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Rmail User's Manual

NOTE: The recommended mail reader in XEmacs is VM, which provides more flexibility than Rmail and stores mail in standard Unix-mail-format folders rather than in a special format. VM comes with its own manual, included standard with XEmacs.

XEmacs also provides a sophisticated and comfortable front-end to the MH mail-processing system, called `mh-e'.

This manual documents the Rmail mail reader under Emacs.

Rmail is an Emacs subsystem for reading and disposing of mail that you receive. Rmail stores mail messages in files called Rmail files. You read the messages in an Rmail file in a special major mode, Rmail mode, which redefines most letters to run commands for managing mail. To enter Rmail, type M-x rmail. This reads your primary mail file, merges new mail in from your inboxes, displays the first new message, and lets you begin reading.

Using Rmail in the simplest fashion, you have one Rmail file, `~/RMAIL', in which all of your mail is saved. It is called your primary mail file. You can also copy messages into other Rmail files and then edit those files with Rmail.

Rmail displays only one message at a time. It is called the current message. Rmail mode's special commands can move to another message, delete the message, copy the message into another file, or send a reply.

Within the Rmail file, messages are arranged sequentially in order of receipt. They are also assigned consecutive integers as their message numbers. The number of the current message is displayed in Rmail's mode line, followed by the total number of messages in the file. You can move to a message by specifying its message number using the j key (see section 2. Moving Among Messages).

Following the usual conventions of Emacs, changes in an Rmail file become permanent only when the file is saved. You can do this with s (rmail-save), which also expunges deleted messages from the file first (see section 3. Deleting Messages). To save the file without expunging, use C-x C-s. Rmail saves the Rmail file automatically when moving new mail from an inbox file (see section 4. Rmail Files and Inboxes).

You can exit Rmail with q (rmail-quit); this expunges and saves the Rmail file and then switches to another buffer. However, there is no need to `exit' formally. If you switch from Rmail to editing in other buffers, and never happen to switch back, you have exited. Just make sure to save the Rmail file eventually (like any other file you have changed). C-x s is a good enough way to do this.

1. Scrolling Within a Message  Scrolling through a message.
2. Moving Among Messages  Moving to another message.
3. Deleting Messages  Deleting and expunging messages.
4. Rmail Files and Inboxes  How mail gets into the Rmail file.
5. Multiple Mail Files  Using multiple Rmail files.
6. Copying Messages Out to Files  Copying message out to files.
7. Labels  Classifying messages by labeling them.
8. Summaries  Summaries show brief info on many messages.
9. Sending Replies  Sending replies to messages you are viewing.
10. Editing Within a Message  Editing message text and headers in Rmail.
11. Digest Messages  Extracting the messages from a digest message.

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