MH & nmh: Email for Users & Programmers
A good way to try exmh is to send a message to yourself.
Here are the steps you take to do that:
Send yourself a few messages, or have a friend send you a few test
messages. You can use these test messages to practice moving
around in a folder and deleting messages. Make one of the messages
pretty long so you can practice scrolling through it. The
Section Reading MIME Messages
describes how to read these messages.
Click the Send button in the message buttons in the
exmh opens a new window containing the template for your
message. The built-in editor, sedit, starts out with the
insert cursor positioned at the end of the first empty header
line. Enter your user name after the To: field label.
If you want to send the message to more than one person, use a
comma to separate the names. The
Section Addressing Email
has more information.
Position the insert cursor on the next header field. You can do
this a few different ways. The most direct way is to click the
first mouse button where you want the cursor to be. There are
keyboard shortcuts, too. If you press <Tab>, the editor
takes you to the end of the next header field. You can also use
the arrow keys or the emacs-like bindings described in the
Section Editing Keys to move the
The next field is the Cc: field. People listed in
the Cc: field get a "courtesy" (or "carbon") copy of
the message. By convention, the message is primarily for the
people listed in the To: field, and the people in
the Cc: field are getting the message "for
information." In this case, you can leave the Cc: field
Press <Tab> to move the insert cursor to
the Subject: field. Enter a subject. The people who
receive your message will get an idea of what the message is
about from the subject, so take a moment to think of a good one.
For this test, type "exmh test message".
Make sure the header fields To:
through Subject: are acceptable. In particular, make
sure there are no blank lines between any of the header fields.
The mail system treats a blank line as meaning "end-of-header,"
so you don't want to prematurely end the header section. If you
have a blank line, position the insert cursor on it and use
Backspace to remove the empty line.
Position the cursor at the start of the message body. You can
use the mouse, or you can press <Tab> twice quickly. When
default MH message templates,
which are shown in the example, exmh places the cursor
right after the line of dashes.
Type in your message. When you type in a long message, the lines
wrap automatically at word boundaries. To get a blank line for
paragraph boundaries, press <Return>. Here's where you can
see how to cut and paste when editing your
message. The built-in editor supports several editing
commands based on the GNU Emacs key bindings. If you select
the Simple Edit menu entry under the
main Bindings menu, you bring up a dialog that lets you
view and edit the key bindings. The
Section Editing Commands
describes this dialog in more detail. The
Section Editing Keys gives a
complete listing of key bindings.
If you are happy with the message, click the Send
button at the top-right corner of the window. The Send
button turns grey, and the window disappears once the message
has been sent succesfully.
If you don't want to send the message, click the Abort
button instead. If you want to save the message draft and
continue to work on it later, click the Save&Quit
button. Section Using an
Existing Message as a Template describes working on a saved
This file is from the third edition of the book MH & xmh: Email
for Users & Programmers, ISBN 1-56592-093-7, by Jerry Peek.
It is freely available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free
Software Foundation. For more information,