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Problems with editing subjectline in templates, A given subject can not be edited to siute my needs
Hello Everyone,

I would like to ask something  :D

why is it still that way, that when you define a subject in a template of a mail that you can´t edit the subject afterwards to suite your needs like it was possible in version 1.x.this feature was never fixed until today and people always told me that it has to be that way. but it is a reduction in functionality and freedom of use.

lets say we create a template with the subject:

Congratulations, you just won my auction with the item: xxx

In version 1.x it was always possible to fill in the item at the xxx point - so to edit a part of the subject and send it that way instead of the predefined one.

in version 2-3 the edited part is just overwritten when you change to the body part meaning after exchanging xxx with 2187263218 it is replaced with xxx again?!

I received several answeres on this subject in the past. But is it really so complicated to make templates more individually useable.

I mean the body part is editable even if you have some standard frases set in it - or is it not?

or maybe I´m just using the wrong function. Please gurus tell me how to handle this!


This may seem like a bug or change or an 'annoying behaviour, but it is none of these. It is a feature with a functional purpose.

When you complete the header section and move the cursor to an unmodified message body, TB will re-evaluate the primary recipient and re-invoke the source template.

If that template include a %SUBJECT= macro, it too will be re-evaluated.

You have options here:

1) you could use the MyMacros user input macro to prompt for the subject completion text in real time.

2) you could modify the body of the message slightly before completing the subject line.

3) (my favourite) you could create a Quick Template with the handle 'esub' like this:

%SUBJECT="Congratulations, you just won my auction with the item: %clipboard"

then, start your new message, click into the body, highlight the text you wish to use and copy it to the clipboard. Type esub <ctrl+space> and that should do it
dear marck,

first of all it does not only seem so but is a change to previous versions. i have a working copy of the bat 1.5x were it is handled correctly.

About your favourite option:
this is not working for me. I can only copy to the clipboard what is already in my body according to your solution.

but since I don´t reply to a message but instead create a new message there is no reference to an article number in the body. the body was created by me and has i.e.

hello bidder,



and nothing more in it.

But to make it easier.
what about having a subject like:

This is mail 1 of x mails I´m going to send you.

How can you call it a feature not making it possible to replace the x with the number I want by hand?

I really don´t except that it is a feature not to be able to edit a predefined subject and that is what ritlabs was used to tell me over the past years.
And it was also handled differently in past versions.

Sorry but I´m a littlebit set up about this misfunction that is picking on me for a long time niw and people telling me this is a great thing.



Try the modifyonce macro, that one's invented just for this. From the help:
MODIFYONCE(header1, header2, ... ) Prevents multiple modifications of particular headers by re-applying of the same template. A template may be re-applied many times while the textual body of a new message stays unchanged in the message editor. In some cases, it is needed to preserve values of some headers if they were already set or changed by the user (for example, when a template sets the subject using %SUBJECT="..." macro and it is expected that the subject will be modified manually; %MODIFYONCE(Subject) should be used). Note tha t this macro should be used before any header modification
I'm just a user of The Bat! I don't work for Ritlabs.
r. starke wrote:
How can you call it a feature not making it possible to replace the x with the number I want by hand?

It is a change, sure, but a change generally for the better. Not for what you're trying to achieve, sure, but try to understand the purpose...

If you change who you are writing to, it is great that the message is now reformatted according to any (newly relevant) template changes, the greeting line is changed and so on. V1.x would never have done this.

But, in your case, it is getting in the way. I have a few instances where I have the same problem.

Roelof has suggested an even better workaround with the MODIFYONCE macro. I must try that out myself. Not having used it before, I didn't think to suggest it.

In scenario 3 I left out "type the text you want added to the subject line and ..."

I did say that simply modifying the body text before setting the subject would work. It does. Did you try?
How awsome, this really did the job, finally after almost 2 Years :D

Roelof <- Waves to you!

But Marck, I would like to talk about the change from 1.c to 2.x a bit more, making this workaround needed.

For me I can say, yes it is a nice feature, when the E-Mailclient has the possibility to change the subject or address according to the recipient typed in.

But as you explain it, the subject is not editable because i might change my mind who is this recipient in the middle of the mail.

If I want to write to somebody I open a template.
If I decide I want to write to a different person I open a different template or a new mail.

But I might want to change the subject (even if preconfiured by the template) every time!

I really think that priorities are set wrong in this case.

But any way - thank you for the fine workaround!


It's not about "in the middle of the mail".

This all goes on right at the top. When you complete the headers and move to the body. That's the point at which the template is evaluated.

Once you are "in the middle", no changes to the headings will make any difference. You can change the subject or address and it will stick. I did say this.

My templating system is heavily address book driven. Folder templates have inherent dangers and I have always avoided them. So, when I set a recipient address, as long as the body is unmodified, the template is parsed.

I can go back, select a different recipient (I chose the wrong "Nick") and my message format changes from 'Nick' (my close personal friend, who gets a very personal greeting and a "love from" as a signature) to Nick the CEO of my major client (who gets my pro sig).

This is an absolute life saver.

Once I have started editing the message, it's too late ... no amout of tweaking the recipient will make the template start over.

As for subjects... I have very few (if any) templates that set a subject. They all set greetings, quote formats and signatures.

Now the %MODIFYONCE makes the issue you were struggling with regarding making the subject line predefinition stick this is the best answer for all of us.

I really do believe that, despite the issues it created for one aspect of your particular use of The Bat!, this particular change in functionality is Good News;)
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