Text Insertion Technology

I answer a load of email, often with the same text. (People just don’t read FAQs). It would be great to press a button in Thunderbird and get a menu of insertable boilerplate text. (A KDE application would also work.) Anyone got any ideas?

I used TagZilla for a bit, but I didn’t have time to hack it to not invoke itself on message send. And the dialog doesn’t support keys such as Enter to insert the selected text, which is rather annoying.

13 thoughts on “Text Insertion Technology

  1. we need an extension brilliant idea, the only issue is how do we store the text. I’m thinking with some code from quicknotes it would not be too hard.

  2. The wikipedia extension (http://www.bananeweizen.de/) for firefox has a toolbar that automatically inserts text, surrounds other text with markup, and includes some sort of template facility (which I haven’t used, and so can’t comment upon beyond its existence). Boilerplate can be hard-coded into the extension without too much fuss — I converted it for personal use with another project. The template component might have value. Then all else that’s needed is to change it into either a Thunderbird message toolbar or menubutton.

  3. man, I’m in the same boat with Gerv for the type of email I answer, and I’d love to have something like this, too.

    Brant said:
    > Doesn’t Thunderbird/Mozilla Mail have templates?
    > How is that different from what you are talking
    > about?

    Templates are when you pick the template in order to start a new email.

    What we want is something where you can pick text to add to an existing mail, from the compose window, without having to go dig through a mailbox looking for it.

  4. I use multiple ids for an account, each one set up with a different ‘signature’. The different ‘signatures’ being the standard response to a question I receive regularly. It is not a great solution though, but does save me some time when answering repetitive questions.

  5. Templates. With editable areas and non-editable areas. It’s already in Nvu… Could be in Thunderbird modulo minimal work.

  6. Emil: that’s a great extension :-) It’s almost exactly what I want.

    One request: would it be possible to provide a menu item in the expected place to turn the toolbar off? I can remember the hotkeys fine, and I like having the screen space ;-)

    Is the source available?

  7. The source is in the XPI. Do what ever you want with it :D

    I’ll check if I can turn the toolbar off. My first extension for Thunderbird so … :)

  8. Emil: the right thing is to use an overlay to add a checkbox menu item to the View | Toolbars menu which toggles the visibility attribute, and then set that attribute to persist, so that the next window keeps the state. Then you don’t need to pinch a key, or expect people to remember it. Particularly as Alt-“+” is already in use to increase font size!

    You should also probably use a <toolbar> element if you aren’t already – what you currently have doesn’t look all that much like one. But maybe that’s a function of its positioning.