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Using HTML in Email Messages (Thunderbird)

In Thunderbird, it's fairly easy to use HTML to include color, images, and different font sizes in your email messages. Whether or not this is a good thing we'll leave for you to decide. (Some people have HTML turned off in their email software, so they won't see your fancy formatting.)

Here's how to do it:

  1. In the Tools menu, select Account Settings.
  2. Click on Composition & Addressing in the box at left.
  3. Under Composition, check the box next to Compose messages in HTML format.

Now when you compose a new email  message, you will see an editing bar just above the message body that will allow you to format your message using some basic HTML options.

Here's a quick overview:

  • The "Choose a Font" pull-down menu will let you choose a font, but it's probably not worth the effort to choose anything but Helvetica/Ariel, Times, or Courier, because those are the only three fonts you can be sure everyone will have installed on their computers.
  • The two little colored boxes will let you select the text and background colors.
  • You can make the text larger or smaller using the two "A" icons.
  • Bold, italic, and underlined text are available, using the usual icons.
  • You can select unordered (bullet) or numbered lists.
  • You can change the text indentation.
  • You can change the text alignment (left, right, center, justified).
  • You can insert an image using the little image icon.
  • You can insert a smiley (if you must).