Formatting Alert Emails in MOSS

Recently, I saw many how-to posts on forums where people asked for custom formatting of alert emails in MOSS 2007. I thought sharing it here will be a good idea.

SharePoint maintains the alert configuration in AlertTemplate.xml which can be found in the <12 hive>\XML folder.

In this file, there are <AlertTemplate> elements for each specific list type i.e. Document Library, News, Announcements etc. There is also an <AlertTemplate> section with type <SPAlertTemplate.GenericList>. This can be used to apply settings to all the lists.

To change the format of emails, one should update the <Format> Element of the specific list type.

To publish the changed file to Sharepoint, use the ever useful command STSADM

stsadm -o updatealerttemplates -url


5 Responses to Formatting Alert Emails in MOSS

  1. Daniel M says:


    Can the coding of an alerttemplates.xml be inserted into a regular email created by a workflow? If so how?

  2. naveedullah says:

    AlertTemplate.xml is not supposed to be used as the content of email. This is just a configuration file which the MOSS alert engine uses to format alerts

  3. Muzaffar Khan says:

    Is there a way I can create an alert for a user who has checked out a document and admin has done a “discard checkout” on the checked out document.

  4. Ahsun says:

    If alerttemplate.xml does not contain the content, then which file is used for it.
    I need to show alert information in the bpdy section of the email but could not get it

  5. Rahul Rashu says:


    If I want a disclaimer to appear in all alert emails sent by my site can i use this xml file?

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