Jeff Taylor's Weblog

  • Sun
    March 2, 2010

OpenOffice Calc cut&paste to Thunderbird

This blog entry is about how to copy this OpenOffice 3.1 data:


Into this Thunderbird 2.0 e-mail:


 First I used "gimp" to save a jpg version of the graph:



Then inserted into the e-mail.

Thunderbird -> Insert -> Image


OK - not too hard, but a more direct method would be convenient.

Inserting the OpenOffice Calc cells as a Thunderbird Table is almost easy.  Just select the cells in Calc, <ctrl>C, and paste into Thunderbird with <ctrl>V:


The problem, IMHO, is that when the OpenOffice Calc data is pasted into the Thunderbird message, all of the existing text in the Thunderbird message is assigned a font that is "too small".  Changing the font of the existing text was not an intended consequence of inserting a table into the message.

If you use "Paste Without Formating", Thunderbird puts text, not an HTML table, into your email, which may or may not be OK depending on the task at hand.

After you have pasted a table into your e-mail, if you want to increase the font size of some or all of your data, you can select any area, and use "<ctrl>+" (or Format->Size->Larger) to manually set the font size to what you had in mind.

Instead, I prefer to use the following approach to return to the original font size:

1) After the paste, in Thunderbird, type "<ctrl>A" to select all of the text

2) Click "Insert" -> "HTML" from the Thunderbird pulldown menus.  This brings up a window with all of the HTML for the current window


 3) Delete:
    ; font-size:x-small

4) Click "insert"



You may want to experiment with removing the entire "style" tag if you don't like the Liberation Sans font.

I hope that someone out there in the WWW finds that this blog entry is helpful.

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Comments ( 3 )
  • Ciprian Thursday, April 29, 2010

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks a lot for posting this man ! I've been wrestling with this problem since Thunderbird 3.0

    Thanks again,


  • Ryan Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Thanks a bunch, this fixed me right up!

  • guest Friday, August 10, 2012

    Very helpful! My workaround has been a 2 stage process. First, copy/paste from OpenOffice Calc into OpenOffice Writer using "paste special/Paste as RTF", and clean up the table in Writer. Second, re-paste from Writer into Thunderbird.

    That worked, but your solution is much simpler and more elegant.

    Of course, even better would be to have this annoyance fixed in Thunderbird in the first place.

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