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Technical Information about
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Technical Information
 Message Templates in Evolution

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Posted: 9 Feb 2005

Last week, we found out how easy it is to add some formatting to our email messages. Say we get a message all formatted and looking great. After it's sent, we need to use the same layout for another message. So far as we know, we'd have to manually set up the entire message again. Fortunately, in Evolution, once we format a message, we can save it as a template. Then, any time we want to use that layout, we whip out the template and we're ready to rock. How is this done? Let's run through it.

One-Time Setup

After you fire up Evolution, create a folder where you are going to keep all of the templates. Over in the left pane, right-click on ON THIS COMPUTER. Select NEW FOLDER from the pop-up menu:

In the FOLDER NAME box, put "Templates." Then click on ON THIS COMPUTER. You'll see the CREATE button activate. When it does, click it:

The cool new TEMPLATES folder appears in the left pane:

Make the Template

Now, let's make the template. Click the NEW button in your toolbar:

In the new message window, set up the message. In the SUBJECT line, put a descriptive name so you can find it later. In the message body, insert a background image and a signature. For ideas on how this is done, please see the brief tutorial explaining it. Here's what mine looks like:

So far, it's all very easy stuff. Now, we need to save this message as a draft. To do this, click the FILE menu, then SAVE DRAFT.

Close your new message window and go back to the main Evolution window. Open your DRAFTS folder in the left pane. Select the template you just created from the list on the right. Mine is called 'work'. You can also see the draft preview in the pane below that:

Right-click the template message in the list. Select MOVE TO FOLDER in the menu that pops up:

Another small box appears. Select the TEMPLATES folder, and then click on MOVE:

Excellent. We now have our template, it's in its own folder.

Use the Template

Now we're ready to start using the template. Go into the TEMPLATES folder. You should see the message in the list on the right:

Any time you want to use this template, just copy it to the DRAFTS folder and use it from there. To do this, right-click on the message in the list. From the menu that appears, select COPY TO FOLDER:

In the window that comes up, select the DRAFTS folder, and then click COPY:

So let's head over to the DRAFTS folder, where we find our message template:

To use the template, double-click the message in the list to open it:

Fill out the TO field. You'll probably want to change the SUBJECT line, as well as fill out the message body:

When you're done, click SEND:

You'll notice that the template message is gone from the DRAFTS folder. This is why we store them permanently in the templates folder and copy them over to the DRAFTS folder. Once you use them from the DRAFTS folder, they get thrown in the TRASH bin.

Conclusion

It's very easy to use templates. You just create a TEMPLATES folder for them to live in. You make the actual template, and save it to the DRAFTS folder. From there you just move it into the TEMPLATES folder. You only have to do all of that once. When you are ready to use the message template again, copy it into the DRAFTS folder. Open it up, fill it all out, and send it. Easy!






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