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making Thunderbird easier to use for my 90 year old mom

User Help for Mozilla Thunderbird
jet21
 
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Joined: May 15th, 2018, 5:17 am

Post Posted May 15th, 2018, 5:31 am

Hi

I've been searching but haven't found an easy solution, my mom who has just turned 90 has been using Thunderbird for a while but is finding some difficult in using it recently due to arthritis affecting dexterity and mouse use.
I regularly get phone calls asking me to help after she has inadvertently 'lost her email' or "it doesn't work anymore".

Has anyone already dealt with thIs problem and customised the interface for example removing infrequently used options from menus and buttons, disabling resizing window options, stopping column sort options and any other things that an older less able person might do by mistake causing confusion and frustration.
I've been looking at alternative clients such as Eldy and EasyMail but they have limitations and other problems which may also add to the confusion.
Any suggestions gratefully appreciated.

tanstaafl
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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted May 15th, 2018, 10:01 am

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Bad_Eyesight_-_Thunderbird

I'm not aware of any posts about that. But you can do a lot by customizing the toolbar (right click on it, and drag and drop what you want to add/remove), adding some CSS snippets to ..\chrome\userChrome.css, and using the menu wizard add-on at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunde ... rd/?src=ss to hide certain menu commands. There is a custom button add-on at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunde ... ns/?src=ss if you want to hide the toolbars and add a button for one of the menu commands.

morat
 
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Joined: February 3rd, 2009, 6:29 pm

Post Posted May 15th, 2018, 5:22 pm

I like eM Client for a simple alternative to Thunderbird.

Backup Email Client
viewtopic.php?f=37&t=3037788

Maybe buy a programmable input device to create macros if she can't use the keyboard and mouse well.

X-Keys
http://xkeys.com/

tanstaafl
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Joined: July 30th, 2003, 5:06 pm

Post Posted May 15th, 2018, 5:53 pm

You could use AutoKey or AutoIt to define macros for her. They're free and not Thunderbird specific.

https://autohotkey.com/
https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/
https://toppersworld.com/10-autohotkey- ... -and-apps/

You might also consider buying a keyboard with really large, high contrast keys that is designed for somebody with poor vision such as https://www.amazon.com/AbleNet-Keyboard ... Src=detail or https://www.amazon.com/Large-Key-Wirele ... B004RBSHSU

Another possibility is to buy a 15" ChromeBook, set the system font size to "very large" and have her use Gmail webmail using the Chrome browser. You could re-configure Gmail to get rid of many features that she does not care about. This avoids her having to learn how to maintain a PC and you could add a IMAP account for her mailbox to your Thunderbird profile to help fix any mail problems remotely.

https://support.google.com/inbox/answer/6083800 (Accessibility in Inbox by Gmail)
https://productforums.google.com/forum/ ... xHQXC2qw_I (Best settings for poor vision)

jet21
 
Posts: 2
Joined: May 15th, 2018, 5:17 am

Post Posted May 16th, 2018, 2:56 am

Thanks for the really useful suggestions, I'm having a go at customising and simplifying the options available, menu wizard and customs buttons look really useful, I also found no_message_pane_sort_by_mouse which will also help.

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