ExpressionEngine® User Guide

Legacy Documentation

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Control Panel Location: Developer ‣ Utilities ‣ Communicate

The Communicate tab in the Control Panel provides access to the email sending part of the system. Email can be sent in plain text or HTML format, and supported email sending protocols are SMTP, Sendmail, and PHP mail.


In the Settings area of the Control Panel you’ll find the Outgoing Email page.

Permission Restrictions

  • Access Tools sections: Utilities
  • Access Tools sections: Communicate


Email Subject

The subject of the email that is to be sent. The field may not contain any HTML or PHP. This is a required field.

Email Body

The message of the email that is to be sent. If you wish to send an HTML formatted email message to the recipients of this email, the HTML will be put in this field. Remember to use absolute URLs for any images, CSS files, javascript files, or links. This is a required field.

send as

How the email’s message should be formatted. Options include:

  1. Plain Text: The message will be sent as plain, unformatted text.
  2. Markdown: The message will be converted from Markdown to HTML before being sent.
  3. HTML: The message will be sent in HTML format and will be rendered in compatible email applications. You must submit your email as a complete HTML document if you choose this format. Note that not all email applications will correctly display HTML formatted emails, HTML emails are more likely to be flagged as spam, and that many people prefer not to receive such emails.


If you choose to send your email in the HTML Format, an optional field will appear allowing you specify a Plain Text Alternative to the HTML email. This allows email clients who have HTML email disabled or unavailable to still view the email in a form that is still easily readable, opposed to be the original HTML email with all tags stripped.

word wrap

If word wrapping is on, the content of your message will automatically be given line breaks to insure that each line’s length does not exceed a certain number of characters. Email programs that do not automatically wrap lines or insert their own line breaks will then be able to better view emails. 72 characters per line is considered the email standard.


Word wrapping affects only plain text emails.

Your email

The email address which you wish to have set as the reply-to for the email. This is a required field and the structure of the email address will be checked before the email is sent.


Attach a file to the email. These attachments are not saved after sending.

Primary recipient(s)

The email address of the recipient. When sending to multiple addresses, please separate each address with a comma (ex:, If you are sending this email to a member group or mailing list (see below), then you may leave this field blank. However, you may also fill it out and thus include more emails than just the ones in the member group or mailing list. Before sending the email, the program will check and remove all duplicate email addresses to ensure that multiple emails are not sent to the same user.

CC recipient(s)

Carbon Copy. Recipients you wish to send a copy to. Multiple emails must be separated by commas.

BCC recipient(s)

Blind Carbon Copy. Recipients to whom you wish to send a copy of this email but do not wish them to see who else received this email via BCC. Useful for keeping addresses and other recipients unknown to the main recipients of an email. Multiple emails must be separated by commas.

Add member group(s)

If you wish to send your email to one or more Member Groups you may do so by selecting them.