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Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Mail Customisation


The Layout feature provides a simple means of changing the appearance of the web message archives for your group. For example you can change the default sorting order, or specify whether the various options when viewing archives are displayed in a text or graphical format. This feature is accessible via the 'Layout' option under the 'List Management' drop down menu within your List Managment area.


LISTSERV® templates provide a means to customise the look of pages on the web interface, or the text of messages sent to users of the group. You can access this feature from the 'Templates' option under the 'List Management' drop down menu on your List Management page.

Templates are divided into two categories called 'WWW' and 'Mail' templates (this classification should not be taken too literally as you will find some web templates appearing in the 'Mail' section).

The template page looks something like this:

Image: Templates

In the drop-down list of templates at the top of the page, a '(*)' indicates that the template has been modified before and the template name is contained in square brackets at the end.

You can alternate between WWW and Mail templates by clicking on the button 'Switch to xxxx Templates', and search for a template by typing in part of its name in the box provided and clicking on 'Refresh'.

Some of the more commonly customised templates are:

TOP_BANNER, BOTTOM_BANNER The contents of these templates are inserted at the top and bottom of every email distributed to the group. Examples of use could be copyright or legal info in the top banner, or instructions for leaving the group in the bottom banner. These templates are blank by default.
WWW_INDEX This contains the HTML used to generate the homepage for the group.
$SIGNUP1, SIGNUP1, ADD1 The contents of $SIGNUP1 is inserted into both SIGNUP1 and ADD1 and provides basic information on how to use the list. SIGNUP1 is sent when a user subscribes themself to a group and ADD1 when an owner adds a subscriber to the group.

For a full listing of templates and their purpose, see the LISTSERV Owner's Manual.

Note: Amending web templates does require some knowledge of HTML. You may also note the presence of special lines used by LISTSERV, such as lines beginning with '.IM' which instruct LISTSERV to insert the contents of another template into the current one.