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Thunderbird Reply Header with Date and Time

Posted on 2009-12-27, last modified 2010-01-21.

Something that has annoyed me for some time now (but not enough to google it, apparently) is Thunderbird's reply header. The default reply header has no date and time. Turning it on turns out to be pretty simple, it just hasn't been added to the configuration dialogs it seems. I need to do this on all the systems I check mail from so I'm documenting it here.

Create a file called ~/.mozilla-thunderbird/(somerandomtext).default/user.js, here is the example text from the mozilla support site:

// Change the reply header
// 0 - No Reply-Text
// 1 - "[Author] wrote:"
// 2 - "On [date] [author] wrote:"
// 3 - User-defined reply header. Use the prefs below in conjunction with this:
user_pref("mailnews.reply_header_type", 3);

// If you set 3 for the pref above then you may set the following prefs.
user_pref("mailnews.reply_header_authorwrote", "%s said the following");
user_pref("mailnews.reply_header_ondate", "on %s");
user_pref("mailnews.reply_header_separator", " ");
user_pref("mailnews.reply_header_colon", ":"); 
// The end result will be [authorwrote][separator][ondate][colon]

Then if you want your date in an unambiguous international format (YYYY-MM-DD) set your LC_TIME to en_DK by adding the en_DK.UTF-8 locale to your system:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure locales

and adding this to your .bash_profile:

export LC_TIME=en_DK.UTF-8

It doesn't have the timezone though. If I figure out how to add that I will post an update.

Tags: Software Linux