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External Editor - Utilisation


Donne la possibilité d'ouvrir et d'éditer vos messages dans un éditeur de texte externe comme NEdit, emacs, etc...


Le bouton d'External Editor n'est pas visible par défaut; vous devez personnaliser la toolbar de la fenêtre de composition:
  • Ouvrez la fenêtre de composition
  • Selectionnez le menu View/Toolbars/Customize..., ou cliquez avec le bouton droit sur la toolbar et selectionnez Customize...
  • Glissez/déposez le nouvel icon External Editor sur la toolbar
  • Cliquer OK
Puis, ouvrez la fenêtre d'option de l'extension et choisissez votre éditeur (sans chemin d'accès, ou avec un chemin absolu)


Cliquez simplement sur le bouton d'External Editor, ou utilisez le raccourci clavier(Ctrl-E); éditez votre messge dans votre éditeur (pendant l'édition,la fenêtre de composition de Thunderbird est désactivée), sauvez, fermez, et le message sera mis à jour dans Thunderbird.
Les utilisateurs d'emacs peuvent installer ce module de coloration syntaxique adapté au format EE (détails ici).

Edition HTML

Lorsque vous éditez un message HTML, le bouton d'External Editor button propose un menu déroulant pour éditer le code HTML (permettant ainsi de conserver la mise en forme), ou le texte uniquement.

Support de l'Unicode

L'Unicode est supporté à partir de la version 0.6. Vous devez sélectionner l'encodage Unicode dans la fenêtre de composition avant de lancer External Editor: Menu Options/Codage de caractères: Unicode (UTF-8).

Edition des entêtes

Les entêtes peuvent être modifiés dans l'éditeur exterme, en tant que liste d'éléments séparés par des virgules, dans un paragraphe précédant le contenu du message.

Les entêtes supportés sont: Subject, To,Cc, Bcc, Reply-To, Newsgroup.

Subject:  Voilà le sujet
To: adressTo1, adressTo2
Cc: adressCc1
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=# Don't remove this line #=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
... the mail content begins here ...

Mais ce bloc initial peut ensuite être modifié, avec des retours à la ligne et en ajoutant autant de types d'entête que vous le souhaitez. Exemple:

To: adresseTo1, adresseTo2
adresseTo4, adresseTo5
Cc: adresseCc1
adresseCc2, adresseCc3
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=# Don't remove this line #=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-


  • Votre éditeur externe doit être bloquant, c'est à dire qu'il ne doit pas rendre la main avant que vous l'ayiez fermé.
    • NEdit: utiliser "nedit" ou "nc -wait"
    • gvim: utiliser "gvim --nofork"
    • vim: utiliser "xterm -e vim"
  • External Editor a été testé sur Windows (XP) et Linux. Il fonctionne également sur Mac OSX, à partir de Thunderbird 1.1, qui a corrigé le bug Mozilla 267269.

Date de création : 20/08/2005 @ 22:47
Dernière modification : 14/04/2008 @ 21:15
Catégorie : External Editor
Page lue 147974 fois

react.gifRéactions à cet article (Pas de question ici SVP. Utilisez le forum)

Réaction n°37 

par Seb le 07/02/2013 @ 17:53

If you want to use it with Apple Mac OS X Textedit then the command should be:


So you have to give the real path behind the Folder "".

Réaction n°36 

par ttamttam le 18/12/2012 @ 20:19

In order to use it with emacs under windows, I had to put this un the option box (essentially, the key was to had the --server-file option and the path of the server file):

emacsclientw.exe -a runemacs.exe --server-file c:\cygwin\home\matt\.emacs.d\server\server

Thanks for this extension

Réaction n°35 

par Guido le 17/01/2012 @ 11:42

Thank you for your work. I use gvim for almost all of my work and I'm very grateful because I can use my favourite editor also for e-mail messages (as it used to be centuries ago...).
Warmest greetings from Northern Italy! e

Réaction n°34 

par charlene427 le 16/01/2012 @ 09:23

very good!

Réaction n°33 

par nilnull le 16/07/2011 @ 16:23

Bug: When configuring the extension I apparently made a mistake typing the path to my editor. (note: a "test" button on the preferences dialog could avoid that). To try it out I start editing a new mail, and I get a message telling me the editor I configured could not be started. So I want to close the "new mail" window to go change my settings, but the plugin won't let me close it, saying "close your external editor first" -- which of course makes no sense since it is not open. So I am stuck there with a window that's impossible to close...

Réaction n°32 

par Max le 07/07/2011 @ 10:57

Thanks a lot for the update. Works like a charm again (using TB5 & gVim)

Réaction n°31 

par max le 30/06/2011 @ 11:40

Is there a chance to get this nice add-on working with Thunderbird 5 as it did in v.3?

It tried using it with gvim --nofork and also the 'set guioptions+=f'' but no external editor showed up...

Réaction n°30 

par karsten le 13/03/2011 @ 14:25

Just responding to my own inquiry of last October:
1. I reinstalled Open Office. That solved it
2. I still get the message if an other Open Office Document is open. After close that the error message disappears

Réaction n°29 

par ChrisDodd le 31/01/2011 @ 18:21

I can't seem to make it work.  I use 'xterm -e vim' (as suggested) or 'gnome-terminal -x vim' (slightly better), and in either case it will run vim in a terminal to edit the message, but after a ':x' (save and exit) from vim, it doesn't read back the edited file in Thunderbird, so any changes made are lost.

Réaction n°28 

par Jenurat le 30/12/2010 @ 13:48

If I am not mistaken, Emacs Freex mode is a minor mode for organizing and editing a massively-hyperlinked database of your notes and ideas. It's a personal wiki on steroids - tro-screencast ?

Réaction n°27 

par Karsten le 01/06/2010 @ 18:02

I have been trying for several months now and hoped the updated version from Thunderbird and External Editor would solve my problem, but it is still the same. After typing up the message in Open Office Writer, saving it and closing it I get the message:

ExtEditor: Cannot delete file 'C:\Users\Karsten\AppData\Local\Temp\Test_1275408004049.eml': [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE) [nsILocalFile.remove]"  nsresult: "0x80004005 (NS_ERROR_FAILURE)"  location: "JS frame :: chrome://exteditor/content/exteditor.js :: extEditorDeleteFile :: line 478"  data: no]

Can someone explain what is causing this and how I can solve it? Thanks!

Réaction n°26 

par Jeff le 15/01/2010 @ 17:29

In the FAQ: "But Word is not a text editor, it's a word processor. Why would you use it here?"

Answer: As a WYSIWYG editor for composing HTML messages, for people who do not know HTML. I'm no fan of MS Word for composing simple HTML files anyway, because it inserts loads of special tags for Word and other MS products. So, if not Word, then what WYSIWYG  HTML editor/composer would you recommend?

Réaction n°25 

par Jeff le 15/01/2010 @ 16:47

This is a great idea (I haven't tried it yet, as I'm currently using Thunderbird only occasionally, as a newsreader). Unfortunately, this extension as described does not provide access to all headers as in console newsreaders and MUAs (trn, yarn, elm, maybe pine). In those, all the headers, just as they will appear in the outgoing email or Usenet post, are placed in the editor at the top. The user may then edit, add, and delete headers as necessary-- as they are treated just like the text in the body of the message. Perhaps it is a limitation of Thunderbird that it is not possible to give the user access to all headers in this way.

Réaction n°24 

par AndyBoySouthPas le 04/01/2010 @ 21:20

Thank you, from a confirmed emacs user.

Réaction n°23 

par Geza le 02/11/2009 @ 18:39

Wonderful! Many thanks for the great work! I had been wishing for just such an extension for years; I even looked for it, but apparently not well enough. Finally a ThunderEmacs for handling my email! smile

Réaction n°22 

par uturn le 26/06/2009 @ 16:29

An important thing I discovered in Mac. I had to add the EE button to the message toolbar before it would work. Just using the menu item, or the keyboard command didn't work until I added the button.

Réaction n°21 

par Jason le 26/05/2009 @ 15:35

For emacs, use neither runemacs.exe nor emacs.exe; instead, use emacsclient.exe (or emacsclientw.exe) and put in your .emacs file


That way, it will always open in your current emacs rather than opening a new instance.  Of course, this requires you to always _have_ a running emacs, which you should.

Réaction n°19 

par albcamus le 18/07/2008 @ 04:31

> Hi, thanks for your great  work, it's no nice an add-on for tb.

"no nice" -> "so nice". sorry for the typo.

Réaction n°18 

par albcamus le 18/07/2008 @ 04:29

Hi, thanks for your great  work, it's no nice an add-on for tb.

As for me, I specified:

 "konsole -e vim"

as the external editor.  But when composing in it, I found the textwithis set to 72, hence will wrap words automatically after 72 characters. But I have set this to 0 in my ~/.vimrc:

set textwidth=0

I don't like wrapping words, because that will mangle patches.. Any hint? Thanks in advance.

Réaction n°17 

par Tim le 15/07/2008 @ 05:13

I second mtk's comment, below! I have both GTK and GNOME set to use Emacs key bindings, but Thunderbird insists it knows best for some things (most notably C-f, C-n, and C-p). This allows me to forget about Emacs-like key bindings and just use Emacs itself!

Réaction n°16 

par Daniel le 10/07/2008 @ 09:40

*bug* ok editing the header tag in html doesn't work, it moves all the code to the body tag, kinda annoying

Réaction n°15 

par garyo le 21/12/2007 @ 18:01

If you use recent (2007) emacs-w32 on Windows, then just use c:/<emacsdir>/bin/emacsclient as the editor.  This will wait for the currently running emacs (finish editing with Ctrl-x #), and it'll start one if none is running.  emacs-w32 already has (server-start) built in.  It's dead simple.

Réaction n°14 

par foozle le 22/08/2007 @ 21:11

For emacs on windows XP:  (if using the standard NTEmacs distrib),
you must set your path to the "emacs.exe" executable, not the "runemacs.exe"
as the "runemacs.exe" will fork another window.

I think a helpful debugging comment is:

If you invoke External Editor on a message and you can STILL edit in
Thunderbird's compose window (while your external editor is running),
then your editor is NOT running in the foreground and External Editor will not work

Hope this helps others.

Réaction n°13 

par LT le 16/05/2007 @ 04:42

Thanks for this great extension! I tried it and it works well with xterm and vim; unfortunately though it does not work with Terminal, which is the lightweight terminal program that comes with Xfce.

I tried configuring External Editor with this command:

/usr/bin/Terminal --geometry=80x40 --hide-menubar --execute /usr/bin/vim

Terminal launches with vim and the message contents; however, after I make changes and save and exit, the changes are lost and the original message re-appears in the Thunderbird compose window.

Réaction n°12 

par mtk le 21/03/2007 @ 15:47

thank you from freeing me from the tyranny of the thunderbird text editor!

Réaction n°11 

par Keso le 22/11/2006 @ 16:57


what about do binding for ctrl-r on message and call external editor directly, without need open thunderbird default editor first?

Réaction n°10 

par L_V le 27/09/2006 @ 11:14

Unfortunately, does not seem to be compatible with PsPad
You can edit but not save the modified mail.......

Réaction n°9 

par mhooreman le 29/08/2006 @ 08:17

My friends hate my ':wq' in my emails...

Very good job, thank you!

Réaction n°8 

par n8gray le 23/08/2006 @ 23:19

Here's a tip for OS X users. If you want to use an X11 editor you can use the "env" command to set up the display properly. For example, I use this line to use NEdit as my editor:

env DISPLAY=:0 /usr/local/bin/nedit


Réaction n°7 

par dvdplm le 23/08/2006 @ 11:42

For MacOSX users using TextMate: as the external editor executable, you need to use the "mate" script provided with your TextMate installation. I've put it in ~/bin , but you can put it wherever you like , preferebly in your path.

It does not work though! I save and nothing happens. I save and close the file in TextMate and still no reaction from Thunderbird. confused

Réaction n°6 

par tocer le 29/04/2006 @ 07:35

very good job. thank you very much!cool

Réaction n°5 

par roger le 17/03/2006 @ 00:50

Works awesome!  Thanks!  No longer do I accidentally type :wq in my email messages smile

Réaction n°4 

par rohan le 13/02/2006 @ 18:50

Thank-you so much for writing this extension.  It is the one thing that allowed me to move to Thunderbird from other mail clients. cool

Btw.  It works a charm with emacsclient on linux.

Réaction n°3 

par norpan le 08/02/2006 @ 14:17

If using gvim, you can also just do:
set guioptions+=f
in your personal vimrc file.

Then gvim will not do its forking trick and behave like all other programs.

Réaction n°2 

par Brian le 02/01/2006 @ 21:40

To get GNU emacs for Windows to launch in the forground besure to browse to emacs.exe as opposed to runemacs.exe.  runemacs.exe is specifically for running emacs as a background process.

Thanks for writing this extension!

Réaction n°1 

par TomDrabenstott le 30/08/2005 @ 22:28

My version of gvim *(6.1) required "-f" vs. "--nofork" to stop it from forking.
^ Haut ^