Setting Font in Thunderbird
Thunderbird is a web-based rendering engine. This means that it is slightly different from Microsoft Outlook where Thunderbird uses pixel points instead of size point. This section guides you on how to alter font and its properties in Thunderbird for both send/receive email.
Understanding Email Font
Upto Receiver Decides the Font Size
Unless otherwise specified (as in manually coded), sending email is always written in a relative font manner. Example:
- Largest (+4)
- Large (+2)
- Normal (+0)
- Small (-2)
- Smallest (-4)
It is always the responsibility of the receiver to intepret the actual size.
Example, say the receiver set the font at
22px for normal size, the above
- Largest =
- Large =
- Normal =
- Small =
- Smallest =
Hence, the focus is about setting your “receiving font size” where Thunderbird will use the same settings to render your sending email font size.
These font configurations only make sense if the email is composed in HTML format. Otherwise, the “text-only” format only contains a standard, single font text.
Configure Thunderbird to Compose HTML Email
To ensure Thunderbird always compose HTML-format, you can head to
Account Settings and do the following:
Composition & Addressingunder your account.
Compose messages in HTML format.
This ensures that your sending email are always composed in HTML format.
Changing Actual Font
Once done, head over to
Options to start changing the actualy font. Select
Display item on the right panel to begin. Then:
- Set the default font of your choice.
- Set the font size based on pixel, not point. ZORALab recommends
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: points to pixel conversion
Set Advanced Font and Size by Language Characters
Similar to any other email clients, you need to change your font and size according to language characters (e.g. Chinese characters or Hindu characters). These characters are not supported natively by certain fonts such as Verdana. Similarly, SimSun and YaHei may or may not supports all greek characters. Therefore, you should only alter languages that you use based on a given font.
The one you're primarily interested in is
English, which falls under 2
Other Writing System. Let's do them one by one:
- Select the
Font forto that
Other Writing Systemcategory.
- Change your
font sizeaccordingly. To keep things simple, please ensure you set your
mininum font sizeto
Allow messages to use other fonts. Otherwise, your typing can magically turn into another font since it's based on the fonts from the surrounding texts.
Use fixed width font for plain text messages.
When possible, use the default text encoding in replies.
- This time, select the
- Repeat Step 2 to Step 8 for
- Repeat Step 10 for other foreign languages that you use.
Set Composing Options
Once done, we need to configure composing options. By default, there are not much to change here. However, you should check the following:
- This time, select
Compositionfrom the right tab.
Variable Widthfor font.
Use Paragraph instead of Body Text by default.
Test Sending Your Email
With everything is done, you should try composing your email to your alternate account or to your colleague to checkout its typography.
On Thunderbird, you can compose something as such:
Then have the owner verifies the receiver-end email. Example, on Gmail, it looks something as such: