Customize the e-mail template?

Hi all, old e-mail die hard here :slight_smile:

@lassoan informed me to the fact the Discourse e-mail template is customizable, and suggested I post some thoughts on a better template here, which is a great idea. I only just signed up for the VTK discourse, so don’t have an example from my inbox to show, but this is what a mail from the HDF5 Discourse in my inbox look like:

What I find less than ideal with this default template is that the important thing (the response) is given little space compared to the other things:

  • the big buttons and avatar pictures,
  • the big “In Reply To” section (traditional > and the e-mail client would have collapsed it)
  • the big HTML-formatted <quote> David made (traditional > would be more compact)

If it’s possible, it would be great if the template could be customized to be plain text. All that’s really needed is the response, the post that was replied to in > and a link to the post on Discourse (just as an URL, any e-mail client will auto-link it).

For comparison/reference, here’s a random mail from the mailing list:

It’s just much better signal to noise ratio here.

And if it would somehow be possible to make Discourse translate quotations with >correctly, that would be sugar on top, but I believe that’s an existing feature request?

What’s problematic is also that the “In Reply To” is very similarly formatted to the main message. It’s indented the same and has the same text color. Had it been in >, most e-mail clients format it differently, to let you focus on the main message (e.g. the purple text in the second screenshot above, though I must say I question Google’s choice of purple over suble gray here).

You can turn off the “In Reply To” portion in your user profile:

As for the other requests, we’ll have to look into customizing the email template. I didn’t find an obvious place to do that in the Discourse administrative interface.

Discourse should be sending a text payload as well as the HTML. If your email client supports it, you should be able to view only the text payload. It will be in Markdown format, but it should be more compact than the HTML. (GMail does not appear to have this capability).

In Slicer forum email notifications we removed the header completely and made the footer short and text-only:


I think you can customize it in

Ah that’s great. Didn’t know I could turn it off. It’s sort of good to have though, it’s just that it takes a bit much space and the “In Reply To” heading is rather big.

I like the Slicer customization Andras showed.

I seem to have found the correct template to modify to remove the header and footer. With that enabled, emails look like


Quoted sections are indented but do not have a different background.

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