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Create an Email List from all Thunderbird contacts?

Posted on 2009-05-14
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I'd like to create an email list from all my emails. As in, get all the emails I've ever corresponded with and get it as a list. Can I? Please help thanks....
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Question by:recoder
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8 Comments
 
LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Dave Howe
ID: 24393742
shouldn't be too hard. you can parse the mailstore manually - its just a text file - and pull out the From: lines; a bit of trimming, sorting and de-duping and you will have a text file of all your email addresses.

for linux that would just be some of the standard command tools (grep, sort, uniq that sort of thing) - for windows a bit of vbscript would probably work better.
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 24449545
Another thing to check recoder, is Tools->Options->Composition->Addressing and make sure Automatically add Outgoing email addresses to my address book is selected and you have set up an appropriate address book. If you had that checked initially, you will have an address book, if not, you can at least start collecting going forward.

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Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 24449562
recoder, I found this in our answer base. It may provide some help as to what Dave Howe was referencing.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Internet_Email/Email/Email_Clients/Q_23035541.html
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:Dave Howe
ID: 24455922
it isn't even that complex, mtz1of4 - mail stores in thunderbird are just text files with the mails listed one after another, so its trivial to write a bit of vbscript (or a regexp in linux) to pull out the lines with an email sender or recipient on them.
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Author Comment

by:recoder
ID: 25180628
Where can I find this mailstore file? What is on the mailstore file? Thanks.
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Accepted Solution

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Dave Howe earned 1400 total points
ID: 25180821
the mailstore file is wherever thunderbird is keeping it - I know that sounds a bit trite though.

usually, in windows its in a subfolder of c:\documents and settings\<username>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles - look for a file called "Inbox" and that will be your entire Inbox, in plain text, just one email after another. Similarly, sent items will be "Sent", drafts "Drafts" - each folder in thunderbird is represented by a file in the profile directory, which contains the emails in plaintext.

on linux, its usually in a subdir from .Thunderbird (note leading dot) in your home dir.
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Author Comment

by:recoder
ID: 25386798
I am using Windows XP. I don't have a Profile folder in the Thunderbird folder. Is there a filename that I can search for?
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Assisted Solution

by:Marc Z
Marc Z earned 600 total points
ID: 25388832
recoder, to find your profile folder, you will have to unhide hidden folders.
Under the control panel is Folder Options->go to View tab and go down to Hidden files and folders and uncheck them, OK out of it.
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Thunderbird for info on what's in your profile folder.
Typical location for windows profile  - changes between different versions of windows though.
      C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows user name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>

Hopefully dave can walk you through getting the emails out of the text file.
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