Modified Qute Theme for Mozilla Thunderbird

A frequent MozillaZine poster, sboulema, has recently made some amazing modifications to Mozilla Thunderbird's default theme. Screenshot. He has combined work from the Nitpick Mod and Qute (alongside his own), creating a new look for both the mail client and Address Book.

Hopefully Arvid and Scott will okay the changes so that they'll be checked into a nightly soon. Until then, I'll guide you through the process of installation so you won't have to wait.

First, close Mozilla Thunderbird, if you haven't already done so. Next, go to chrome in your Mozilla Thunderbird directory. You should see a file named qute.jar. Back it up elsewhere and delete the original. Download the modified qute.jar to chrome and open Thunderbird. That's it! You should immediately see the changes. If you have any problems replace your backup and make note of them here.

Note: I made one small change. The Trash icon in the original, unmodified by me, theme didn't come through clearly. So I simply replaced it with one that sboulema had used previously.

Update: The original now has to be installed via Themes under Tools > Options. This modification has continued to be periodically updated and can be accessed at the same link presented before.

» posted by jonathan on September 08, 2003 at 03:49 PM


Wierd I couldnt get it to work on thunderbird 0.2. Installed fine and just wont show up in themes dialog.

# posted by jeremy

it's, not .com is redirected to an ad site.

# posted by oleg

I like the Nitpick mod better, it's much more clear to read. But the theme for the adressbook is quite nice.

# posted by danne

Haha, you're right oleg. Funny thing is that I know better; I go there all the time, but I do do so using a keyword shortcut - mz, so that could be reason for my blunder.

# posted by Jonathan

We're working on a version of Chris Cook's Luna Firebird theme for Thunderbird. We hope to have a beta out in the next week or two. Here's a preview screenshot.

# posted by Steven Garrity

Steven, that is one fine looking theme, it even look better that luna for firebird (and by better I mean more authentic).

well, good kuck.

# posted by oleg

In following my guided install process, jeremy, you will not be adding a theme, but instead modifying the default (Qute). You should see immediate changes upon reopening Thunderbird.

# posted by Jonathan

The icons have forwarded and replied indicators! I can hide the extra-wide-and-now-rendered-unnecessary Status column. Woo Hoo!

# posted by Jack

I like it better after I have tried i t a couple of days, but still think different icons for read/unread mail would be better, like open/closed envelope or something. Otherwise I hav grown to like it after a couple of days. Whats the outlook on incorporating this in Thunderbird?

# posted by danne

Thank you jonathan for this nice tip. I'm anal when things don't look right (UI Engineer), so this made my Thunderbird experience much more enjoyable.

That Luna theme looks good too. I'll keep newQute, but when Thunderbird is good enough for my parents, I think that's what I will put on their computer.

# posted by Mike Goodspeed

Mike, I feel your pain. Ever since realizing how customizable Mozilla Firebird/Thunderbird are I've become quite frustrated with Windows' (relatively) immutable design.

Now if only there were an extension that would allow Firebird to be used as a fully functional file manager. Wait a second, that's just wishful thinking.

# posted by Jonathan

At danne: the creator of the Nitpick Mod has ok'd sboulema's changes. We're still waiting on Avrid and Scott's approval. If it is approved (by both), it should be incorporated in that week's nightly.

# posted by Jonathan

Arvid didnt gave me permission so it wont be included :( the latest version i made does have a difference in new/unread mail ;)

# posted by Sboulema

By replacing qute.jar, you now have to update the theme every time you install a new version of the program.

# posted by alanjstr

I see this as a stopgap solution, alanjstr. When the default Thunderbird theme is not a hodgepodge Classic/Qute, there will be less of a need for such a modification as presented here. At which time -- and now even -- other themes can be sought out (by those who aren't satisfied with what comes prepackaged in Mozilla Thunderbird builds).

# posted by Jonathan

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