Thunderbird/SUMO Documentation Status

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Thunderbird SUMO Documentation Status

(by thomas8, 21-10-2021) > Get Help (top navigation link, redirects to):

SUMO bugs / shortcomings affecting TB support experience

  • Thunderbird Support main page: Main help categories (tiles) don't scale when browser window size is reduced (e.g. half-screen, even on a 27 inch screen). Tiles unexpectedly expand again and line up horizontally, no scroll bar. Bug 1737825
  • Subcategory "All articles and threads" does *not* have all articles of the main category. Highly confusing, prevents access to help for those who trust the subcategory titles. E.g., in Emails > All articles and threads, the article "Automatic Account Configuration" isn't found. This is a systemic fault (possibly caused by requiring manual categorisation).
  • For the systematic access via categories, Threads are not shown under "All articles and threads". That's good, but even for systematic access, maybe threads aka user support questions should be retrievable somehow in their own main category tile.
  • Default support search returns both Help articles *and* community discussions – we might want to check if this mix is good or not. Filter tabs are available to view either/or.

Thunderbird components

Thunderbird components SUMO main category
Mail & Newsgroups window*
3-Pane window with message reader
  • Composition window
  • Filelink


Privacy & security settings

Address Book window*
Contacts side bar (in composition window)

Calendar tab*
Tasks tab

Chat tab News Feeds (RSS), Blogs and Social
Feeds (RSS, in 3-pane window) News Feeds (RSS), Blogs and Social
Newsgroups (NNTP, in 3-pane window, also composition) Emails (??)*
mentioned in Emails > Setup… > Glossary of Terms including types of Accounts (wrong article intro there)

Customize controls, options and add-ons*

% Tips & Tricks

Documentation status when searching for keywords

Components /

search phrases


(leading numbers indicate rank)

Status Quality Needs new Screenshots Comments
Mail & Newsgroups window (3-Pane window with message reader)
"Folder pane", "Folder list" 1: Switching the folder pane view

2: Getting started with the Thunderbird main window

Covered Good yes Getting started with the Thunderbird main window: Nice 3-pane graphic with terms – can we expose this better?

Perhaps have a clickable image map which links to article searches with a good keyword?

"Message list" 1: Message List Columns,

4: Getting started with the Thunderbird main window

Covered Alright yes
"Search" 1: Global search Incomplete yes * needs overview article
  • needs animations
  • needs quick filter article (tips & tricks, or-search etc.)

Composition window
"Write message" View all (search fail):

1: Creating a Newsgroup account, 2: Question on writing and sending messages (Archived thread: why is it even showing??)


1: Creating a Newsgroup account.

3: Addressing an Email,

4: Sending and receiving messages

search fail Good (3), needs update (4) Addressing an Email (by thomas8) is in best shape and has all the details.

Sending and receiving messages: screenshots are updated (thomas8), content bandaid-fixed, but needs overhaul and reduction.

"add recipients" Addressing an email Covered
"write to group" 1: Adressing an email

3: How to create and use mailing lists on TB

Covered needs update yes screenshots, missing: expand list, autocomplete list.

We need contact tags.

Until then, need an article how to mimic contact tags via nickname field to add recipients matching certain criteria (tags)

"send big files" 2: FileLink for Large Attachments Covered good yes if some ongoing bugs get uplifted updated by thomas8
"encrypted" 1: Intro to e2e encryption in TB Covered needs update yes (none) Covered, but all encryption/open-pgp articles are way to wordy/lengthy, not illustrated
"secure message" 1: Digitally Signing and Encrypting Messages (outdated, but links to  OpenPGP in Thunderbird - HOWTO and FAQ) Covered needs update yes
Address Book window (and Contacts side bar)
"Address book"


1: Rebuilding the Global DB

2: Question: Adding an address book

All matches are Questions

Articles-only: nothing on AB found

search fail n/a No documentation on AB found

"Contacts" finds mailing lists

Users do have many questions

"Contacts side bar" 2: Addressing an email Covered (sort of) needs content yes Addressing an email has some basic info on contacts side bar. Needs more, see contact tagging above.
Calendar tab

1: Exporting and sharing a calendar

5: Creating New Calendars

outdated needs update too many Lightning articles here

Creating New Calendars is up to date (thomas8)

Tasks tab
"Tasks" 1: Creating a new event or task incomplete needs content yes Tasks mostly *not* documented, e.g. how tasks behave with due date etc. See user question: Task Window – Why is it there?
Chat tab
"Chat" 1: Instant messaging and chat Covered yes Needs new screenshots, might be ok otherwise. Should be self-explaining after setup?
Various (Feeds, Newsgroups, Tips & Tricks)
Feeds (RSS, in 3-pane window)

"News feeds"

1: How to subscribe to News feeds and blogs

outdated, probably needs update yes Basic information exists, but looks like it needs update, especially new screenshots.
Newsgroups (NNTP, in 3-pane window, also composition)


1: Creating a Newsgroup Account incomplete needs content yes Account setup covered, no screenshots, nothing on composition to newsgroup
Tips and Tricks 1: Keyboard Shortcuts TB incomplete needs content yes We need more articles to cover important ux-efficiency scenarios in this section.