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IT Support

The University's ITS Department provides limited technical support for those electing to use an IMAP client to retrieve Gmail.  Support includes best effort IT phone support (no ticket escalation) and the FAQs shown. Individual colleges/departments may provide additional support. The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (CLAS) IT does not support IMAP email clients.

Tip

A change like this can be difficult, especially at first. Please explore and use the features of Gmail exclusively for at least 30 days before considering going back to a desktop email client. Thunderbird, Outlook and Apple Mail do not offer the full search, integration and ease of use found by using a supported web browser with Google Gmail.

  1. Configure Thunderbird and then follow the instructions below for the special process you require
  2. Install the Thunderbird mail merge extension:
    1. Download the Thunderbird Mail Merge extension
    2. Open Thunderbird and navigate to Tools > Add-ons
    3. Click on the Gear icon drop down and choose Install Add-on from File and select the .xpi file you downloaded
    4. Restart Thunderbird to finish the installation
  3. Perform a mail merge:
    1. Create a spreadsheet with the data you want to merge into an email. Row 1 should contain a header name for each column
    2. Save the spreadsheet as a .CSV file
    3. Open Thunderbird and compose a new message
    4. Surround any text that you want to include from the .CSV file with two curly braces: {{text}}. For example, in the To: field, enter: {{Email}} (where Email is the header name of the column in the spreadsheet containing email addresses)
    5. Once you are happy with your message, select File
    6. Click on Mail Merge and a dialog box will pop up. Here is a description of the various options:
    7. Deliver Mode: Save As Draft will save the merged emails in your drafts folder. Send Later will save the merged emails in your Outbox. Send Now will send the merged emails immediately (Note: this will not give you an opportunity to review the generated emails and is not recommended)
    8. Format: use Plain Text unless you plan to use HTML
    9. File: click Browse and select the csv file you created earlier
    10. Character Set: the default should be fine
    11. Field Delimiter: leave the "," if you are using a comma separated file (like this example)
    12. Text Delimiter: the default should be fine
  4. Under Batch you can choose to send only a certain number of the email
  5. Click OK, and the mail merge will run
  6. If you selected Send Now for Deliver Mode, skip the rest of this step since your emails have already been sent. If you selected Send Later for Deliver Mode, the merged emails will be stored in Outbox under Local Folders. Check one or two of the emails to make sure the merge worked properly. When you are satisfied the merge worked correctly, send the emails by selecting File > Send Unsent Messages
     

Info

The mail merge extension has other features, including if-then-else statements.  See the official Mail Merge extension documentation for more details.  For additional information about Thunderbird see Thunderbird Articles and Thunderbird Issues.

 


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