Evolution Mail – Reply with Templates


Some of BeezNest’s staff were having a hard time coping with requests for information from prospects, so we thought about how to improve the answering time without reducing the reply to an automated system that would just guess what type of answer it needs to do.

Using Evolution, the e-mail client and groupware desktop application for GNOME (Linux), we decided to ask one of our relations to develop a simple add-on feature for us that would be the result of our thoughts.

Well, it’s just got here and we really like it. Welcome the “Templates” plug-in for Evolution. The plugin has been developed by Diego Escalante from our specifications and you can just install it as a Debian/Ubuntu package and activate it in Evolution. From then on, a new directory called “Templates” is created in your main/local e-mail box. Feed any e-mail there and it will appear in the “Reply with template” menu when you right-click on an e-mail.

This template e-mail will be used as a reply to the e-mail you just right-clicked on, keeping the sender as a target and the title as it was (with a “Re:” prefix).

Furthermore, you can use %%sender_email%% and %%sender_name%% as special markers in your template. These will be replaced by the e-mail address or the name of the sender, as given in the original e-mail.

As our general politic to promote free software, we have decided to ask for this development to be open-sourced and we are even providing it to you here: .deb Evolution Template plugin

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  • […] mail reply-with-templates plugin integrated into upstream plugins Following-up on my latest article about this plugin (where you can find links to download its early version), it seems that the plugin had been awaited […]

  • I am using Evolution 2.22 in Ubuntu 8.04 and I have downloaded the plugin as you suggested but it does not work for me following your above instructions. Could you please help me?

    You said to “Feed any e-mail there and it will appear in the “Reply with template” menu when you right-click on an e-mail.”

    I don’t know exactly what you mean by “Feed any email there” but I copied an email that I needed replied to the templates directory and right clicked on the message and I didn’t get the option to reply with template. Thank you.


    Mark P.

    • Hi Mark,

      I’m currently using Ubuntu 8.10 with Evolution 2.24.2 and it still works for me (but honestly I couldn’t say if it’s been upgraded succesfully or if it’s a purely integrated plugin right now).

      You are seeing the “Templates” directory, right?
      Then you should be able to right-click on a message in the list view and see a “Template” option in the menu that opens up (in my French-based interface it says “Modèles >”, just after “Convert to task”). Still nothing?

  • Hi Ywarnier:

    Thank you for the help. I have upgraded to 8.10 and it works fine for me now. Thank you.


    Mark P.

  • Hi, the %%sender_name%% in the mail does not seem to work for me. (evolution 2.28.1) Any ideas? Thanks!

    • Hi Lex, for some reason, the people higher above disabled this feature, reporting it was generating faults. We don’t have the control on that part. However, the .deb we are attaching to this post *should* still work with the current version of evolution. Now I’m not sure how it’s going to deal with two plugins having the same name, but I’ll leave that for you to try. I think you can find the thread about this in the gnome project’s bugzilla.

  • sorry guys, but comparing with Quicktext for Thundderbird this one lacks too many features. It would be better to have Quicktext for Evolution.

    • ywarnier
      16 May, 2010 at 5:09 pm  - 

      Hi Dmitry,

      Thanks for the info. We’re not discussing best tools here, only adding links to what people could find useful if they need them. I’m sure Quicktext is great and I will be sure to try it as soon as I get a chance.

  • Mike Robinson
    18 July, 2010 at 2:21 am  - 

    I actually found this searching for Quicktext for Evolution since I am currently using TB with the Quicktext plugin. I agree that it is far more advanced, but 2 things I would like to see in this plugin would be:

    1) I would like to have the option to leave the original message intact. That’s generally what “replying” is.

    2) I’m not sure if I have it misconfigured or what, but my template has HTML in it, but when replying with a template, it is converted to plain text. HTML templates should be inserted as HTML and plain text templates should be inserted as plain text.

    Other than this, good plugin.

    • Hi Mike,
      You’ll have to report these suggestions inside the Evolution’s bug tracking system as the module has been integrated upstream (with some backwards moves) and we’re not handling it anymore. Thanks for taking the time to report it here, anyway!

Comments are closed.