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Copy Citation for Thunderbird

I wanted an easy way to extract message metadata (subject, sender, date, etc.) from Thunderbird. After a lot of fighting with mail interfaces, I produced this.

"Copy Citation" adds a context menu item to Thunderbird's thread pane, which copies the metadata for the selected message(s) to the clipboard.


Copy Citation 0.1 (XPI, 3.4KB) - Supports Thunderbird 2.0.0.*.

To install in Thunderbird, download the XPI file and use the "Install" button in Tools → Add-ons, or simply drag-and-drop the link above to the add-ons window.


Currently the format of the citation is set via a hidden pref, extensions.rdmsoft.cite.format. You can get to about:config in Thunderbird from the Options/Preferences dialog's Advanced tab.

The filter string uses replacements of the form {bit} or {bit.filter}. As of version 0.1, the following bits are supported:

The subject of the message.
The senders and recipients of the message in the form Real Name <>. Use filters address or name to show only one, or mailto to make HTML links.
Message size, as line count or in bytes respectively. Use {size.fmtsize} to show size in KB/MB.
Email timestamp, in microseconds since the beginning of the world. Use {} or {date.time} for date in YYYY-MM-DD or time in HH:MM.
The message's location in Thunderbird.
The Message-ID of the original message.
news: URL to the message. Only applicable to newsgroup messages.

Other filters are lower, upper, btoa, escape, and se (escape for use in HTML/XML).

Known Issues & Todo

  • I aim to support Thunderbird trunk and eventually SeaMonkey.
  • Non-ASCII senders and subjects should work, but I haven't tested them much. Non-ASCII CC lists almost certainly don't work.
  • A preference dialog is planned.
  • There's only one date format and one time format. It's the best one, of course, but I should add more.
  • The menu item remains enabled when no messages are selected.
  • I might add support for multiple citation formats.
  • Tabs and newlines can't easily be added to the format string. Workaround for tabs: copy/paste from a text editor.




8th July 2007