TBird Signatures|Signature Switch

I have tried unsuccessfully for quite a while to have a background image in my TBird message signatures. Never really made sense why it would not work as the file looked fine in my HTML editor. Sure, I could add them into each message by going to Format >> Page Color and Backgrounds but that is a bit of pain to do each time I go to compose a message. I have just gone without having background images in my signature.

A couple days ago I came across the article 10 must-have Thunderbird Addons (+ 25 more) which Gareon had posted over at Go Firefox!. One of the add-ons mentioned was Signature Switch. This add-on allows you to create and manage multiple email signatures, thus getting around Thunderbird’s default limit of one saved signature per email account. With Signature Switch, you can have as many signatures as you want and easily access and insert into any message you compose either through the selector or assigned hot-keys. Another nice feature is you can edit your signature right in Thunderbird (via notepad or any user-specified text-editor). So I was playing with the editor, trying to figure out what I was doing wrong with the background image. I was coding the background as such:

<body style=”background-image: url(http://ffextensionguru.net/side-bones.gif);”>

Which as I stated earlier, displayed the background on my signature ‘page’ just fine when viewed on the web. So I did a Google Search for ‘background images Thunderbird signatures‘ after a couple unrelated results I came across the article: Thunderbird Email Signatures Background Problem Solved on Combat Wombat. Turns out Thunderbird over-writes the body tag when composing a message thus wiping out the background image. Combat Wombat discovered that re-writing the coding for the background image in CSS solved the problem. So I now have coded the background image in CSS as such:

<!–

BODY { background-image:url(‘http://ffextensionguru.net/side-bones.gif’);background-repeat:repeat-y; background-color:#ffffff; font-family:Arial, Helvetica,sans-serif;color:#000000;}

–>

Success! Well, sort of…by default the regular HTML <body style=”background-image:> tag will tile or ‘repeat’ the background image to fill the screen. I quickly learned this is not true with CSS. Having done very little coding in CSS I went over to W3 Schools and looked up the ‘background-repeat‘ property. The sample code on Combat Wombat had used the ‘background-repeat’ property with the value of ‘no-repeat’ which only displays the image once. A simple change of the value to ‘repeat-y’ and now my background image filled the whole message.

A couple final points. This add-on has a toolbar icon that you can add to your compose/reply/forward windows. Simply right-click on an empty section of the toolbar and select ‘Customize…’ and look for the Signature button. One odd quirk I discovered the first time I went to send a message was Thunderbird spell checks the CSS coding. Once I added all the ‘mis-spelled’ words within in the coding into the dictionary, I was able to get around this.

Signature Switch is about 93 KB and works with TBird 0.7 up to 3.0b1 (but can be forced to work with 3.0b2 and 3.0b3pre versions with the Nightly Tester Tools add-on).