My last article "Claws Mail: The unsung powerhouse email client" introduced you to an email client you probably had never heard before. If you are a power-user, you will find its many features and options will keep you happy and busy for a long time. If you are a regular user you will appreciate Claws Mail's easy to use interface and reliability.
But no matter what type of user you are, you will appreciate the plugins available for the client. There are plenty to choose from and, unlike the many extensions/addons for Thunderbird, all of them are useful. In this article I will introduce you to a few of the plugins that are must-haves for any type of user.
Make sure you have them
During the installation of Claws Mail you should have noticed the various plugin packages available. If you didn't install them initially, go back and do so now. It's simple: Open up your Add/Remove Software utility, do a search for "claws" (no quotes), find the plugin entries available. You will notice all of the plugins available will have the string "plugin" (again, no quotes) listed in their name. Install any/all plugins you feel you might need.
Now, on to the plugins I feel are must haves.
GtkHtml2 HTML Viewer
One aspect of Claws Mail that you will notice quickly is its inability to write HTML mail. This was done on purpose as the dev team felt like HTML mail was not a good thing (I tend to agree). But I do get a lot of HTML mail (mostly from companies that only send HTML mail) and need to be able to read them. In order to do this I load this plugin.
Not all HTML emails will be rendered. But when one does render you will see it appear as you do in Figure 1. You also have to tell Claws Mail to load the images found in the email. When it does get the images, the emails render perfectly. You can configure GtkHtml2 from within the Preferences window.
This plugin allows you to select a method for Claws Mail to inform you that email has arrived. I set my email client up to check mail automatically, so having a notification is nice. To configure the notification go to the Preferences window under Notification. There are five different types of notifications:
- Banner: A scrolling banner you can configure to tell you what new mail comes in.
- Popup: A small popup that appears when new mail arrives (see Figure 2).
- Command: Create your own method of notification (such as play a sound with the play command).
- LDC: Enable display of message on external LCD monitor - will need an LCD server running.
- SysTrayIcon: Enable a small system tray icon that will display a message.
I don't know about you but I get a lot of mail. And much of that mail is work related. Because that mail is critical I have to keep copies for a long time. But I don't necessarily want those folders to accumulate thousands upon thousands of emails. For this I use the Mail archiver plugin. This plugin will allow you to save a compressed archive of any folder on your Claws Mail client. To create an archive go to the Tools menu and select Create Archive. When the new window pops up (see Figure 3) enter the information you need and click OK. The archive will appear in the folder you've chosen. You're all backed up.
There are plenty of other plugins to play with for Claws Mail. The three plugins listed above will help extend Claws Mail beyond its default capabilities and make it an even more user-friendly, powerful experience.