In days with large email influx, some emails tend to slip out of my attention. Usually these are email where I am not the primary recipient, but I am referenced at some point as having to perform some action. This point may occur after several responses to a thread.


Hello B,

Hello A,

Dear all,

Could someone give me feedback on document X?



Please find my remarks below:




Thank you for the feedback. I have incorporated it in the document.

C, can you make a final proof-reading pass and post it online?



Is there a way in thunderbird to highlight the sentence/paragraph where my name ("C" in this example) or some other configurable keyword occurs, so that I can easily check if I have to take action?

Note that I am looking for a way to identify the part of the message that directly concerns me and not which messages concern me. So, filters/tags won't really help.


I think the Keyword Highlight extension does the job.

From its description:

This extension helps you to catch messages to you or topics you are intrested in.

One of good idea is set your name as a highlight keyword. Your boss may assign a job to you in a mail. Or you may found your name in a meeting minutes.

  • Thanks! This is pretty-much what I was looking for. Only problem is that it doesn't highlight with Thunderbird Conversations enabled.(addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/addon/…) Any workarounds to this problem are most welcome. Otherwise I'll see what I can hack out of it. – m000 Sep 20 '12 at 22:05

I believe that the best way is to use tags, stars, priority or any attention-catching mechanism in Thunderbird on the messages themselves that contain your name or that fulfill some other criteria. This way you could see that the message should be treated, without having to open it and without having to scroll the entire text looking for a highlighted keyword.

The best solution in this direction is to use the Thunderbird message filters to execute automatic actions upon the messages, actions that go from tagging to setting priority and even to auto-sorting the messages into different folders.

See this MakeUseOf article : How to Set Up Message Filters In Thunderbird.


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    Explicitly mentioned in his question: 'So, filters/tags won't really help.' – gertvdijk Sep 14 '12 at 21:01
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    @gertvdijk: Yes, they will function much better for the stated purpose of "some emails tend to slip out of my attention". And flagging the message is more effective than scanning it and all responses for where "I am referenced at some point". The above recommended Keyword Highlight extension can complete the job by pinpointing where exactly is that mention. – harrymc Sep 15 '12 at 8:35
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    Again, this won't fit my purpose. When I get a lot of email and I am under load, I tend to quickly scan through my emails and leave them in my Inbox to read more carefully later. What I want is a visual cue to hint me that I should read the specific email carefully right now, rather than leave it for later. – m000 Sep 20 '12 at 22:11
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    Aren't tags or star enough of a visual cue, where TB displays the message in the list in different colors, or even creating virtual folders based on that? I really don't understand your remark. Why do you insist on not using the TB tools created exactly for this purpose? – harrymc Sep 21 '12 at 6:01

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