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Colored Diffs add-on for Thunderbird

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Reading todays post-hook emails with the latest diffs of some project the thought rushed to my head that it would be nice to have the diffs displayed in color. Since I am using Thunderbird as my email client I found a great add-on named “Colored Diff”.

Although, the add-on seems to be outdated to work with the latest Thunderbird version (which is 10.0 right now) there is an easy way to install the add-on while the automatic installer refuses to do so. Here is what you can do to make the installation work.

  1. Download the colored diffs *.xpi file
  2. Open the archive with an archive manager of your choice
  3. Edit the contained install.rdf with a text editor of your choice
  4. Change the maxVersion parameter to be equal or greater then the current version of Thunderbird
    Before: <em:maxVersion>3.1.*</em:maxVersion>
    After: <em:maxVersion>13.1.*</em:maxVersion>
  5. Save the changes and store them back into the archive
  6. Install the add-on

Do not forget to check out the preferences after you installed the add-on. You can choose 4 different types to display the diffs and customize the colors as well.

If you feel interested to enhance the add-on you can do so. The “Colored diffs” project is hosted on Google Code open for people to participate.

Written by tobi

February 8th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

2 Responses to 'Colored Diffs add-on for Thunderbird'

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  1. Cool tip. It worked to get the plugin installed, however it’s not quite working for me on tbird 15.0.

    What I see when I open an email with a diff is a brief flash of the color diff then tbird overwrites it with regular plain text.

    Any suggestions?


    Curt Brune

    9 Sep 12 at 17:33

  2. Hello Curt.
    It is simple. You have to choose a maxVersion value that is equal or higher then the Thunderbird version which you use. So for Thunderbird 15.0 just enter maxVersion 20 or something similar.
    Cheer, Tobi


    28 Sep 12 at 23:14

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