Alexander Bird Software • Blog

Learning to build useful, valuable software as part of a team.

Git commit message template

To train me to write better commit messages

Chris Beams writes in How to Write a Git Commit Message:

A properly formed Git commit subject line should always be able to complete the following sentence:

If applied, this commit will your subject line here

That sounds helpful, but I know I'll forget it. So I wrote a git commit template to prompt me:

Git commit templates:

Git docs for config commit.template

Specify the pathname of a file to use as the template for new commit messages.

Inside my git config

    template = ~/dotfiles/git-commit-template.txt


  # If applied, this commit will:
  # Your commit message will provide context for you and everyone else who reads it in the future.
  # Write it with care.
  # -> Separate subject from body with a blank line
  # -> Limit the subject line to 50 characters
  # -> Capitalize the subject line
  # -> Do not end the subject line with a period
  # -> Use the imperative mood in the subject line
  # -> Wrap the body at 72 characters
  # -> Use the body to explain what and why vs. how


When I run git commit, I'm prompted to complete the sentence If applied, this commit will... — I hope that will help me train myself to write more useful commit messages.

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Written 2019-03