user can alter or perform any of the above. Opening an email is as safe as it will ever be providing you do not automatically allow remote content; do not automatically allow attachments to display inline; do not click on links until you know what the link opens and do not open any attachments until certain they are from a known source. If you really do not like the email - maybe you think it is supicious - delete the email, compact the folder that originally displayed the email and empty the Trash. Then it has really been deleted.

Thunderbird 91* now only shows the 'Print' option in the menu, but it will open a 'Print Preview' display. Clicking on 'Print' does not go straight to Print. I have created a bug asking for the word 'Print' to be 'Print Preview' as some people may think it is a direct 'Print' instruction.

Dover Apothecary says:

Thunderbird may prevent scripts from being read, but as jgbittar was trying to say, being able to examine the email in preview allowed you to see not only the body of the email but allowed you to see the sender's email and reply to information along with the details for any "click here" links or buttons

sfhowes mentions the option Ctrl+U showing the Message Source

Opening AND reading the email fully conceals this information onscreen since it engages the HTML conversion and hides the destinations of those click targets with graphical images (buttons, etc)

You can choose to open in PlainText mode or read the source, but if you opened the email using Original HTML you would find all the 'remote content' - which by default is not displayed - hence why you see broken link icons and the message "To protect your privacy, Thunderbird has blocked remote content in this message" and it offers the 'Options' button which will tell you all the remote content in that email. So one click on 'Options' and you see all the remote content without enabling anything keeping you safe.

A Print preview view is identical if view is set to Original HTML. Except you do not have any access to information regarding remote content.

In 'Original HTML' mode you are not going to see any remote content information - assuming the default settings are used. So if you had chnaged the default and were allowing all remote content, you would see the images in a Print Preview, but you would not see nor know about the actual remote content. Some remote content is not visible to the eye and gets triggered on opening, so the 'Print Preview' which opens in the background may not be as safe as think if you already have all remote content allowed.

Any words which are links like 'Click here' links or even some link might look like a proper http link but what you see in the email may not be a true link destination'. In the opened email hover (not click) the mouse cursor over link and full true link information is displayed in the lower 'Status Bar'. This information is not going to be seen in any Print Preview version if view is set to Original HTML. This check on any link to see true link should be being used as a general practise before clicking on anything.


There is no good reason to open an email as a Print Preview. It is an opened email. It is not safer than opening in any other method assuming you are the default settings. It does not show any additional information like link information unless you were already viewing in Plain Text, so you might as well just open it properly anyway.

People previously using a Print Preview thinking it was safer because the email was not opened have been misguided. To those who feel this could be you, please accept you have now been educated on the reality of what you were doing. Do not feel bad, you just misunderstood something, it's not a big deal.

The reason you are currently able to use a right click > Print Preview to see a blank is because there is a harmless annoying bug. Thunderbird no longer opens email documents in the background to access contents - people had no idea this was occurring in the first place - hence their apparent misunderstanding of their actions. I would consider clarity of functon to be a significant improvement if people really believed a preview of what is to be printed was a preview of an unopened email.

So if email is not selected and open then the 'Print' option should not be enabled in the menu. This is a known bug and will be fixed in the near future. Then you should not see blank pages.

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