How can I limit number of words in digest mail?


We have a small community forum running and digest is of course a great way to inform users about new topics. However, is there a way to limit the number of words for the topics that are shown. I have the feeling that the complete post is in the email, causing our members not to return to the forum because they can read everything in the mail.
Is there a way to just show the missed/popular topics without the real contents of the topic?

(Jeff Atwood) #2

Do you mean the summary? These are never complete posts, they are always capped.


I have mails in my inbox that are exact copies (content) of these topics, so one way or another it does gives me complete content of the most popular topics…

(Jeff Atwood) #4

Are you sure you are talking about the summary emails? Not some other email?

Maybe share a screenshot with us.


It’s the Summary mail (dutch = “samenvatting”).
These contains the exact content of the topic. See screenshot.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

Those topics aren’t at all long though – we do cap post content in the summary emails, just not at “super short”, which seems to be what you want? @neil can give you the exact numbers.


True, but in our case we want visitors to come to the forum and get teased by the new topics. So would be nice if we could say - show first 100 chars of a post, or just show the topics only.

(Christoph) #8

Couldn’t this be a site setting?

(cpradio) #9

Doesn’t turning on private email force it to only send Topic Titles? (no content?)

I also see this site setting, but did not look into where it is used (or how)
digest min excerpt length

(Neil Lalonde) #10

The summary email will show an excerpt, which is typically the first paragraph (more if the first paragraph is less than 100 chars). @stefandevo If you’re always seeing the entire post in the emails, can you point us to the topics so I can have a look?

The digest_min_excerpt_length setting isn’t used anywhere, so maybe it was used by mailing list mode…


Sure, you can register at
In attachment the screenshot of the latest digest mail with complete content.

(Neil Lalonde) #12

Seems to be following the rules I described above. This topic is one big paragraph, so it’s all in the summary email. The 2nd one in your screenshot is an excerpt, and the 3rd one is the entire post because it’s a single paragraph.


Ok, so a paragraph is defined as TWO enters then? Because I see some sentences that end with an Enter and continue on the next line. Only when you have an empty line, than this is a paragraph?

Maybe it would be a nice feature that you can define to just show the first 100 chars of a post with trailing … ?

(Neil Lalonde) #14

Yes, two enters is a new paragraph. What’s missing is that we aren’t shortening posts that are one big paragraph like your first example, but I think we should be.