Need quicker way to save many selected attachments, but not all attachments



Mail Window Front End
14 years ago
7 years ago


(Reporter: Lucius Chiaraviglio, Unassigned)


(Depends on: 1 bug, Blocks: 1 bug, {access})

Dependency tree / graph

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)


(Whiteboard: bad regressions in 3.1RC2, see comment 10)



14 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050225 Firefox/1.0.1
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv:1.7.6) Gecko/20050225 Firefox/1.0.1

The current feature to save multiple attachments only allows saving all
attachments for a message (or multiple messages if the feature enhancement
request to save attachments for multiple messages is added).  It would be nice
to provide a view of attachments that allows quickly selecting some of them but
not all of them.  (Note -- adding multiple attachments to an outgoing message
already has this flexibility.)

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
Actual Results:  
See details

Expected Results:  
See details
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Comment 2

13 years ago
(In reply to the previous comment)
This now partially works on Thunderbird 1.5 Beta 1 -- one CAN select (for
instance) 2 out of 6 files and then "Save As..." and one will get a File Save
dialog box for each attachment.  What would be more convenient in most cases
would be for just one File Save dialog box to pop up (like when you choose Save
All) to pop up and ask you for the folder to save the selected files in. 
Alternatively (maybe better) would be for "Save All" to become "Save All
Selected" if you have a subset of the attachments selected (remain as Save All
if all or none are selected), and then let you pick the folder to save all the
selected attachments as noted before.  Right now, Save All will save all
attachments regardless of whether or not they are selected -- this is the
appropriate behavior for a command named "Save All", but a function is needed
that is a hybrid of "Save All" and "Save As...".  (Of course, adding a separate
"Save Selected..." command is yet another option.)
QA Contact: front-end


10 years ago
Assignee: mscott → nobody
Wayne, isn't this WFM by now?
OS: Mac OS X → All
Hardware: Macintosh → All
Version: unspecified → Trunk

Comment 4

10 years ago
Last Resolved: 10 years ago
Resolution: --- → WORKSFORME

Comment 5

10 years ago
As noted above, it only partially works -- you do get to select a subset of files, but you still have to go through the multiple File Save dialog boxes.  For 2 out of 6 attachments, this is not too bad, but for 10 out of 15 attachments, it would be a real pain.

Comment 6

10 years ago
Oops -- forgot to mention last confirmation is in Thunderbird version (20080914).

Comment 7

10 years ago
curious, is this a *frequent*, i.e. daily thing?  Can you list some common use case(s)?

Resolution: WORKSFORME → ---
Summary: Need quick way to select multiple (but not all) attachments to save → Need quicker way to save many selected attachments, but not all attachments

Comment 8

10 years ago
More like weekly to every couple of days during some periods.  Most common use case here:  boss sends a bunch of articles as attachments.  Some of them duplicate ones I already have, so I want to just select the ones I don't already have and save them all to one folder (or to the Desktop).  Second most common case:  I send a bunch of photomicrographs to my boss but am not sure which ones are needed, so I send the lot, and then my boss needs to select a certain moderately large subset of them on the other end.

Comment 9

10 years ago
I fully agree that with the previous comment (#8). I receive attachments nearly daily, both professionally (as a technical translator, receiving documents to be translated, including the accompanying adminstrative documents) and in my free-time work (as the editor-in-chief of a monthly church magazine, receiving articles, letters, fotos, etc.). In all cases I need to save the whole lot to one - or sometimes two - directories.

As it is now, I can select more than one attachment only with the Control key held down. This requires each and every attachment to be clicked. The Shoft key does not work here.

In the past, I used several other e-mail clients (Thunderbird is the fourth or fifth!), and as far as I remember, all of them -- with the exception of Thunderbird -- were able to save multiple attachments in one "Save as..." box.

I would suggest the following:

1. Allow to use the Shift key for selecting all attachments by clicking the only the first and the last one while holding Shift down. (This is "expected behaviour" in Windows software!)
2. When more that one attachment is selected (with Ctrl and/or Shift held down), pop up one "Save as..." box to save all files selected to one and the same directory.

(By the way, I am using Thunderbird, on Windows XP.)
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100608 Lightning/1.0b2 Thunderbird/3.1

Things got worse in TB3.1, as attachments in attachment pane are no longer keyboard accessible. Please vote for the following bug (using vote button):

Bug 573230  - Attachments in attachment panel are not focusable (regression), thus completely inaccessible for keyboard users

We definitely have a big usability problem here.

Proposal for improving the saving of multiple, but not all attachments in the same folder:
- Add a new command to attachment's context menu:
Save... -> will save selected attachments to one folder without asking for file names (depending on options-settings-attachments, this will either be the default folder, or else show *folder picker* as we do for Save all...)
- Keep existing command:
Save as... -> will ask for file names for each saved file (as we do now, show save file dialogue)

So the context menu for attachments would be
|Open                   |
|Save...                |
|Save as...             |
|Detach...              |
|Delete...              |
Ever confirmed: true
Keywords: access
Whiteboard: bad regressions in 3.1RC2, see comment 10

Comment 11

8 years ago
My opinion fwiw is that the current behavior of "save as" when multiple attachments are selected is not only counterintuitive, but insane.  Unless you by some divine inspiration happen to know what the behavior will be, once you click  "save as", you only see a single file name.  It is natural to then assume that TB is unaware that you selected multiple attachments, and thinks it's only interested in the first attachments.  It's only when you cancel out, or else choose to save just the one file that you get another save dialog, which is surprising enough that you think it is some bug or you failed to correctly cancel out or save the first file.

I would also like the context menu to say something like "save all selected..." when appropriate, and it should also offer "save all" when attachments are selected -- right now it doesn't even offer "save all" even when *all* attachments are selected, only when none are selected, which is illogical.

Meanwhile, although the save as may be a useful feature, a different way needs to be found to do the renaming other than going through n save dialogs.  If the n dialogs are retained, the context menu should make it more evident what behavior will then ensue.  For example, it might say "save each as...", or interpose a confirmation dialog that explains that there will be save dialog for each file and allow cancelling out at that point.  That dialog might also list the set of files you are interested in saving, so you are confident that you and TB agree on what you want.

Comment 12

8 years ago
Oop, sorry a typo that obscures my meaning above:

"...thinks it's only interested in the first attachments" in the first paragraph should be

"thinks it's only interested in the first attachment" (singular attachment)

Comment 13

8 years ago
@ Peter Blicher (Comment 11(
I completely agree.

One more point, however: Many people sending their own texts (e.g. articles for a magazine or so) choose their filenames drom their own point of view (e.g. "Article for magazine X", without an issue number or date). So we also need an opportunity to modify the filename to something else, on a file-by-file base.

I don't how other e-mail clients do this, but one way or another this file-by-file renaming possibility should be available in combination with saving multiple files. A simple solution might be to have the current "save as..." dialog display a running number, like "Saving file 3 (fo 7)" or so.

Comment 14

8 years ago
Sorry, typo: In the last sentence, "Saving file 3 (fo 7)" should of course read "Saving file 3 (of 7)".
Related bug 678345: Cancel is ambiguous when saving multiple attachments and overwriting files
Depends on: 678345
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