Rmail has several commands that use Mail mode to send outgoing mail. See section Sending Mail, for information on using Mail mode, including certain features meant to work with Rmail. What this section documents are the special commands of Rmail for entering Mail mode. Note that the usual keys for sending mail---C-x m, C-x 4 m, and C-x 5 m---are available in Rmail mode and work just as they usually do.
The most common reason to send a message while in Rmail is to reply to
the message you are reading. To do this, type r
rmail-reply). This displays the `*mail*' buffer in another
window, much like C-x 4 m, but preinitializes the `Subject',
`To', `CC' and `In-reply-to' header fields based on the
message you are replying to. The `To' field starts out as the
address of the person who sent the message you received, and the
`CC' field starts out with all the other recipients of that
You can exclude certain recipients from being placed automatically in
the `CC', using the variable
value should be a regular expression (as a string); any recipient that
the regular expression matches, is excluded from the `CC' field.
The default value matches your own name, and any name starting with
`info-'. (Those names are excluded because there is a convention
of using them for large mailing lists to broadcast announcements.)
To omit the `CC' field completely for a particular reply, enter the reply command with a numeric argument: C-u r or 1 r.
Once the `*mail*' buffer has been initialized, editing and sending the mail goes as usual (see section Sending Mail). You can edit the presupplied header fields if they are not right for you. You can also use the commands of Mail mode (see section Mail Mode), including C-c C-y which yanks in the message that you are replying to. You can switch to the Rmail buffer, select a different message there, switch back, and yank the new current message.
Sometimes a message does not reach its destination. Mailers usually
send the failed message back to you, enclosed in a failure
message. The Rmail command M-m (
prepares to send the same message a second time: it sets up a
`*mail*' buffer with the same text and header fields as before. If
you type C-c C-c right away, you send the message again exactly
the same as the first time. Alternatively, you can edit the text or
headers and then send it. The variable
rmail-retry-ignored-headers, in the same format as
rmail-ignored-headers (see section Display of Messages), controls which
headers are stripped from the failed message when retrying it; it
Another frequent reason to send mail in Rmail is to forward the
current message to other users. f (
this easy by preinitializing the `*mail*' buffer with the current
message as the text, and a subject designating a forwarded message. All
you have to do is fill in the recipients and send. When you forward a
message, recipients get a message which is "from" you, and which has
the original message in its contents.
Forwarding a message encloses it between two delimiter lines. It also modifies every line that starts with a dash, by inserting `- ' at the start of the line. When you receive a forwarded message, if it contains something besides ordinary text--for example, program source code--you might find it useful to undo that transformation. You can do this by selecting the forwarded message and typing M-x unforward-rmail-message. This command extracts the original forwarded message, deleting the inserted `- ' strings, and inserts it into the Rmail file as a separate message immediately following the current one.
Resending is an alternative similar to forwarding; the
difference is that resending sends a message that is "from" the
original sender, just as it reached you--with a few added header fields
`Resent-from' and `Resent-to' to indicate that it came via
you. To resend a message in Rmail, use C-u f. (f runs
rmail-forward, which is programmed to invoke
if you provide a numeric argument.)
The m (
rmail-mail) command is used to start editing an
outgoing message that is not a reply. It leaves the header fields empty.
Its only difference from C-x 4 m is that it makes the Rmail buffer
accessible for C-c C-y, just as r does. Thus, m can be
used to reply to or forward a message; it can do anything r or f
The c (
rmail-continue) command resumes editing the
`*mail*' buffer, to finish editing an outgoing message you were
already composing, or to alter a message you have sent.
If you set the variable
rmail-mail-new-frame to a
nil value, then all the Rmail commands to start sending a
message create a new frame to edit it in. This frame is deleted when
you send the message, or when you use the `Don't Send' item in the
All the Rmail commands to send a message use the mail-composition method that you have chosen (see section Mail-Composition Methods).
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