Bulk-Adding “To” and “BCC” Recipients to a Thunderbird Email

I found a new use for our Web Tools by Perceptus website.  I was sending a bulk email to friends, family, clients, and co-workers about my team’s upcoming race in the Red Bull Soapbox Derby in Vancouver.

But the list of email addresses I selected in Outlook, my PIM, would not copy and paste into a new email in Thunderbird, my email client.*  Outlook separates recipients with semi-colons, Thunderbird… doesn’t.  It’s not immediately obvious to me what Thunderbird will accept as a separator in a single “to” line. It took several Google searches (or was it trial and error?) to figure out that Thunderbird will accept line breaks, i.e. “enter”.

Now all I needed to do was find quick way to convert the list which looks like this “<Leonard> me@perceptus.ca; <Me too> me2@perceptus.ca” from Outlook.  In this case, the extra name information that comes up in angled braces was just in the way.

Fortunately, The Email Grep Text Wizard! from our tools site, tools.perceptus.ca, handled the job well.  Just paste the list from Outlook and let our website return a clean simple list of email addresses.  One email per line.

* My PDA syncs to Outlook so it has to be the personal info manager, but I prefer the email features of Thunderbird.  Yes, it’s cumbersome, and no, I’m not entirely happy with the setup, but I haven’t found anything better, yet.

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4 Responses to “Bulk-Adding “To” and “BCC” Recipients to a Thunderbird Email”

  1. Launa Says:

    Thank you so much! I was fairly desperate to figure out what thunderbird would accept on a list of BBC and LO, here is your helpful info.

    I will try it now!


  2. Launa Says:

    It worked in one second — the whole list transferred to Thunderbird’s language and the email went out to everyone perfectly!

  3. Jim Says:

    Nice one. Saved me some time searching as well. I’d tried separating with angle brackets as well.

    On a related note, I’m currently stuck with the task of running through a unix mailbox text file and extracting all the bounce emails. I can grep out all the relevant lines, but now have to strip the emails out of it.

    I don’t suppose you’d be prepared to share the magic email stripping code with me would you? Is it php or some grep/sed/awk/sort/uniq magic?

  4. leonard Says:

    Jim, it depends how much text you’re trying to process at once. Try pasting the mailbox text it into our [fake] Email Grep Text Wizard – http://tools.perceptus.ca/text-wiz.php?ops=5 – I use our site to process about 600 bounce emails at a time from an email list that I manage for a client. Google Chrome works best, other browsers struggle [more] with large pastes into the textarea box.

    That tool is not really grep. The PHP code breaks the text on spaces, brackets, and a some other punctuation marks, then drops everything that doesn’t have a @ sign.

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