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Attachment Reminder

We are all familiar with the phenomenon. You get an email that says "here is the schedule for next week", but the schedule is nowhere to be seen. Several minutes later, you get another email, "Oops, forgot the attachment, here it is". Even worse is when you are the one doing the double-send. Take a bold step towards eliminating this pernicious little problem, and install the Attachment Reminder extension for Thunderbird.

Attachment Reminder is a simple Add-on (extension) for Mozilla Thunderbird that scans your outgoing email when you click the send button and checks it for the presence of user-defined keywords that signal that an attachment should be included. If there is no attachment even though the scan indicates there should be, it will show a message box asking you to confirm whether you want to send the email without attachments. You can choose to continue on and send it, or to cancel, and edit the email further.

Once you have this extension installed, you'll never have to say "oops" again - well, at least not because you forgot an attachment. :)

Major Features

  • Customizable list of keywords to use for scanning.
  • Full support for Javascript's regular expression syntax.
  • A robust keyword list included with the default setup.
  • Option to exclude text of quoted email from the scan (default).
  • Option to include subject line in the scan (default).

Download

You can download the latest release of Attachment Reminder from the Sourceforge File Release servers. You can also download from the Official Mozilla Addons site, though they usually take a week or two to catch up to the latest release.

Installation Instructions

Installation is standard, as for any Thunderbird extension:

  • Download the .xpi file
  • Open Thunderbird, go to Tools -> Add-ons
  • Click Install... button
  • Browse to where you saved the .xpi, and open it
  • Click the Install button again after the countdown finishes
  • Restart Thunderbird to complete the installation

Usage Instructions

Attachment Reminder showing in the AddOns list
Attachment Reminder preferences window

To access the configuration panel for Attachment Reminder, follow these steps:

  • Open Thunderbird, go to Tools -> Add-ons
  • Select Attachment Reminder from the list [see image at right]
  • Click the Preferences button [see image at right]

The defaults are set to be pretty sane, so you shouldn't need to tweak much.

Using Regular Expressions: A Quick Tutorial

The keywords fully support Javascript regular expressions. What follows is a very basic tutorial for those unfamiliar with this powerful text processing tool.

  1. . (period) matches any character except for newline
  2. * maches the preceding character zero or more times
  3. putting the first two items together: .* matches any number of any characters (except for newline)
  4. ? matches the preceding character zero or one times
  5. + matches the preceding character one or more times
  6. use \. to match the '.' literally; \* to match the asterisk literally; \? to match the question mark literally.
  7. \W matches any non-word character (i.e. not lowercase and capital letters, numbers, and underscore)
  8. \s matches any whitespace character (tab, newline, space, and a few others).

At this point, you're probably ready for some examples. I will use some of the pre-set keywords in the default keyword list for demonstration purposes.

Example: "attach"

First, note that the matching process is looking for matches inside the lines, so there is usually no reason to use '.*'. So:

.*attach.*

and

attach

will both match as long as the word "attach" is somewhere in there.

Example: "file"

What if you want to match the word "file" or "files", but not if it's part of "profile" or "defile", and not if it's part of "filesystem" or "filet". This is where our \W technique comes in handy.

\Wfiles?\W

will do exactly that.

Example: "here it is"

How about this one - you want to match "here it is" (since that frequently refers to files being attached), but you realize that this phrase could be broken into two lines by the automatic word wrap. So while the naive keyword "here it is" will work for the basic case, it will not work for

here it
is

or for

here  it is [note two spaces between 'here' and 'it']

You also don't want it to match "there it is" or "anywhere it is".

No problem - regexp to the rescue. :) The following will do the trick:

\Where\s+it\s+is

Example: always prompt (match everything)

Some people may prefer to have the reminder pop up every time there is no attachment - similar to how the "no subject" reminder pops up every time there is no subject line. To accomplish that, just clean out the keyword list. The matcher will try to match a blank string, "", and that matches everything, so the reminder will come up all the time.

If you do decide to restore the default list, you can always go to the advanced config editor (on Linux: Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Config Editor..., on Windows, Tools -> Options -> Advanced -> Config Editor...), find and right-click on the "attachmentreminder.keywords" item, and reset it to default.

More Regexp Info

More detailed information can be found in the following links:

Help

If you have a question or comment, please feel free to post in the Help Forum. Your feedback would be very appreciated!

How you can help

  • You could translate this addon into another language (it's easy - just a couple of small text files!). For help and details, see the Translator Instructions.
  • File feature requests or bug reports.
  • Tell your friends about Thunderbird and Attachment Reminder!

Screenshots

There are some representative screenshots available here

License

This code for this project is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3 or later.

The icon for the project is a remix of the Tango Desktop Project's icon set, and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License.

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