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How Do I


Address Book
Backing up/moving The Bat
Dates and Sorting
Discussion/Mailing Lists
Filters and filtering
Kludges and headers
Spell Checking


Address Book

Copy a contact to another address book group? It seems to move it instead of copying it.

To place the same contact into multiple address book groups, do the following:

  • Right-click on the contact
  • Select 'Properties'
  • Click the ellipsis button (...) next to the 'Groups' field on the 'General' tab.
  • Put a checkmark in the box of each group you want this contact to appear in.

The nice thing about this feature, is that you only have to change one contact's entry, and all the rest will be automatically updated. However, if the contact has different entries depending on which group they are in, then you will need to create a new/separate contact entry for that group.

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What is the optimal dimensions for a photo to be used in the address book?

120 x 144 JPEG.

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Backing up/moving The Bat

How should I back up The Bat! to move to a new machine or a reformatted hard drive?

First, copy the entire C:\Program Files\The Bat! folder (or whatever folder you put it in) to your backup medium. Next open the registry by running regedit.exe. Navigate down the folders in regedit to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\RIT\The Bat!. While this key is highlighted, select Registry from the menu, then Export Registry File. Give it a name, and save it to the backup medium as well.

On the new machine or reformatted hard drive, reinstall The Bat! However, when you get the the section that asks you to set up an account, exit the installation. Now copy over the new install of The Bat with the backup you made. Then double-click the registry key you exported, and answer YES to the question about installing the key.

Start The Bat! normally, and you should have your original set-up back.

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I'm missing some folders. How do I get them back?

With the account selected that is missing folders, simultaneously press the  CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-L keys. This will force The Bat! to search for all folders.

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I want to move The Bat! to another folder or drive.

Close The Bat!, then move the The Bat! folder to the new directory or drive, then open the registry by running regedit.exe, and navigate down to HKEY_CURRENT_USERS\Software\RIT\The Bat!\Users Depot and change the path (and drive if necessary) to the new location. Then navigate up to the The Bat! key and also change the attachments path.

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Dates and Sorting

How come some messages only show the time received and others show the time and date?

To easily distinguish between messages received on the current day as opposed to ones say, yesterday, they only show the time in the received column. Don't worry though, your messages will be properly sorted.

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Discussion/Mailing Lists

Set up a discussion list like the one you had for TBUDL using The Bat!?

The Bat can be configured by way of filters and macro enhanced templates to emulate a list server. Depending upon how complex you wish to get, TB does this job very well.

Click here to find out everything you need to know in a step-by-step process.

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Can The Bat!! export *all* messages from a (sub)folder to *one* text file?

Tools | Export | Unix Mailboxes. This exports into a single text file.

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I've exported messages to .MSG, how do I get Outlook Express to read them?

Rename *.msg to *.eml and open it in OE.

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Reorganize my folders?

There are three ways to do this depending on what exactly you want to do.

  1. Alphabetically / by # of new messages / by # of total messages: To reorganize your folders to any of these three sorts, just click the header at the top of the respective column. e.g. to sort by # of new messages, click the header 'New'.
  2. Move a folder within the same hierarchy: Click on the folder to move and while still holding down the mouse button, also hold down the ALT key. Drag the folder to its new location.
  3. Move a folder to within another folder (make it a subfolder): Click on the folder to move and while still holding down the mouse button, also hold down the CTRL and ALT keys. Drag the folder on top of the folder you want it to reside in.

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How come I can't use my favorite font in The Bat!?

Currently, The Bat! only supports fixed width fonts (like Courier New). This is an item on the wish list, and possibly support for non-fixed width fonts will appear in version 2.

For now, you can go here to look at some fixed-width fonts that you might like:


However, the below fix might work for you until support is added, but be forewarned that this is not a supported action:

If you absolutely need variable-width fonts, you can go and manually edit your registry, in particular, these sections of it:

HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\RIT\The Bat!\Editor\Font
HKEY_USERS\.Default\Software\RIT\The Bat!\Rich Text

If you manually edit the name of the font to be used, The Bat! will obey... But be advised, that if, for example, you enter "Arial", you'll hardly manage to read anything :-)

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Can I import messages into The Bat! from Forte Agent?

In Agent, mark the messages to be exported and choose "Save messages as.." Be sure to mark the following options:
[x] save raw message
(x) UNIX message file
(x) all fields

In TheBat, choose the folder where you want the messages imported, and do "Tools / Import Messages / From UNIX mailboxes" <german> (oder "Werkzeuge / Nachrichten importieren / UNIX Mailboxen" wenn du deine Fledermaus deutsch bedienst)</german>

There are two drawbacks:

  • You have to do it for each folder in agent
  • You lose the date information in 'sent' messages, because they
    lack a 'Date:' header field

If you have many folders with 'sent' messages, download this Perl script that creates a 'Date:' header field (the date information is there, but not where TheBat expects it.)

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Can I import folders and addressbooks from Pegasus?

  1. Download Mail System Converter (filename mailconv.zip) from http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~stephenk/pegasus.htm or send a message to listserv@sol.ftp.com with subject "MAILCONV" (without quotes) (NB: the latter way wasn't checked by me...)
  2. Install the program
  3. Using it, convert your Pegasus mailboxes to Eudora format  (which is the same as Unix mailbox format) and your Pegasus Addressbooks to "Eudora V2 Nicknames" format
  4. Launch The Bat! and import the resulting folders as Unix mailboxes and the resulting Addressbooks as "Eudora Addressbooks".
  5. Enjoy.

Problems: due to a longstanding bug in The Bat! (still present in   1.31) concerning Quoted Printable in headers, only the purely 7-bit header fields (like Subject: ones) will be imported properly; those that have 8-bit symbols in it will be imported too, but all the blanks in them will be interpreted as underscores by The Bat! There is no workaround to this problem.

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Kludges and headers

What exactly are "Kludges"?

It's FIDO slang for message headers.

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Are macros recursive?

Yes! For example, you can do this:
%SUBJECT="Replying to your message dated %ODATE, at %OTIME"

This will create a reply with a subject looking like this:
"Replying to your message dated June 10, 1999, at 1200"

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How do I add The Bat! version on such and such platform version to the bottom of all my messages?

Add this macro to the bottom of the message template:


Of course, change the actual computer information to that of your own computer.

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What are the language IDs for the %Language macro?

American English
Australian English
British English
French Canadian
Norsk Bokmal
Norsk Nynorsk
Portuguese Brazil
Portuguese Iberian

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Mailto: (browser)


Create a mailto link?

Some forms of mailto :

A good majority of e-mail client software have problems if you put spaces between the words that you specify for the subject or message body etc. For example:

mailto:ldgregory@pcwize.com?subject=Hi Leif

Some e-mail clients would drop the 'Leif'. Click here to see if yours supports it.

That's why I use an underscore character "_" to delimit my text. In a URL, it becomes invisible as the URL is underlined anyway.

This is the same mailto as a hyperlink. Notice the underscore is almost invisible.


Another way to set up spaces is to use "%20" between the words. The problem with this is that not all e-mail client software will recognize this and may confuse the person who clicks on it. TB does support this convention. An example would be:

You aren't limited to just specifying a subject header, you can have it show up in the body as well. e.g. mailto:ldgregory@pcwize.com?body=Hi%20Leif

You can also specify the TO header like this: mailto:ldgregory@pcwize.com?TO=Hi_Leif

You can also write it like this, but I don't know why you'd do that:

The correct short form version is:

Here's the way to specify the Carbon Copy (CC) field: mailto:ldgregory@pcwize.com?CC=Hi_Leif

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Make The Bat! the default mailer for Netscape?

  1. Download nsproto.exe (1.1 MB)
  2. Install and execute
  3. Make new protocol
  4. Application: c:\program files\the bat!\thebat.exe
  5. Template: mailto:%a
  6. Save as: mailto
  7. Register

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Make The Bat! the default mailer for Opera?

  • Go to Opera Preferences / Mail under external mail application.
  • Enter this string: "C:\Program Files\The Bat!\thebat.exe" mailto:

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Error "Message base garbage detected" Broken data is saved to C:\Program Files\The Bat!\Mail\info\inbox\badxxxx.tmp. Please contact your technical support about repairing the message base!

Go here to download the repair utility:

Note: This doctor does not fix message bases with a password.

Unzip the program from the .zip file. Calling it in a DOS box without parameters gives you this:

Usage: MBREPAIR <BrokenMsgBase.MSB> <RepairedUnixMBox>

So, to repair a broken .MSB file copy it to a working folder and call:

MBREPAIR broken.MSB repaired.MSG

If that worked, goto The Bat!, delete the broken folder and recreate it, then Use Tools | Import | From Unix to recover your mails.

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Formatting text

When I add or delete words in a paragraph, the lines don't automatically wrap to keep the paragraph formatted. How do I format the paragraph again?

Place your cursor somewhere inside the paragraph and press Alt-L, Alt-C, Alt-R, Alt-J for Left Justify, Centered, Right Justified, Justified respectively. In the current version (1.46), if you place the cursor inside the paragraph with the mouse, you must hit one of the arrow keys at least once to get the whole paragraph to reformat, otherwise it will only format the one line your cursor is on.

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How do I turn off the reading confirmation?

If you mean incoming mail:
Check your settings under Folder/Properties/Confirmation. Uncheck everything and choose Action: Ignore.

If you mean outgoing mail:
Account/Properties/Templates/New Message. Uncheck the new choices on the bottom/right.

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Is it possible to edit/change the headers of a message?

Export the message (MSG format or UNIX mailbox), edit the headers in any editor, then import it back.

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I tried to delete a message, but it won't let me.

There is a column in the message pane which has a blue box with a white 'P' in it. This is used to "Park" a message so you don't accidentally delete or move it. Click on the park icon next to the message you are trying to delete. When it is gone, then delete your message normally.

Another case of this is in the outbox where the "park" function is actually a "Draft" function. This icon looks like an hourglass on top of a piece of paper. First click on the draft icon next to the message. When it disappears, delete the message as normal.

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Make it so my sig gets cut off when someone replies to my message.

You need to put the following text (without the quotes)-- in your message templates --directly above the part of your sig that you want to be automatically removed when someone replies to you:

"-- "

That is a <dash><dash><space>. The space must follow the two dashes or it will not work. Please remember than all text below the "-- " will be removed after a reply, so don't put any of the text macros like %TEXT or %QUOTES below it. Also note that you can not put any other text on the same line as the "-- " because it wont format the trailing space correctly.

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Create multi-lined sigs-cookies

If you'd like to create a sig such as this:

When planets run around in circles, we say they are orbiting.
When people do it, we say they are crazy.

Then your cookie line needs to look like this:

When planets run around in circles, we say they are orbiting\nWhen people do it, we say they are crazy.

Notice the \n which is for a newline.

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Error "This version of PGP requires an Administration Preferences file..."

When I try to sign or encrypt a message, I get the following error:
This version of PGP requires an Administration Preferences file. This file is either corrupt or not present on your computer. Please contact your Security Administrator.

PGP is trying to open a file called pgp_admin.prf. You must create this (empty) file and save it in your PGP directory. Then it will work without any error message.

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Print messages to a file as opposed to actually printing it out on paper?

  • Under Windows, click the  START button  | Settings | Printers | Add printer
  • Manufacturer : Generic
  • Brand : Generic/Text only
  • Associate port: FILE

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Print a range of pages? The option is grayed out!

The option is grayed out only if the message consists of a single page. If the message is two pages long or more, it wouldn't be grayed.

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How do you re-dock the Quicksearch toolbar?

  1. Move your floating Quicksearch toolbar - roughly to the position the top toolbar. Then CLOSE DOWN The Bat.
  2. Run Regedit
  3. Browse down to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\RIT\The Bat!\Toolbars\tbSearch
  4. Double click on DockedTo - and change the "+" entry to "MsgDock"
  5. Close down Regedit
  6. Restart TheBat - and the Quicksearch toolbar should be located at the top of the folder list.

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How do I get and install a certificate?

Here's a nicely done step-by-step tutorial written by Ulrich Peters. This certainly works with certificates acquired through Thawte, but the steps should be similar for other certificate issuing authorities.

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Spell Checking


How can I turn off automatic spell-checking?

In the message editor window, go to 'Spell Checker' and uncheck 'Automatic checking'.

One more suggestion: Delete the 'speller' directory from "C:\Program Files\The Bat!" or whatever directory you've installed The Bat! into... This will speed up dramatically the appearance of the message editor window (but you won't be able to use any spellcheck in The Bat! if you do so).

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How does it work / What is CSAPI?

CSAPI stands for "Common Speller API".

The CSAPI is intended for use by all Microsoft applications, which include spell-checking. CSAPI is currently provided by many vendors and is used by Microsoft Office family and many other applications. The CSAPI engine is not shipped inside The Bat! installation package, but if you have Microsoft Office installed, The Bat! does automatically detect the presence of CSAPI and uses it. The major advantage of CSAPI is good support of multiple languages. Available CSAPI dictionaries are displayed in "Language" submenu of "Spell Checker" menu below a horizontal splitting line. The absence of a splitting line in "Language" submenu indicates that no CSAPI engine is installed on your computer.

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Delete all messages in a thread


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