See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
------------------------------------------------------------ If you are viewing this text in a GNU Emacs Buffer, you can type "M-2 C-x $" to get an overview of just the questions. Then, when you want to look at the text of the answers, just type "C-x $". To search for a question numbered XXX, type "M-C-s ^XXX:", followed by a C-r if that doesn't work. Type RET to end the search. If you have w3-mode installed (see question 111), you can visit ftp and HTTP uniform resource locators (URLs) by placing the cursor on the URL and typing M-x w3-follow-url-at-point. The FAQ is posted in five parts; if you are missing a section or would prefer to read the FAQ in a single file, see question 22. ------------------------------------------------------------ Mail and News 138: How do I change the included text prefix in mail/news followups? If you read mail with Rmail or news with Gnus, set the variable mail-yank-prefix. For VM, set vm-included-text-prefix. For mh-e, set mh-ins-buf-prefix. For fancier control of citations, use Supercite. See question 105. To prevent Emacs from including various headers of the replied-to message, set the value of mail-yank-ignored-headers to an appropriate regexp. 139: How do I save a copy of outgoing mail? You can either mail yourself a copy by including a "BCC:" header in the mail message, or store a copy of the message directly to a file by including an "FCC:" header. If you use standard mail, you can automatically create a "BCC:" to yourself by putting (setq mail-self-blind t) in your .emacs file. You can automatically include an "FCC:" field by putting something like the following in your .emacs file: (setq mail-archive-file-name (expand-file-name "~/outgoing")) The output file will be in Unix mail format, which can be read directly by VM, but not always by Rmail. See question 141. If you use mh-e, add an "FCC:" or "BCC:" field to your components file. It does not work to put "set record filename" in the .mailrc file. 140: Why doesn't Emacs expand my aliases when sending mail? * You must separate multiple addresses in the headers of the mail buffer with commas. This is because Emacs supports RFC822 standard addresses like this one: To: Willy Smith <email@example.com> However, you do not need to -- and probably should not, unless your system's version of /usr/ucb/mail (aka mailx) supports RFC822 -- separate addresses with commas in your ~/.mailrc file. * Emacs normally only reads the ".mailrc" file once per session, when you start to compose your first mail message. If you edit .mailrc, you can type "M-x rebuild-mail-abbrevs RET" to make Emacs reread your ~/.mailrc file. * If you like, you can expand mail aliases as abbrevs, as soon as you type them in. To enable this feature, execute the following: (add-hook 'mail-setup-hook 'mail-abbrevs-setup) Note that the aliases are expanded automatically only after you type RET or a punctuation character (e.g. `,'). You can force their expansion by moving point to the end of the alias and typing "C-x a e" (M-x expand-abbrev). 141: Why does Rmail think all my saved messages are one big message? A file created through the FCC: field in a message is in Unix mail format, not the format that Rmail uses (BABYL format). Rmail will try to convert a Unix mail file into BABYL format on input, but sometimes it makes errors. For guaranteed safety, you can make the saved-messages file be an inbox for your Rmail file by using the function set-rmail-inbox-list. 142: How can I sort the messages in my Rmail folder? In Rmail, type "C-c C-s C-h" to get a list of sorting functions and their key bindings. 143: Why does Rmail need to write to /usr/spool/mail? This is the behavior of the "movemail" program which Rmail uses. This indicates that movemail is configured to use lock files. RMS writes: Certain systems require lock files to interlock access to mail files. On these systems, movemail must write lock files, or you risk losing mail. You simply must arrange to let movemail write them. Other systems use the flock system call to interlock access. On these systems, you should configure movemail to use flock. 144: How do I recover my mail files after Rmail munges their format? If you have just done rmail-input on a file and you don't want to save it in Rmail's format (called BABYL), just kill the buffer (with C-x k). If you typed M-x rmail and it read some messages out of your inbox and you want to put them in a Unix mail file, use C-o on each message. If you want to convert an existing file from BABYL format to Unix mail format, use the command M-x unrmail: it will prompt you for the input and output file names. 145: How can I force Rmail to reply to the sender of a message, but not the other recipients? Ron Isaacson <firstname.lastname@example.org> says: When you hit "r" to reply in Rmail, by default it CCs all of the original recipients (everyone on the original "To" and "CC" lists). With a prefix argument (i.e., typing "C-u" before "r"), it replies only to the sender. However, going through the whole C-u business every time you want to reply is a pain. This is the best fix I've been able to come up with: (defun rmail-reply-t () "Reply only to the sender of the current message. (See rmail-reply.)" (interactive) (rmail-reply t)) (add-hook 'rmail-mode-hook '(lambda () (define-key rmail-mode-map "r" 'rmail-reply-t) (define-key rmail-mode-map "R" 'rmail-reply))) 146: How can I get my favorite Emacs mail package to support MIME? Look at the Emacs MIME FAQ, maintained by MacDonald Hall Jackson <email@example.com> at http://bmrc.berkeley.edu/~trey/emacs/mime.html Version 6.x of VM supports MIME. See question 104. 147: How do I make Emacs automatically start my mail/news reader? To start Emacs in Gnus: emacs -f gnus in Rmail: emacs -f rmail A more convenient way to start with Gnus: alias gnus 'emacs -f gnus' gnus It is probably unwise to automatically start your mail or news reader from your .emacs file. This would cause problems if you needed to run two copies of Emacs at one time. Also, this would make it difficult for you to start Emacs quickly when you needed to. 148: How do I read news under Emacs? Use M-x gnus. It is documented in Info (see question 14). 149: Why doesn't Gnus work via NNTP? There is a bug in NNTP version 1.5.10, such that when multiple requests are sent to the NNTP server, the server only handles the first one before blocking waiting for more input which never comes. NNTP version 1.5.11 claims to fix this. You can work around the bug inside Emacs like this: (setq nntp-maximum-request 1) You can find out what version of NNTP your news server is running by telnetting to the NNTP port (usually 119) on the news server machine (i.e., "telnet server-machine 119"). The server should give its version number in the welcome message. Type "quit" to get out. Also see question 75 in this FAQ for some additional ideas. 150: How do I view news articles with embedded underlining (e.g., ClariNews)? Underlining appears like this: _^Hu_^Hn_^Hd_^He_^Hr_^Hl_^Hi_^Hn_^Hi_^Hn_^Hg Per Abrahamsen <firstname.lastname@example.org> suggests using the following code, which uses the underline face to turn such text into true underlining: (defun gnus-article-prepare-overstrike () ;; Prepare article for overstrike commands. (save-excursion (set-buffer gnus-article-buffer) (let ((buffer-read-only nil)) (goto-char (point-min)) (while (search-forward "\b" nil t) (let ((next (following-char)) (previous (char-after (- (point) 2)))) (cond ((eq next previous) (delete-region (- (point) 2) (point)) (put-text-property (point) (1+ (point)) 'face 'bold)) ((eq next ?_) (delete-region (1- (point)) (1+ (point))) (put-text-property (1- (point)) (point) 'face 'underline)) ((eq previous ?_) (delete-region (- (point) 2) (point)) (put-text-property (point) (1+ (point)) 'face 'underline)))))))) (add-hook 'gnus-article-prepare-hook 'gnus-article-prepare-overstrike) If you prefer to do away with underlining altogether, you can destructively remove it with M-x ununderline-region; do this automatically via (add-hook 'gnus-article-prepare-hook '(lambda () (ununderline-region (point-min) (point-max)))) 151: How do I save all the items of a multi-part posting in Gnus? Use gnus-uu. Type C-c C-v C-h in the Gnus summary buffer to see a list of available commands. 152: How do I make Gnus start up faster? From the Gnus FAQ (see question 158): Pranav Kumar Tiwari <email@example.com> writes: I posted the same query recently and I got an answer to it. I am going to repeat the answer. What you need is a newer version of gnus, version 5.0.4+. I am using 5.0.12 and it works fine with me with the following settings: (setq gnus-check-new-newsgroups nil gnus-read-active-file 'some gnus-nov-is-evil nil gnus-select-method '(nntp gnus-nntp-server)) 153: How do I catch up all newsgroups in Gnus? In the "*Newsgroup*" buffer, type the following magical incantation: M-< C-x ( c y C-x ) M-0 C-x e Leave off the "M-<" if you only want to catch up from point to the end of the "*Newsgroup" buffer. 154: Why can't I kill in Gnus based on the Newsgroups/Keywords/Control headers? Gnus will complain that the "Newsgroups:", "Keywords:", and "Control:" headers are "Unknown header" fields. For the "Newsgroups:" header, there is an easy workaround: kill on the "Xref" header instead, which will be present on any cross-posted article (as long as your site carries the cross-post group). If you really want to kill on one of these headers, you can do it like this: (gnus-kill nil "^Newsgroups: .*\\(bad\\.group\\|worse\\.group\\)") 155: How do I get rid of flashing messages in Gnus for slow connections? Set nntp-debug-read to nil. 156: Why is catch up slow in Gnus? Because Gnus is marking crosspostings read. You can control this with the variable gnus-use-cross-reference. 157: Why does Gnus hang for a long time when posting? David Lawrence <firstname.lastname@example.org> explains: The problem is almost always interaction between NNTP and C News. NNTP POST asks C News's inews to not background itself but rather hang around and give its exit status so it knows whether the post was successful. (That wait will on some systems not return the exit status of the waited for job is a different sort of problem.) It ends up taking a long time because inews is calling relaynews, which often waits for another relaynews to free the lock on the news system so it can file the article. My preferred solution is to change inews to not call relaynews, but rather use newsspool. This loses some error-catching functionality, but is for the most part safe as inews will detect a lot of the errors on its own. The C News folks have sped up inews, too, so speed should look better to most folks as that update propagates around. 158: Where can I find out more about Gnus? Look for the Gnus FAQ, available at http://www.miranova.com/~steve/gnus-faq.html ------------------------------------------------------------ Copyright 1994-1998 Reuven M. Lerner Copyright 1992-1993 Steven Byrnes Copyright 1990-1992 Joseph Brian Wells This list of frequently asked questions about GNU Emacs with answers ("FAQ") may be translated into other languages, transformed into other formats (e.g. Texinfo, Info, WWW, WAIS), and updated with new information. The same conditions apply to any derivative of the FAQ as apply to the FAQ itself. Every copy of the FAQ must include this notice or an approved translation, information on who is currently maintaining the FAQ and how to contact them (including their e-mail address), and information on where the latest version of the FAQ is archived (including FTP information). The FAQ may be copied and redistributed under these conditions, except that the FAQ may not be embedded in a larger literary work unless that work itself allows free copying and redistribution. ------------------------------------------------------------ People who helped with this version of the FAQ: Ethan Bradford <email@example.com>, William G. Dubuque <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Michael Ernst <email@example.com>, and Denby Wong <3dw16@qlink.QueensU.CA>.