add option to leave messages displayed in preview pane unread

RESOLVED WONTFIX

Status

Thunderbird
Preferences
--
enhancement
RESOLVED WONTFIX
6 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: Peter Tootill, Unassigned)

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(Not tracked)

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(1 attachment)

(Reporter)

Description

6 years ago
Created attachment 548154 [details]
Outlook preview pane options

There is no option for messages displayed in preview pane to remain flagged as not read. Personally, I don't read messages there. I open them and find it too easy to accidentally mark them as read by having the preview pane open.

I know others have different views and that is why I suggest an option setting - as in Outlook. In fact this is one area where Outlook has more flexibility.

I can't see this has been requested before but there is a fair bit of discussion on the topic in various forums.
What is tools -> Options -> Advanced -> reading & Display ? Look a lote like the outlook screenshot to me.

Comment 2

6 years ago
In Outlook, the option to mark as read in the preview pane applies only to the preview pane. If you double-click the email to open in a new window it doesn't apply that setting.

The issue is that many users want the "preview" pane to be a -- wait for it -- preview, and to therefore not count as reading the message. Preview pane should by default NOT mark the message as read. Open in new window or in tab SHOULD by default mark the message as read.

Example: user has many messages and wants to see which he wants to read first. By viewing them in the preview pane he can see that some of them he wants to read now, so he opens them in new window to read properly. These are now marked as read. The others he merely previewed are not marked as read. So user is enabled to preview messages and use read status to note those which have not been fully read.

Reading != previewing

The point is that the two actions have different intent and many users want them to behave differently WRT to marking messages as read. 

Essentially the Reading & Display option **could** be duplicated to say:

--In preview Pane------
Mark messages as read 
( ) Immediately after displaying
( ) After displaying for this many seconds:
    [  30]
(*) Only when I click "mark as read"

--In Message Windows and Tabs------
Mark messages as read 
(*) Immediately after opening
( ) After displaying for this many seconds:
    [  30]
( ) Only when I click "mark as read"


This is possibly overkill, but would give a superset of the options available in Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail and Eurora.

Comment 3

4 years ago
I support the analysis & proposals in Comment 2 from Ben above; I've just moved to Thunderbird from Outlook 2003 as support for the latter has ended, and am still trying to get to grips with T'bird.
(In reply to Peter Tootill from comment #0)
> There is no option for messages displayed in preview pane to remain flagged as not read.(snip)

First of all, please note that Thunderbird  is never made by MS, and there is no "Preview" in mail display.
One of reasons why "Preview mode" is needed in MS's mailer.
  Because JavaScript was blindly executed always upon mail display,
  new mode of "Preview" was needed to prohibit automatic JavaScript code execution.

> Reading != previewing
Reading != showing or displaying or viewing or seeing or looking ...
Read/Unread status of a mail != You actually read and understood
Read/Unread status of a mail == The mail is shown once by mailer
MDN  is never "You actually read and understood". It's "the mail is shown once by mailer"=="mail is delivered to your Inbox".

Practically, following is usable as "don't mark as read".
> ( x ) After displaying for this many seconds:  [  999999999...999 ]   max may be 2 or 4Giga seconds, but I'm not sure

Another way : Use "flag"(\Flagged in IMAP) as mark of "You actually read and understand the mail".
Currently, the "flag" is called as "Starred" and icon is "star mark". (this is same in Gmail)
After a while, move all "mail with Starred" from Inbox to "Already-Read" folder. You can remove Starred mark now. 
There is "Tag"(predefined flag or user defined keyword in IMAP) which can be defined by user freely. So, "marking of mail" or "categorizing mails" is already possble by Tag.

Comment 5

3 years ago
This used to bother me too: I would even avoid deleting a message before I was ready to read the next one because the inbox automatically advances and the next message would be marked read even if I hadn't read it.

I decided to unvote, however, because I discovered the utility of the inbox 'read' column while experimenting with 'mark as read on preview' disabled. No right-clicking or visiting menus. Love it.

Comment 6

3 years ago
I can't imagine us implimenting this, or taking a patch if it were offered. 
Can you?
Component: Message Reader UI → Preferences
Flags: needinfo?(josiah)
Flags: needinfo?(bwinton)
Indeed, such a feature is so minimal that it probably isn't worth the maintenance burden/extra UI.
Flags: needinfo?(josiah)
Yeah, I agree, and it seems like Patrick has found a decent workaround.
Flags: needinfo?(bwinton)
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 3 years ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
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