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I'm looking for a plugin or method to color/tag the name of Thunderbird contacts to make it even faster to differentiate between different authors, ultimately to make it even faster to skim-read long email threads or notice contacts to avoid.

In the conversation view, Thunderbird automatically assigns contact colors to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. participant of a thread, which means while reading from one message to the next you're naturally inclined to rapidly associate the color of a username with the author of the message, rather than reading the name.

For example: I personally see the 1st message in a thread is from Alice (orange), the 2nd message in the thread is from Bob (blue), when I skim to the third message, I more quickly see orange and make an association with Alice, before actually processing the letters "Alice" - making it ultimately faster to read lots of emails where lots of authors are included.

A more concrete example of this would be to associate warning colors (like red/orange) with contacts, who, as we all know, talk rubbish. If I can expand a thread and see at an extremely quick glance that it mostly has red related contacts then I can skim over reading the entire thread. On the other hand, if I color contacts whose messages are always constructive in green, then I can be sure to pay special attention to that message.

If this plugin doesn't exist already, I'll code it, but just wondering if I can save myself some time.

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  • "In the conversation view, Thunderbird automatically assigns contact colors": Is this what TB currently does, or what you want to achieve? If the former, what/where exactly is the "conversation view"?
    – unor
    Aug 6 '14 at 15:15

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