Closed Bug 319770 Opened 14 years ago Closed 11 years ago

Forward As Attachment missing on right click if only 1 message is selected


(Thunderbird :: Mail Window Front End, enhancement)

Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: blimthorpe, Unassigned)


(Keywords: ux-consistency, ux-discovery, ux-efficiency)

User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051111 Firefox/1.5
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.0; en-US; rv:1.8) Gecko/20051111 Firefox/1.5

If I right-Click on only 1 message and want to forward as attachment, the choice is not available  If I highlight 2 or more messages, it works. The entire context menu is different when 1 message is selected than if 2 or more are selected/

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce: one message in in box
2.right-click (try to forward as attachment)
3.'forward as attachment' is not possible

Actual Results:  
Select ONE message in the in box
Right Click

Expected Results:  
Forward as attachment does not appear
It only appears if I select TWO or more messages

Forward as attachment should appear, even if you select only ONE message
In the interest of simplicity, the context menu only has a single forward 
item.  If your preference is set to Forward As Inline and you want to forward 
a particular message as an attachment, you can use the Message menu.

The special case of always showing "Forward as Attachment" is because 
generally, when multiple messages are selected, "forward inline" is not the desired action -- because that spawns one new message item for each selected message.  (See also bug 30486 and bug 17479.)

xref bug 236833
Severity: normal → enhancement
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Hardware: PC → All
Version: unspecified → Trunk
In your email message to me you say "If your preference is set to Forward As Inline and you want to forward 
a particular message as an attachment........"

I can NOT find any preference for attachment sending.  I have the Windows version 1.07.  If there are preference for this, where are they located.  I have searched for this for 3 days, and cannot find it.  Could you enlighten me ?

Forwarding preference is at:
  Tools | Options | Composition
Right at the top of the page is:
  Forward Messages   [Inline | As Attachment] (dropdown selector box)
I would suggest enhancing this request further.

I believe that the option to forward inline or as an attachment should be changable from the default value in the Options, selectable as an override at the time or reply/forward.

I suggest the [forward] button have a dropdown menu to make the choice between 'inline' and 'as attachment', like on yahoo webmail.

A similar option should appear on the right click menu.

While setting the default value in "Options" is ok, this choice changes per email and one should not have to change the default preference each time one needs the alternate function.
QA Contact: front-end
I actually Voted for (or at least wanted/tried/impied to vote for) BugMagnet's suggestion to have a dropdown menu to make the choice between 'inline' and 'as attachment'...
I actually Voted for (or at least wanted/tried/impied to vote for) BugMagnet's suggestion to have a dropdown menu to make the choice between 'inline' and 'as attachment'.

I can confirm the you only see Forward when right clicking one message, but from Mike Cowperthwaite's comment I understand this is by design.

You can choose how to forward the message, not by right clicking, but by selecting one message and then choosing "Message | Forward As" from the menu...
I really consider this as missing usability, and I an surprised that it has not yet been dealt with. 

My default setting for forwarding is inline, as I prefer to view and write messages as plain text. 

But many times I want to forward some message as an attachment, either because it is in HTML, of both HTML and plain text, or because I want it forwarded in its complete format with headers.

I have to use the workaround of "forward as attachments", as it is faster than going through the Message Menu. I select one more message, then right click, the "forward as attachments", and finally I delete the redundant attachment. It is soooo annoying to see the option there for multiple messagesand not for single ones. Just because some dev decided so. 

Come on, it that so difficult? Give the option to the people, and let them decide if they use it for single messages, or not.
There is a conversation here, too:
You could always make a small extension for it.
Assignee: mscott → nobody
As you can see, I started this thread in 2005 with ver 1.07 and it still has stayed the same.  

I too think it is lame to not to be able to "forward as attachment" when you are only forwarding 1 message.  I almost always forward only 1 message, and it is a pain to have to go thru a menu to do this.  

I can only think that it must be very difficult to fix this, or the programmer is absolutely convinced that it does not need to be changed. 
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3?
If you always forward one message, and want it as attachment, you can set the pref to forward as attachment, no? 

I wonder if this wouldn't just be an unnecessary/perhaps confusing step for most people...
OK, I'll repeat it once more, for those who cannot understand it:

A default preference of "Forwarding inline" is convenient because it cuts out all the unnecessary header ****, when you just want to pass on the message information. Overmore, I prefer plain text. In this setup, "Forwarding as attachment" is required for at least to cases:

a. to forward a message which is in HTML

b. to forward a message in its original format, complete with headers, so that the recipient can detach it and add it in her mailbox.
You can always choose how to forward the message by going to the menu -> Message -> Forward As -> Inline | Attachment.

I admit I aslo think this is a pain in the back and would like to always have the option from the context menu as well.

At the moment I'm making an extension that adds Forward Inline / As Attachment to the context menus and Forward button. It's not quite finished yet, because I'm still adding some features, but it works already. You can download it from and maybe give me feedback to improve my extension or give the guys from Mozilla here in this issue feedback on how things can get even better...

I'll repeat the URL once more for greater readability, more advertising and exposure :-) :
It (In reply to comment #4)
> I suggest the [forward] button have a dropdown menu to make the choice between
> 'inline' and 'as attachment', like on yahoo webmail.

That is actually (part of) bug 17796.

> A similar option should appear on the right click menu.

That is left out by design, judging from comment #1, although I think it's strange to have both options in the main menu, on the button, but not on the context menu.

I think the main menu would be better to keep simple than the context menu...

According to bugzilla this bug was still unconfirmed, so I'm confirming it now.
If it's really by design, someone can change the resolution to wontfix and users will have to keep using my extension.
Ever confirmed: true
Yes I think this is wontfix for the core code.
Closed: 11 years ago
Flags: wanted-thunderbird3? → wanted-thunderbird3-
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
Duplicate of this bug: 498581
a) From the statistics (1) of Onno Eker's "Forward" addon (2), which addresses exactly and only this bug (see bug 508250, comment #21; updated numbers here):

57,985 Downloads (296 in last 30 days)
6,196 Average Daily Users (6,004 average in last 30 days)

Plus an unknown number for the same addon from other sources (3), and other addons that do the same (e.g. 4).

b) Most comments in respective bugs (including this one) in favor of providing choice between the two flavors of forwarding consistently, everywhere in the UI

c) ux-consistency, ux-efficiency, ux-discovery

d) Mike Cowperthwaite even argues in favor of a /single/ popup menu which would force users to decide between the two flavors each time (Bug 236833 Comment 4) - whereas this bug just wants to provide the choice between Forward (user default flavor), and Forward As (for equally easy access to the non-default flavor)

e) Bug 231660 is still open, confirmed by Bryan (then UX-lead):

(Bryan Clark [:clarkbw] from Bug 231660 comment #6)
> those options were added to the menu, I'm not sure why they weren't added to
> the right click menu at the same time.  This isn't going to be high
> priority, but would be a worthwhile and easy fix.

Duplicate of bug: 231660
In response to Mike Cowperthwaite comment 1: by suggesting that the choice is to be made in tools/preferences he makes an assumption that people MAKE A PREFERENCE for USUAL forwarding ie, "I ALWAYS want to forward inline" or "I ALWAYS want to send as attachment".  An example of where both options would be required: You receive a SPAM email and need to forward it AS AN ATTACHMENT to your AV/antispam vendor (to retain all headers), or you need to simply sending the AV report emailed to you by your AV system as INLINE.

It simply is not true for may people (as backed up with the figures of people downloading the extension show) and makes the point and use of the right-click context option slightly irrelevant: when they need the other forwarding option for their message they have to go through the process of using the drop down option under the MESSAGE menu.....which for most wont be on show as it is hidden under their 'clean look' interface (with the MENU BAR hidden).  I thought that the point of hiding this option was to give a clean and space saved look by removing options from the screen rarely used whilst keeping all other frequently used options in the context menu.  In other words, arguing the point and advising to use the MENU dropdown option for features so popular kind of makes us wonder why context menus were really implemented to full effect in the first place.

For me, its a no brainer and I dont think his response is an *answer*, its just an explanation as to the status now.  It doesnt mean it cant be reviewed, considered and modified.  After all WHAT IS THE PROBLEM in providing the 2 choices in a sub-menu?? (Let the people who want to use both methods randomly choose rather than assume everyone does the same thing by utilising one method).

I for one regularly use both options a(as if you couldnt have guessed) and daily get annoyed by its absence.
UPDATE:  Apologies!  I just saw that it has been fixed in v24 (I thought I was running it already).  Please ignore my last comment.
(In reply to jimimaseye from comment #18)
> In response to Mike Cowperthwaite comment 1: by suggesting that the choice
> is to be made in tools/preferences he makes an assumption that people MAKE A
> PREFERENCE for USUAL forwarding ie, "I ALWAYS want to forward inline" or "I
> ALWAYS want to send as attachment".  An example of where both options would
> be required: [...]

jimi, thank you for your feedback and I 100% agree with your description that we have no reason to assume users will always usually favor one flavor over the other (inline over "as attachment" or vice versa). In fact, there are many good reasons for users to use both alternatives alternately depending on scenario, as in your example. On some emails, I might want to comment upon forwarding (even inline comments between the original text), whereas on others, the integrity of the original msg including all headers matters more. We have no way of predicting how users want to alternate between the flavors, so both flavors should always be offered next to each other (more specifically, the alternative flavor should always be offered next to the default flavor; default flavor is good as it avoids forcing users into choices they might not be able nor want to make).

However, this particular bug which you describe was fixed in Bug 231660 (of which this is duplicate), even for single message selection both "Forward" and "Forward as > Inline | As Attachment" are offered in message context menu in TB Version 24 (and still in TB31 beta). It doesn't work for you?

FTR: For *multiple* selected messages, we only offer "Forward as attachment" from context menu, which looks like a reasonable default to me: For multiple selected messages, it really makes most sense to foward all of them as attachments of a single message (combining them into a single inline forward might be useful too, but that's not yet implemented afasict). Whereas it's highly unlikely scenario that users want to forward each of 100 messages individually as inline (creating 100 compositions), for which you'd have to use main menu's forward with inline default - fair enough. For few messages, you can easily forward inline each of them separately.

More good news for you: We even have an optional combined "Forward | Forward as" button for the message header toolbar (introduced by Bug 508250). Right-click on message header buttons toolbar > customize... From the customization palette, there's a "Forward as" button available which u can drag into your msg header toolbar. It offers "Forward" (with your preferred default flavor) on the main button part and both flavors on the dropdown part, for easy access to the other flavor. You'll like that one, too.

In fact, I have advocated in vain to make the combined split menu button the default on the toolbar for the very reasons described above and confirmed yet again by another user here, Jimi (see my detailed explanation in Bug 508250 Comment 15). No disadvantage for anyone as the default "forward" part of the button still acts as before (user's default flavor), so we just add the little dropdown for easy access to the alternative, thus making that choice discoverable, too, which can help interested users. Uninterested users like my Mum won't even look into the dropdown, even if they did there's no potential for confusion because they always can (and will) just click "Forward" and get on with the default flavor. So the superiority of the split forward button is obvious imo (and other relevant contributors seemed to agree with that in bug 508250), but so far the powers that be haven't been convinced yet. I might file that as a new bug, but after having spelled out all the reasons in detail already, I'm a bit tired of re-campaigning for the obvious. Already campaigned hard enough to have the split button at all in core and prevent all sorts of exotic alternatives that were proposed in bug 508250...
In fact, in Bug 508250 Comment 68, UX lead expressed doubts there are many users/scenarios like Jimi:

> Yes, I understand that you want the dual-button there by
> default, but I don't believe that most people understand which type of forwarding they want, much less
> change their minds on which one they want on a per-message basis, and so the dual-button should not be
> the default, in my opinion.

So you might want to add a comment there as an affected user.
Thanks for your time to write Thomas.  I did see after my posting that it was fixed by 508250, and that I mistakenly thought I was already running the latest (which it turned out I was not).  I do confirm that the context forward 'choice' does appear and seems to work now.  And thank you for your pointing out of the new button in the message headers - I have now gone ahead and added that.

Keep up your campaigning, Im sure youll get there.  Without campaigns then results dont get acheived. And I will add my comments to that bug as you suggest. :-)
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