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How to Make Thunderbird Look Like Postler Email Client

Postler email client from Elementary team features a fast, nice and clean interface. However, Thunderbird has some advanced features giving you better control. If you want to have best of both worlds, follow the tutorial below to make Thunderbird look like Postler email client. This guide has been written by a12dhie from DeviantART plus some small additions by me.

These instructions are tested with Ubuntu 11.10:
  • You need to install Elementary GTK & Icon theme. In Oneiric you can install them from here and here.
  • Download Elementary.human 1.3 theme for Thunderbird (search it on Thunderbird Add-ons manager and apply it.
  • You need to enable autohide tab. Go to Menu: > Edit > Preferences > Advanced > General tab and then click "Config Editor" button, answer the question by clicking the "Il'l be carefull, I promise" button. On the config editor windows search for "mail.tabs.autoHide" and set the value to "True, this should hide the tab-bar when only one tab open. (you can hide the status bar too if you want more cleaner look by selecting Menu > View and unchecking the status bar)
  • Download another Add-on called "Compact Menu" (just search it on Add-ons manager, install and apply it.
  • You can change Compact menu button image from extension settings with your favorite icon. Go to addons and click on Compact Menu preferences. Change the icon to document-properties.svg icon (/usr/share/icons/elementary/actions/22/document-properties.svg)
  • Arrange the toolbar button by right-clicking in the main toolbar and selecting "customize". Now select "icon" from dropdown list to hide text and then add or remove the toolbar buttons by drag and drop actions (see below image). Also drag the "Compact menu" button next to the searcbar (If you are not using global menu, hide the menubar by right-clicking on the toolbar and un-checking the "menubar")
  • To shrink the search bar keep adding "flexible space" from the customize toolbar dialog until you get the searchbar shrinked.
  • Go to View > Toolbar and uncheck Quick Filter Bar.
  • Click on any email message. Now in message pane you will see an info bar with different icons for replying, forwarding etc. Right click, click on customize and remove them by dragging as we have already added them on top bar.
  • Lastly you need to add some CSS code. Go to ~/.thunderbird/your_profile_name/chrome and edit and copy/paste the code below in userChrome.css and restart Thunderbird. If the folder chrome and the file userChrome.css does not exist, then create them. Your Thunderbird profile name should be some_random _numbers.default
@namespace url("");
/* set default namespace to XUL */

/* hide the folderpane splitter, sleek look */
#folderpane_splitter {
visibility: collapse;

/* hide folderpaneane header, more simplified look */
#folderPaneHeader {
visibility: collapse;
background-color: #dedede !important;
border-right: 1px solid #b3b3b3 !important;
font-size: 12px #dedede !important;
max-height: 6px !important;

/* color the folderpaneane header background and add a thin gray border */
#folderTree treechildren {
padding-top: 4px;
padding-right: 4px;
background-color: #dedede !important;
border-right: 1px solid #b3b3b3 !important;

#messagepanebox {
border-top: 0px solid gray !important;
border-left: 0px solid #b3b3b3 !important;
border-right: 0px solid gray !important;
border-bottom: 0px solid #b3b3b3 !important;

/*hide threadpane borders so they don't overlap with folderpane border*/
#folderTree {
-moz-appearance: none !important;

-moz-appearance: none !important;

Thats it. Here is what my Thunderbird looks right now.

Thanks to Aulia Ardianto for the tutorial


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