Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > IT Connect > Pine Information Center 
| Search Pine Information Center

Getting Started With Email Using Pine

Pine® is an electronic messaging program created and maintained by the Office of UW Technology at the University of Washington. To help support Pine, a starter version of this document was created in 1998 for Pine 4.0.

Contents

About Pine

Pine is a sophisticated, easy-to-use electronic mail (email) program that was created at the University of Washington. Pine offers:

About This Document

It's best to read this document at your computer while you use Pine. The text that follows does not document every Pine feature; it summarizes main options and basic guidelines. The best way to learn more about Pine is to explore it on your own. On-screen information and online help show you what to do. Try the different options and - most of all - have fun experimenting!

[Note: This document explains features found in Pine version 4. If you use a different version or if your system administrator has disabled certain features, some of the instructions will not work.]

Before You Start Pine

Before you start Pine, you need to get an account on a computer and log in. For details, see your local computer consultant.

Starting Pine

To start: The details of how to start Pine vary considerably from site to site. (For example, you might select Pine from a menu of choices or type pine as a command at the Unix system prompt.) Consult your local support staff for further inf ormation. After starting Pine, the Main Menu screen appears. Each Pine screen has a similar layout: the top line tells you the screen name and additional useful information, below that is the work area (on the Main Menu screen, the work area is a menu of options), then the message/prompt line, and finally the menu of commands.

To quit: When you want to leave Pine, press Q (Quit). For details, see "Quitting Pine and Logging Out."

The Main Menu

The Main Menu lists Pine's main options (see Figure 1). The key or keys you must type to enter your choice are to the left of each option or command name. You can usually type either uppercase or lowercase letters, and you do not need to press <Return>.

From the Main Menu you can choose to read online help, write (compose) and send a message, look at an index of your mail messages, open or maintain your mail folders, update your address book, configure Pine, and quit Pine. There are additional options listed at the bottom of the screen as well.

[Graphic of a Pine Main Menu Screen]
Figure 1. A Pine Main Menu Screen

Now that you know how to start Pine, you can explore on your own, or you can browse the rest of this document for a summary of Pine's main features.

Getting Help in Pine

To read the online help, use the Help command at the bottom of each screen. For example, at the Main Menu screen, press ? (Help). The help text is context- sensitive, meaning that you see only the help that relates to the Pine feature you are using. To exit the online help, press E (Exit Help).

Writing a Message in Pine

To write a message, press C (Compose). You see the Compose Message screen.

[Graphic of a Pine Compose Message Screen]
Figure 2. A Pine Compose Message Screen

In the command menu above, the ^ character is used to indicate the Control key. This character means you must hold down the Control key (written in this document as <Control>) while you press the letter for each command.

Different commands are available to you when your cursor is in different fields on this screen. To see additional commands available when your cursor is in the Message Text field, type <Control>G (Get Help). For example, to move around, use the arrow keys or <Control>N (Next line) and <Control>P (Previous line); to correct typing errors, use <Backspace> or <Delete>.

You might start experimenting in Pine by sending yourself a message. The following section shows you how.

Writing and Sending a Test Message to Yourself

To write and send a test message to yourself:

1. Press C (Compose). You see the Compose Message screen.

2. In the To field, type your email address and press <Return>.

3. In the Cc field, press <Return>.

4. In the Attachment field, press <Return>.

5. In the Subject field, type Test and press <Return>.

6. Below the Message Text line, type This is a test.

If Jean Hughes, whose userid is jhughes at site art.somewhere.edu, were to compose such a test message, the completed screen would look like the following example:

[Graphic of a Pine Compose Message Screen]
Figure 3. A Pine Compose Message Screen

7. To send your message, type <Control>X (Send).

You are asked:

  Send message?

8. Press y (yes) or press <Return>.

The message is sent and a copy is saved to your sent-mail folder. (If you press n (no) the message is not sent, and you can continue to work on it.)

You have just sent a basic message. There are, of course, other options you can use as you compose a message. A few are summarized in the next section, and complete information about options for the Compose Message screen is available in Pine's online help. As you compose a message, you can type <Control>G (Get Help) at any time to see details about your current task.

Hints for Writing a Message

To:
In this field, type the email addresses of your recipients. Separate the addresses with commas. When you are finished, press <Return>. Always check the addresses in both the To and the Cc fields for accuracy and completeness before you send a message.

Finding and Formatting Addresses. The best way to get a person's email address is to ask him or her for it. For more information on finding and formatting email addresses on local and remote computers, type <Control>G (Get Help) while your cursor is in the To field.

Using the Pine Address Book. In both the To and the Cc fields, you can enter a person's email address as shown above, or you can use an entry from your Pine address book.

Cc:
In this field, type the email addresses of the persons to whom you want to send copies. Separate their addresses with commas. When you are finished, or if you do not want to send any copies, press <Return>.

Attchmnt:
This is an advanced Pine feature that allows you to attach files, including word processing documents, spreadsheets, or images that exist on the same computer where you are running Pine. If you do not want to attach a file to your message, press <Return>. For more information, place your cursor in the Attchmnt field, then type <Control>G (Get Help).

Subject:
In this field, enter a one-line description of your message. Recipients appreciate a short, pertinent description, since this is what they see when they scan their index of messages. When finished, press <Return>.

Message Text:
Type your message. To move around, use the arrow keys. To delete a character, press <Backspace> or <Delete>. To delete a line, type <Control>K. To justify text, type <Control>J. (To immediately undelete a line or to unjustify text, type <Control>U). To check the spelling, type <Control>T. To see other editing commands, type <Control>G (Get Help).

Hints for Sending a Message

Sending a Message.
After your message is composed, type <Control>X, and then press y or press <Return>. Your message is sent and a copy is saved to the sent-mail folder. If a message cannot be delivered, it eventually is returned to you. If you want to re-send a message, you can use the F (Forward) command.

Changing Your Mind.
If you change your mind after typing <Control>X to send a message, press n instead of y to continue to work on your message. While you are writing your message, you can type <Control>O (Postpone) to hold your message so you can work on it later, or you can type <Control>C (Cancel) to delete your message entirely. You are asked to confirm whether or not you want to cancel a message.

Listing, Viewing, Replying to, and Forwarding Messages

Pine stores messages that are sent to you in your INBOX folder. Messages remain in your INBOX until you delete them or save them in other folders. (You will learn more about the INBOX and other folders in "Pine Folders".)

Listing Messages

To see a list of the messages you have received in your INBOX folder:

At the Pine Main Menu, press I (Message Index). The selected message is highlighted, as shown in the following example:

If you have any messages, they are listed as shown in the following example for the user named "jhughes."

If you want to list the messages in a folder other than your INBOX, see "Moving Between Folders".

[Graphic of a Pine Message Index Screen]
Figure 4. A Pine Message Index Screen

Viewing a Message

To view a message:

  1. At the Message Index screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the message you want to view.
  2. Press V (ViewMsg) or press <Return> to read a selected message.
    To see the next message, press N (NextMsg).
    To see the previous message, press P (PrevMsg)
    To return from your message to the Message Index, press I (Index).

Replying to a Message

To reply to a message that you have selected at the Message Index screen or that you are viewing:

Press R (Reply).
You are asked whether you want to include the original message in your reply. Also, if the original message was sent to more than one person, you are asked if you want to reply to all recipients. Think carefully before you answer - it may be that you want your reply to be sent only to the author of the message. Warning: It is always a good idea to check the list of addresses in the To and Cc fields before you send a message to see who will receive it.

Forwarding a Message

To forward a message that you have selected at the Message Index screen or that you are viewing:

  1. Press F (Forward). A copy of the message opens and the To field is highlighted.
  2. Enter the address of your recipient and send the message as usual. Note that you can modify the original message if you wish, for example, to forward only a portion of it or to add a message or notes of your own.

About Your Message Index Screen

The selected message is highlighted. The first column on the left is blank, or shows a "+" if the message was sent directly to you (i.e., it is not a copy or from a list). The second column may be blank, or it may contain:
"N" if the message is new (unread),
"A" if you have answered the message (using the Reply command),
"D" if you have marked the message for deletion. [Note: If you answer a message as well as mark it deleted (in either order), you only see the "D".]

The rest of the columns in the message line show you the message number, date sent, sender, size, and subject. For details, press ? (Help).

Most of the commands you need to handle your messages are visible at the bottom of the screen, and you can press O (OTHER CMDS) to see additional commands that are available. You do not need to see these "other commands" on the screen to use them. That is, you never need to press O as a prefix for any other command.

Pine Folders

Messages can quickly accumulate in your INBOX folder. If you use email often, you soon could have hundreds. You need to delete messages you do not want, and you can use folders to organize messages you wish to save. A folder is a collection of one or more messages that are stored (just like the messages in your INBOX) so you can access and manage them.

Organizing Messages With Folders

You can organize your email messages into different folders by topic, correspondent, date, or any other category that is meaningful to you. You can create your own folders, and Pine automatically provides three:

Keeping Folders Clean

Messages - whether they are in your INBOX or your other Pine folders - occupy storage space, and your storage space is limited.

Moving Between Folders

From almost anywhere in Pine, you can press L to see a collection list of your folders. Of course, the folder you are most often interested in is your INBOX folder, the folder that contains your new email messages. When you start Pine and press I (Index) at the Main Menu, you see a list of messages in your INBOX folder. If you want to see the messages in another folder, you need to go to that folder. The following text shows you two ways to go to another folder from nearly anywhere in Pine. To access your folders and the messages that are stored in them:

  1. Press L (ListFldrs). You see the Collection List screen with collections of folders. Typically each collection is shown in a way similar to the example below.

    [Graphic of a Pine Collection List Screen]
    Figure 5. A Pine Collection List Screen

  2. If it is not already highlighted, use the arrow keys to highlight the Mail line and press <Return>. You see an expanded list of folders, similar to the following, in which your current folder is highlighted.

    [Graphic of a Pine Folder List Screen]
    Figure 6. A Pine Folder List Screen

  3. Use the arrow keys or P and N to highlight another folder.
  4. To see an index of the messages in that folder, press > (you do not need to use your shift key - lower case works fine) or press <Return>.

[Note: This method of accessing folders uses the Folder List screen, which has a menu of commands that enable you to add, delete, rename folders, etc. If you simply want to move to and list the messages in another folder, try the method below.]

To move most quickly to the index of another folder:

  1. From almost anywhere in Pine, press G (GotoFldr).
    You are prompted for the name of a folder.
    [Note: If you have more than one folder collection defined, observe the prompt to make sure it is set for the desired collection (shown in brackets in the prompt). If the prompt is not set for the desired collection, type <Control>N (Next Collection) or <Control>P (Prev Collection) to select the desired collection.]
  2. Type the folder name and press <Return>, or simply press <Return> to choose the default folder shown in brackets in the prompt. If you are a beginner with Pine, you probably have not created additional folders yet. You will learn how in "Saving a Message to a Folder You Specify."
  3. You see the list of messages in that folder.

Adding a Folder

  1. Press L. You see the Collection List screen. Highlight the collection you want and press <Return>. You see a list of folders.
  2. To add a folder, press A. You are prompted for the name of a folder.
  3. Type the folder name and press <Return>. Your folder name appears. You might want to add a couple of test folders so you can practice deleting folders.

Deleting a Folder

To delete a folder and all of the messages it contains:

  1. Press L (ListFldrs). You see the Collection List screen.
  2. Highlight the collection you want and press <Return>. You see an expanded list of your folders in which your current folder is highlighted. (When you start Pine, the current folder is your INBOX. You cannot delete your INBOX.)
  3. Use the arrow keys or P and N to highlight the folder you wish to delete.
  4. To delete the entire folder of messages, press D (Delete). You are asked:
     Delete "folder"? 
    
  5. Press y (yes) if you want to delete the folder and all of its messages. The folder disappears.
[Warning: There is no way in Pine to undelete a deleted folder.]

Saving a Message

When you save a message to another folder, you are given a choice: you can store it in the saved-messages folder, or you can specify another folder. Once you save a message, the copy in your INBOX folder automatically is marked for deletion so that you only will have one copy. When you quit Pine, you are asked to confirm whether or not you want to expunge the copy from the INBOX folder. To conserve space, it is a good idea to do this.

Saving a Message to the Saved-Messages Folder

To save a message to your saved-messages folder:

  1. At the Message Index screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the message you want to save, or, at the Message Text screen as you view a message, press S (Save). You are asked if you want to save the message to the saved-messages folder or to another folder:
      SAVE to folder in <Mail...> [saved-messages]:
  2. Press <Return> to choose the default folder: [saved-messages]. Pine saves your message, and you see the following:
      [Message # copied to "saved-messages" in <Mail...> and deleted]
    
    

Saving a Message to a Folder You Specify

You will find it useful to create additional folders for storing messages on particular subjects. To save a message to a folder you specify:

  1. At the Message Index screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the message you want to save, or, at the Message Text screen as you view a message, press S (Save) to save a message. You are asked if you want to save it to the saved-messages folder or to another folder:
      SAVE to folder in <Mail...> [saved-messages]:
  2. Type a foldername and press <Return>. For example, to save a message to a folder named "papers" type papers and press <Return>. If this is the first time you have named this folder, you see the message:
      Folder "papers" in <Mail...> doesn't exist. Create?
    Press y or press <Return> to create the folder. Once you have created the folder, or whenever you type the name of a folder that already exists, you see a message like this one:
      [Message # copied to "papers" in <Mail...> and deleted]

Deleting a Message

You keep your Pine folders clean by routinely deleting messages you do not want. There are two steps to deleting a message: marking it for deletion and then expunging it. To mark a message you do not want for deletion:

  1. Select and open the folder that contains the message you wish to mark for deletion. If you are a Pine beginner, this message is probably in your INBOX folder. If the message you want to mark for deletion is in a folder other than your INBOX, see "Moving Between Folders".
  2. At the Message Index screen, select the message you want to mark for deletion, or simply view the message.
  3. Press D (Delete).
    If you are looking at the Message Index screen when you mark a message for deletion, a "D" appears in the left column of the message line, and the next message, if there is one, is selected. If you are looking at the Message Text screen when you mark a message for deletion, a "DEL" briefly appears in the upper right corner of your screen, you get an on-screen message that the message has been deleted, and the next message, if there is one, appears.

Repeat this process to mark additional messages for deletion.

Undeleting a Message

If you change your mind about a message you have marked for deletion, use the U (Undelete) command to remove the deletion mark any time before you expunge a message. Remember: After you expunge a message, Pine cannot get it back.

Expunging a Message

A message that is marked for deletion remains in Pine until you expunge it. You can expunge a message that is marked for deletion at any time, or you can wait until you quit Pine. Once you have a few messages marked for deletion, you may want to expunge them before you continue to work, because it is easier to look through an index that contains fewer messages. To expunge a message:

[Warning: Once you expunge a message, it is gone. Pine cannot get it back.]

  1. At the Message Index screen, press X (eXpunge). You are asked:
      Expunge # message(s) from "foldername"?
  2. Press y (yes) or press <Return>. Messages marked for deletion disappear.

[Note: You will be asked whether you want to expunge messages that are marked for deletion whenever you leave a folder (other than the INBOX) that contains messages marked for deletion, or when you quit your Pine session]

Using the Address Book

As you use email, you can build a list of your regular email correspondents in your Pine address book. At the Pine Main Menu, press A. You see the Address Book List screen. Your personal address book, .addressbook, will be highlighted. Press <Return>. You can use the address book to store email addresses for individuals or groups, to create easily remembered "nicknames" for these addresses, and to quickly retrieve an email address when you are composing a message. Here is a sample page from an address book:

[Graphic of a Pine Address Book Screen]
Figure 7. A Pine Address Book Screen

There are two ways to add addresses to your address book: you can add them manually or take them from messages. With either method, you specify nicknames for your correspondents. A single address book entry (or nickname) can point to just one email address, or, it can point to more than one. When it points to more than one, it is called a distribution list. Each distribution list has a nickname, a full name, and a list of addresses. These addresses may be actual addresses, other nicknames in your address book, or other distribution lists.

Adding Single Addresses or Distribution Lists Manually

To add single addresses or distribution lists manually:

  1. Have ready the address or addresses you want to add.
  2. At the Pine Main Menu, press A (AddrBook). You see the Address Book List screen, with .addressbook highlighted.
  3. Press <Return>.
    [Note: If you need general information about using the Pine address book, this is the best place to get it. Press ? (Help).]
  4. Press @ (AddNew) and follow the instructions.
    (Type <Control>G if you need help adding a new address.)

Taking Single Addresses

To take a single address from a message you are viewing or have selected in the index:

  1. At the Message Text or the Message Index screen, press T (TakeAddr).
    [Note: The T command is not visible on your screen unless you press O (OTHER CMDS), but you need not see this command to use it.]
    You see the Take Address screen. If there is more than one address to take, you see this message:
      [Single mode: Use "P" or "N" to select desired address]
    Use P (Prev), N (Next), or the up and down arrow keys to select the address you want, and press T (Take). At this point, or, if there is only one address to take, you see this message:
      Enter new or existing nickname (one word and easy to remember):
  2. Enter a nickname for your correspondent and press <Return>.
  3. Follow the instructions. (Type <Control>G if you need help.)

Taking Multiple Addresses to Build a Distribution List

To take multiple addresses from a message you are viewing or have selected in the index:

  1. Press T (TakeAddr).
    [Note: The T command is not visible on your screen unless you press O (OTHER CMDS), but you need not see this command to use it.]
    You see the Take Address screen and the following message:
      [Single mode: Use "P" or "N" to select desired address]
  2. Press L (ListMode).
  3. For each address you want to take, use P (Prev), N (Next), or the up and down arrow keys to select it, and then press X (Set/Unset) in the box to its left.
  4. Press T (Take). You see the following message:
      Enter new or existing nickname (one word and easy to remember):
  5. Enter a nickname for your list of correspondents and press <Return>.
  6. Follow the instructions. (Type <Control>G if you need help.)

Changing a Single Address or a Distribution List

To change a single address or a distribution list:

  1. At the Pine Main Menu, press A (Address Book) and then press <Return>. You see your personal Address Book screen.
  2. Use the arrow keys to select the single address or distribution list you want to change.
  3. Press > (View/Update).
  4. Press U (Update), then use arrow keys to get to the field where you want to make a change. Follow the instructions.
    (Type <Control>G if you need help.)

Using Address Book Entries When Composing Email

When composing a message, at the To or the Cc (Carbon Copy) fields you can enter an email address in any of the following ways:

Printing Messages

Pine provides three options for printing (the one you use depends on the computer and printer you are using), which are explained later in this section. First, see if you can print a message using the following method. If your message prints, you may not need to read about Pine's other printing options.

Printing an Email Message

To print a message:
  1. From either the Message Index screen or the Message Text screen, press % (Print). You are asked to confirm your choice.
  2. Follow the instructions. Type <Control>G if you still need help.

If your message prints, fine. If your message does not print, you need to learn about Pine's three options for printing. The following text and Pine's online help may be all you need to print your messages. If you have any questions or need help setting the Pine printing option, contact your local computer consultant.

Pine's Printing Options

Pine has three printing options, which are available under S (Setup), P (Printer) on Pine's Main Menu screen. Here is a brief description of each.
  1. Printing Using a Printer Attached to PC or Macintosh
    By default, Pine assumes you have a desktop computer attached to a printer. If you do, you should be able to print messages using this method. See your local computer consultant if you need help.
  2. Printing Using a Standard Unix Print Command
    If you are using a Unix workstation, select this option as your printing method for Pine. Using this option may require setting your "PRINTER" or "LPDEST" environment variable using the standard Unix utilities. See your local computer consultant if you need help.
  3. Printing Using a Personally Selected Print Command
    See your local computer consultant if you need help.

Pine Can Do More

Pine has other useful features that have not been covered in this introductory document. Although originally designed for novice email users, Pine has evolved to support many advanced features. It has become an easy-to-use program for sending, receiving, and filing Internet electronic mail messages and bulletin board (USENET) messages including multimedia attachments. There is also a PC version of Pine (see http://www.washington.edu/pine/getpine/pcpine.html). Both Pine and PC-Pine are designed for use with IMAP mail servers (see http://www.imap.org/). If you would like to learn more about Pine: Your local system managers may have customized Pine to suit specific needs, and they may or may not offer all of Pine's ever-growing set of configuration and personal-preference options. Thus, your local system managers are a good source of information about additional Pine features.

Guidelines for Using Email

Electronic mail is a unique medium of communication. Messages can be replied to or forwarded with speed and ease, and email has the potential to reach a wide audience. These features can also be misused. There are a few basic guidelines for the responsible use of email that can help you avoid common mistakes while you enjoy the full benefits of this technology.

The privacy of an email message cannot be guaranteed. An email message may be forwarded, printed, or permanently stored by any recipient. Email can be misdirected, even when you are careful. Do not put something in an email message that you would not want read by everybody. And if you receive a message intended for someone else, let the sender know.

Email does not show the subtleties of voice or body language. Avoid attempts at irony or sarcasm. The most effective email is short, clear, and relevant. If you receive a message that makes you upset, do not respond immediately, and in any case, avoid "flaming," that is, sending an angry or rude message.

Email Tips

As you use email, keep the following tips in mind:

Quitting Pine and Logging Out

To quit Pine:
  1. At almost any place in Pine, press Q (Quit). You are asked:
    Really quit pine?
  2. Press y (yes) or press <Return> to quit.
It is a good idea to log off your computer whenever you are through with it or when you must leave it unattended.


© Copyright 1998 University of Washington. All Rights Reserved. Pine® is a registered trademark of the University of Washington. Permission to use this document for non-commercial purposes, in original or modified form, is granted, provided that the original source of the document is acknowledged as University of Washington Office of UW Technology and that this footnote, as well as the notice at the top of this page, are retained on the title page of any documentation based on this text.



| Search Pine Information Center