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I’m happy
Roland Tanglao (Thunderbird Technical Support Lead) August 19, 2010 22:38

Quick Filter in Thunderbird 3.1 Replaces Quick Search in Thunderbird 2

For those folks upgrading from Thunderbird 2 to 3.1, this is a quick company update to point out that the Quick Search you are used to has been renamed to Quick Filter in Thunderbird 3.1 (Quick Filter is only in TB 3.1; it is not in TB3) and you can turn it on and off via View->Toolbars-> Quick Filter Bar

The Thunderbird Quick Filter feature is documented briefly on this article in the Thunderbird Knowledge Base:
http://support.mozillamessaging.com/e...

And the MozillaZine folks (thanks!) have documented Quick Filter more thoroughly in their Knowledge Base:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird...

Finally, there's a nice screencast intro to the Quick Filter bar here:
http://fuzzyfox.mozhunt.com/blog/2010...

UPDATE: 20 August 2010
Control (command on the Mac) + shift + F will get you the old search......
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  • I’m happy
    Thanks for all the info. "Control + shift + F" works for me! Thanks again.
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  • How can I get the old Search drop down box back? The new search is too convoluted for me, it's wasting time in my business. I need to pull up messages by the to, subject, from search choices, not to wade through pages that happens now. If it can't be done, can I go back to a previous version? It was working yesterday before the 3.1.2 update
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  • This reply was removed on 2010-09-01.
    see the change log
  • This reply was removed on 2010-09-01.
    see the change log
  • I’m sad
    Bad choice. This improvements should be tested first as add-ons not directly in the main product. What I liked to TB was versatility: you had one main product witch every user was able to customize it's own version using add-ons. Unfortunately, in the last months Mozilla has started to include those add-ons directly in main product, loosing exactly its main feature. So far for laptops TB3.0 is the best choice.
    No duplicate functions, no duplicate icon bars, search function customizable through one roll-down menu
    PS: one of the Murphy laws say "Make a system even a moron can use and a moron will use it"
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  • I’m sad
    I can't find the old style quick filter search in the views-toolbar menu. Is that an english only version. I only have email-toolbar to select and customize (I use the dutch language version)
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  • I’m satisfied now
    Received this message from Dan Raich, moderator at forums.mozillazine.org.
    The new Quick Filter, accessed by pressing Ctrl+F, will display the four options of the previous version if you enter text to be found and then press Enter. The options are displayed as buttons that can be clicked on to add or eliminate filter criteria.
    Roland, this works great, and you can also suggest this to getsatisfaction queries.
    JoanP
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  • I found the quick filter rather...quickly...but spent weeks frustrated with it. I most often search by sender, and despite many, many tries couldn't get the search to work right. I finally realized after watching the screencast what I was doing wrong - I didn't realize that the Quick Search automatically enabled searching in the sender, subject AND recipient fields, and that I needed to enable the ones I didn't want. This seems like a strange choice for a default setting - I'm not a computer novice, and was frustrated for weeks by it.
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  • I’m pretty disappointed
    I want to search for two terms, not a phrase, in the body of an email. As far as I can tell, there is NO way to do this in Thunderbird 3.1--adding "Body" to the list of fields to search in the Advanced Search does nothing. Lame. I thought searching was supposed to be better in 3.x, not worse.

    After numerous small annoyances, this is what has convinced me to return to TB 2.
    • view 1 more comment
    • Thanks for your reply. You're right in that I was using an IMAP account with offline synchronization disabled. This was due to what I believe is a bug causing Thunderbird to index all day when offline synchronization was enabled (e.g., http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtop.... This also made searching nigh impossible.

      If and when I'm feeling brave, I'll try updating to Thunderbird 3.x in the future and will try the "Run search on server" setting. Thanks again.
    • You are welcome. Interestingly, performing the search on the server is the default for Thunderbird's big brother SeaMonkey, so my only guess why Thunderbird switched it likely is the fact that Gloda only works when folders are synchronized (but the "old" search doesn't use Gloda, so it still doesn't quite make sense).
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  • I’m very disgusted
    I dislike thunderbird 3 and want to go back to 2.0. I lost most of the emails and all the favorites when I changed. Really agrivating
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  • Please help me! I am totally confused with the new search device on the new Thunderbird. I watched the little video explaining it but my screen does not show "Filter Messages by: Sender, Recipient, Subject, Body." I think if it did, I could figure this out. I just want the old simple search device that grouped everything together in the file by the keyword I placed in the search. Can I get this feature back?
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  • The new filter is much more confusing. When I filter for a particular sender, I click on the appropriate button and end up with emails by sender, subject, etc. It's just not all that clear how one is to use the feature. I'm fairly adept at computer use, but the way this has been designed is not as user-friendly. Perhaps some re-design could make the filter functions more evident?
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  • I’m frustrated
    I don't like the new message filter. All I want is a SIMPLE SEARCH by sender or subject. This new one is way too convoluted!
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  • Where do I do this un-clicking? How do I customize a search?
    • The search box is the same as before, in the same relative position as before. It's a long rectangle in the Thunderbird header with a magnifying glass towards the right. Enter your search term there, and text will appear below the box stating, "Filter messages by: Sender Recipients Subject Body"
      Just click on the way or ways you want to filter the messages until only the types of searches you are looking for look like buttons instead of just text. Voila!
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  • If you push a button and it looks pressed down, it's "clicked".
    If you push a button and it looks like it's not pressed, it's "un-clicked".
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  • I wasn't looking for smart-aleck comments, rsx11m.
    I usually want to filter by sender. I'm serious... there is no check box for "sender".
    • Peter, You and rsx11m have crossed wires. 1 day ago you said "filter", so naturally rsx11m responded about quick filter bar (quick search). But now you are talking about Search All Messages - that's a different function. You are both right - but talking about different things. It will help to use precisely accurate names/terminology for things, especially when there are multiple ways to find things in thunderbird.:)
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  • Mitchell Frieder wrote: "The search box is the same as before, in the same relative position as before. It's a long rectangle in the Thunderbird header with a magnifying glass towards the right. Enter your search term there, and text will appear below the box stating, "Filter messages by: Sender Recipients Subject Body"
    Just click on the way or ways you want to filter the messages until only the types of searches you are looking for look like buttons instead of just text. Voila! "

    But there is no text box below the search box... there was in the previous version and that is what I want back!
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  • ctrl+F or click spyglass in tab bar, or View > Toolbars > quick filter bar (an odd place perhaps)

    Have you looked at the information and video in Roland's posting????
    It's all explained there.
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  • I’m happy
    OK! The quick filter bar does the trick! I had no idea it was there. Thanks, Wayne.
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  • This reply was removed on 2010-11-06.
    see the change log
  • I’m frustrated
    OK, so I understand all the "new", or should I say relocated, functionality of the quick filter bar. However, this was far better and more useful as an item integrated in the main search textbox (the one now accessible by Ctrl-K). It was a seamless workflow. Now my options are:

    a) keep the rather large and clunky "quick filter" bar open, reducing the number of message headers I can show by 2-3.
    b) Press Ctrl-F to open the quick filter bar, do my search and then have to navigate to View->Toolbars->Quick Filter to get rid of the blasted thing.
    c) Use the hugely frustrating, slow, and annoying Search All Messages box.

    Even if the main dev team isn't planning on returning the beloved functionality of many people, is there some way to get this back? Every time I try to find a message using quick filter I throw my hands up and contemplate switching email clients - and I've been using T-Bird since the very very beginning.
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  • grossman7

    >a) keep the rather large and clunky "quick filter" bar open, reducing the number of message headers I can show by 2-3.

    see below

    > b) Press Ctrl-F to open the quick filter bar, do my search and then have to navigate to View->Toolbars->Quick Filter to get rid of the blasted thing.

    Not at all - either click the spyglass above it, or hit ESCape key to close it. (ESCape key in many other contexts closes the currently selected UI bit)
    You apparently missed a link cited by Roland's initial post http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird... - because this information is clearly stated there.

    > c) Use the hugely frustrating, slow, and annoying Search All Messages box.

    It sounds like QFB finds what you want, and you don't like Search all Messages - so then why not disable your Search All Messages or remove it from toolbar?
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  • I’m mollified
    I thought I'd tried ESC before, but either I missed or it didn't work then. It does now. That one thing solves nearly 90% of my frustration with this new implementation. It is coutner-intuitive, though, that Ctrl-F wouldn't simply /toggle/ the toolbar.

    Global search actually *is* useful on occasion, just that nearly every time I want to search I know where to look, making QS/QF much faster.

    While I would still much prefer the ability to drop down the global search box to select a type of search (that would include QF), this is at least livable and I can work with this new feature 80% as happily as I used to.

    Thanks!
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  • I’m frustrated
    I want to turn quick filter off. I hate it and can't do what I want to do--grab emails and put them in folders by dragging. I followed the directions to go to View-Toolbars and there was no quick filter option to turn off. And yes, I have 3.1/
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  • I’m angry
    After weeks of annoying messages asking me to update to the new version I've made the mistake and did it. I often used the quick search in v2.x since I use my mails as an archive. Hate the new search function too.

    As long as this is not changed I will use v2.x again.

    Why are people making good software worse by inventing unncessessary things? Why don't you ask users first what they want?

    "After the release of Thunderbird 3.0 the guys here at Mozilla Messaging re-examined the “Quick Search” feature from Thunderbird 2. It was fast but somewhat opaque, but it did allow people to find messages within the current folder. The team then went away and did all their homework (with no excuses about dogs eating it!) and found out that people loved this feature and they decided to make it even better."

    "...even better"!?? Like typical nerds...
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  • I have found 3.0.6 still quite good but the later version is getting altogether too "Outlook like" for my comfort. It's very elegant, but the change in the search process is something I really don't like - I just want to search in the message I have selected at the moment for a particular word or phrase, not to open a new search window. Simple is beautiful. Mind you, I still think Word2 was the best version of Microsoft Word, so perhaps my opinions are not to be trusted!
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  • There is an experimental add-on available for download, Unified Search 0.5.0, which provides a combined 2.0/3.0-like search bar that can be put onto the main toolbar. It combines aspects from various bugs currently pending and can be used as a workaround until such fixes (i.e., if and when) make it into future regular TB releases.
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  • I’m happier now
    All I need to do is filter my messages by sender and as kyurkewicz says it is very frustrating when you are in business wasting time trying to simply dig out and e-mail.
    Makes you look a clown if you're on the phone to clients.
    Anyway big thanks to kyurkewicz for saving countless hours figuring this out for myself.
    Mozilla nerds Nil points
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