The standard email header in the mail client Thunderbird spans across three rows. It displays information such as the the sender's email, the subject, email recipient and toolbar buttons to quickly reply, forward, delete or tag the email.
The email header can be expanded to display all email header information which are important if the technical details of the email need to be analyzed further. There is on the other hand no option to compact the header in Thunderbird to save space.
Most Thunderbird users may not require some of the information and options displayed by default in the header area of the email that is displayed in the client.
This includes for example the information to whom the email was sent to or action buttons like deleting emails which are also available on a right-click in the email itself.
That's where the experimental add-on Compact Headers comes into play. The add-on is compatible with Thunderbird 3 and newer only and can reduce the size of the email header to one row.
Thunderbird Default Email Header:
Thunderbird 3 Compact Email Header:
The way the email header is displayed in compact form can be altered in the add-on's options. It is possible to increase the size to two rows which can also hold some of the buttons that are provided in the standard Thunderbird header. Buttons can be individually selected in the options. The other options are to only display the address and to link in subjects of RSS feeds which refers to Thunderbird's ability to display RSS feed contents.
Compact Header for Mozilla Thunderbird is an experimental add-on that is not automatically updating itself. The add-on comes with a "check for updates" button in the options. It is available at the Mozilla Thunderbird add-on repository at Mozilla.org.
Update: The extension is fully compatible with all recent versions of the Thunderbird email client. It is no longer experimental and can be downloaded from Mozilla's official Thunderbird Extensions repository.
To install it in Thunderbird, do the following:
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