In order to format emails or web pages created by PonyExpress, you will create separate template files. There are two types of templates used with PonyExpress: email templates and file templates.

All the templates are plain text files, so if you create them in more advanced word processors like MS Word, make sure to save them as plain text. Also, since Windows applications may append file extensions invisibly, make sure you rename the file once it is on the server so that it does not have any three-letter extension (e.g., .txt).

.message templates

The admin.message template is used to format the email message sent to the form owner. Without this template, email will be sent as a list of form fields and their values, whereas the template allows you to format the message any way you wish. Similarly, the visitor.message template formats mail sent to the person filling out the form. The visitor.message template is required if you wish to reply to the visitor; these replies cannot be sent as unformatted lists.

In both templates, you simply compose the message as you want it to appear. This will look exactly like the sent message, with one important exception: any variable names you include in square brackets [ ] will be substituted with the corresponding variables from your form. For example:

[fullname] submitted the following information:
[city], [state] [zip]

He/she has ordered [amount] [product](s), and will pay by [payment_method].

Once a visitor has filled out the form using this hypothetical template, the form owner would receive the following email:

John Smith submitted the following information:
13 Nowhere Ln.
APT #4
Boston, MA 02234

He/she has ordered 7 tumbleweed(s), and will pay by check.