Inkcite 1.18.3

Getting Started

Inkcite is the modular desin system for building modern, responsive email. Like Middleman is to static web sites, Inkcite enables #emailgeeks to use helpers (custom email components), variables, partials and conditionals to accelerate their email development workflow. Additionally, Inkcite provides easy ways to keep your code DRY (don’t repeat yourself) and to modernize email development using variables, versioning, testing, image optimization and code minification.


Inkcite is a Ruby gem. Ruby comes pre-installed on Mac OS X and Linux.

gem install inkcite

If you’re using Inkcite on Windows, try RubyInstaller.

Creating a New Project

Once Inkcite is installed, you will have access to the inkcite command. Create a new Inkcite email at your terminal or command prompt:

inkcite init MY_EMAIL

This will create a new sub-directory called MY_EMAIL and fill it with the source files for your new email project:

├── config.yml
├── helpers.tsv
├── images
|   └── The (uncompressed) images for your email in this
|       subdirectory.
├── images-optim
|   └── Created automatically by Inkcite if automatic
|       image optimization is enabled.
├── source.html
└── source.txt

Clone an Existing Inkcite Project

To clone an existing Inkcite email into a new project, you can use inkcite init new_project --from old_project. This will copy the source files and all of the images into the new destination project.

Start the Preview Server

Inkcite’s preview server gives you a live view of your email as you build it by modifying the source.html, source.txt, helpers.tsv and config.yml files. Change directories into your new project and start the server:

inkcite server

Open your browser to http://localhost:4567 to see your email as you build it. As you make changes to source.html, helpers.tsv, images or the other files in the project, your browser will automatically refresh to show the latest version.

Inkcite’s preview server provides a reasonable approximation of how your email will render in many modern email clients. Before you send, always test using Inkcite’s built-in email previews and compatibility testing.

During development, you can refer to your command prompt or terminal window to see important warnings (such as missing images or links).


A comprehensive tutorial on building a modern, responsive email using the Fluid-Hybrid method is available on the Inkceptional blog.