User Guide

Extract Em! is an add-on/extension for the Mozilla Thunderbird email client application.

This extension extracts attachments from a folder or an entire account, or allows you to select specific attachments to include. Extracted attachments are saved to one or more .zip files.

  1. Right-click on an account, a folder, or a message to provide the attachment source, and select the Extract 'Em! item from the context menu. (Note: selecting a message sets the containing folder as the source.)
  2. If an account is selected, a screen will be displayed allowing for the selection of a subset of folders for extraction (the "Let Me Choose" option).
    If a folder or message is selected, the Quick Menu is displayed with the following options:
    1. Extract 'Em!: discovers all attachments in the selected folder and packages them in the .zip file immediately (subfolders omitted)
    2. Extract 'Em! (+ subfolders): includes subfolders in the immediate extraction
    3. Let Me Choose: allows selection of specific folders/subfolders for discovery, and specific attachments for inclusion
    4. An option for including embedded (inline-attached) images in the extraction process is also provided.
  3. Extract Immediate: attachment discovery and packaging progress are displayed; once complete, a prompt is provided for .zip file destination selection and filename assignment. A checkbox is provided in the Embeds column for toggling inclusion of inline-attached images.
  4. Let Me Choose: a screen presenting all folders and subfolders in the selected source is displayed.
    1. Select the specific folders to be included in attachment discovery, using the checkbox for individual folder selection and the folder label for toggling selection of associated subfolders.
    2. Click the Discover Attachments button to find all attachments in the selected folders.
    3. After discovery, if desired, select specific folders to further reduce the set of attachments to be included in packaging.
    4. To extract:
      1. Click the Extract 'Em! button to package all attachments in the selected folders.
      2. Alternatively, specific attachments can be included/excluded by selecting the Attachment List tab and using the provided checkboxes for individual attachment selection.
    5. When the Save prompt is presented, a destination filesystem folder and filename may be provided to replace the defaults.
Select Source
Right-click on an account, a folder, or a message to provide the attachment source, and select the Extract 'Em item from the context menu. (Note: selecting a message sets the containing folder as the source.)
Quick Menu
Select an Extract 'Em! option to immediately extract all attachments in the source, or Let Me Choose for more granular selection.
Immediate Extraction
Attachment discovery and packaging progress are displayed before the user is prompted for destination file details.
Let Me Choose
Specific folders can be included or omitted for attachment discovery.
Attachment List
Specific attachments may be included or omitted. If a folder grouping is selected under the Extract 'Em! options, entire groups may likewise be incuded or omitted.
Image Zoom
For image attachments, click on the preview image to display the item in a zoom window. Click on the zoom window to dismiss.
Fully interactive UI; allows for selection of specific attachments to extract
Displays a shortcut menu when Extract 'Em! is opened
Saves all attachments from messages in the selected folder with limited user intervention; excludes sub-folders
Includes attachments in sub-folders during immediate extraction
Omits UI presentation, with the exception of the save prompt

Identifies and includes images embedded in the message body (inline images)
Stores the attachments in the .zip archive in the same folders they reside under in Thunderbird
Outputs additional troubleshooting information to the debugger console
Groups items in the Attachment List according to the specified attribute
Specifies the size of the Preview Image for items in the Attachment List

I would like to express my gratitude to the following for their contributions and assistance regarding this project:

  • The developer Deimios, whose Attachment Saver extension provided me with a starting point
  • The zip.js library which provides the current .zip file packaging component (courtesy of gildas-lormeau)
  • The JSZip library which provided the .zip file packaging component through version 1.1.2 of Extract 'Em! (courtesy of Stuart K.)
  • The various contributors offering their translation services
  • The various contributors to the Thunderbird Add-on Developers forum who are prompt and most helpful in responding to inquiries.