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(Guide/Review) Highlight text in your outgoing mails with the Textmarker extension for Thunderbird

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Highlight text in your outgoing mails with the Textmarker extension for Thunderbird


Maybe you're communicating with your bank, or mailing your colleagues regarding a project, or you're responding to a business inquiry. You may want a way to keep track of the conversation, and see how it evolves.




Let's say the mails contain specific points or questions that you want the recipient to respond to. Usually, we read the reply and refer to the previous message for context.


There is a quicker way to get this last part done, if you could highlight the content before sending the message, like with a permanent marker pen. Textmarker is a Thunderbird extension which does that. It's very simple to use, and yet quite handy.


Note: This extension should not be confused with the Firefox add-on of the same name.


Textmarker is only accessible from the Thunderbird mail composer (Write window aka the mail editor). So, you cannot use it for mails that are in your Inbox, Sent, etc (any folder basically).


Here's how to use the extension. Hit the Write button and enter some text, select a part of the message and click on the Mark button on the top right-corner of the window. The effect is instantaneous, you'll see a color appear around the text. Textmarker supports various colors, to change the color, hold the Ctrl key while clicking the Mark button. A pop-up window will appear that lists 10 colors, it also mentions the name of each shade. An arrow indicates the active color.


Now that you have highlighted the text, go ahead and send the mail. When you receive a reply to it, the colored text will make it easier for you to analyze the reply (without reading the entire message), or even serve as a reminder.




The color effect added by the add-on is persistent, i.e, the highlighted text is retained even after you exit the mail client. To remove the highlight effect, select the text, hold the Shift key and click on the Mark button.




Want more color options? Head to the extension's settings, it has a long list of colors that you can choose from. You can set multiple colors as your favorites, but may not choose more than 10 colors because that's the limit of the pop-up that appears when you use the Ctrl + Mark combination. This can be useful as you can color-code the highlighted content by priority.


I would suggest picking the colors based on the theme that you're using, you don't want something that's too flashy as opposed to a shade that is easier on the eyes.


You may have noticed that Textmarker plays a sound when you change the highlight color, and the audio is a bit loud isn't it? Fortunately, there is a toggle on the add-on's settings page, that you can use to disable the sound. It's located near the top right corner, just above the list of colors. The highlighted content is only visible in your Thunderbird profile, your webmail isn't impacted in any way.




I couldn't find the Git for the source code of Textmarker. It would've been nice to have the add-on work with incoming messages. You could forward the mail to yourself, it's not the best option, but I suppose it can be a good workaround.


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