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Commands for Message Handling

Most message handling (as opposed to composing) is performed in the MESSAGE TEXT and FOLDER INDEX screens, so that is where most of the following commands are active.

Export and Save Commands

Export: E and Save: S are the two alternatives Pine gives you to keep a copy of the message you are reading. If you want to keep the message within Pine's folder collection(s), use "save"; if you want to use the message in another program, use "export". Pine uses a special format for its mail folders -- never edit a Pine folder by hand or with any program other than Pine, unless you know exactly what you are doing; it is also advisable to make a "backup copy" of any Pine folder you manipulate outside of Pine first.

When you save a message, it is put into an existing folder or into a new folder in one of your existing folder collections. The message stays in email format and can be read by Pine again. The exact behavior of the save command can be configured with the save-will-quote-leading-froms, save-will-not-delete, and save-will-advance feature settings.

When you use export, the file is placed in your home directory or current working directory (see the use-current-dir configuration setting).

The Export command reacts to the full header mode toggle. If the full header mode is on, then all the header and delivery lines are included with the text of the message in your exported copy of the message.

Take Address Command

With the Take Address: T command, you can extract email addresses from an incoming message and save them in your address book. This is an easy wayto keep up an address book and avoid having to remember the email addresses of the people who write to you.

If the message is just to you individually, then you will only need to provide a nickname. If the message is more complicated (with more than one recipient or an email list involved), then you will see an address selection screen which lets you choose the address you want to save into your address book, or add several of them to a personal address list.

Reply and Forward Commands

Replying: R and Forwarding: F are your two options for following up on the message you are reading. You would use reply if you want to get email back to the author of the message and/or the other people who have already seen it. You use forward if you want somebody new to see the message.

In the normal case, the only thing that you must supply when forwarding a message is the name/email address of the new recipient. Pine will include the text of the forwarded message. Pine will also include any attachments to the message if you have requested them. There is space above the forwarded text for you to include any comments.

When replying, you usually have to answer some questions. If the message is to multiple people and/or specified with a Reply-to: header, then you will have to decide who should get the reply. You also need to decide whether or not to include the previous message in your reply. Some of this is configurable. Specifically, see the include-header-in-reply and include-text-in-reply configuration features.

Both the Reply and Forward commands react to the full header mode toggle. If the full header mode is on, then all the header and delivery lines are included with the text of the message in your reply/forward.

Bounce Command

The bounce: B command allows you to re-send a message, as if you were never in the loop. It is analogous to crossing out your address on a postal letter, writing a different address on the envelope, and putting it into the mailbox. Bounce is used primarily to redirect email which was sent to you in error. Also, some owners of email lists use the bounce command to handle list traffic.

The presence or absence of the Bounce command is determined by the "enable-bounce-cmd" feature-list option in your Pine configuration. Note that Bounce may be administratively disabled by your system manager; if it doesn't work, please check with your local help desk before reporting a bug.

View/Save Attachment Command

The View/Save Attachment: V command allows you to handle MIME attachments on a message you have received. Pine shows you a list of the message attachments--you just choose the attachment you want. You may either view or save the selected attachment.

Because many attachments require external programs for display, there is some system configuration that has to happen before you can actually display attachments from "within" Pine, meaning without saving the attachment to a file and loading that file into the appropriate software. Hopefully much of that will have been done already by your system administrator. MIME configuration is handled with the "mailcap" configuration file. (See the section MIME: Reading a Message in the Technical Notes for more information.)

Flag Command

Flag: * is the command which allows users to manipulate the status flags which appear on the left side of the FOLDER INDEX screen. The most common use of this is to mark a message as important. This is something of a note to yourself to get back to that message--it has no effect on the way in which Pine will treat the message.

You can also use the flag command to set (or unset) the flags which indicate that a message is new, deleted, or answered.

Selecting Messages for Aggregate Operations

Aggregate operations give you the ability to process a group of messages at once. Acting on multiple messages requires two steps:
  1. selecting a set of messages and then
  2. applying a command to that set.
The first part is handled by the select: ; command. Select allows you to select messages based on their status (read, answered, etc.), contents (including fielded selections on header lines) or date. You also get certain quick options to select a specific message or range of messages, to select the current message or to select all messages.

After you have an initial selection, the select command changes. It gives you selection "alteration" options: unselect all, unselect current, broaden (implements a logical OR), and narrow (implements a logical AND). You are allowed to use select as many times as you need to get the selected set right.

Also, the WhereIs: W command has a feature (Ctrl-X) to select all the messages which match the WhereIs search. WhereIs searches through just the text which appears on the FOLDER INDEX.

The availability of the aggregate operations commands is determined by the "enable-aggregate-command-set" feature-list option in your Pine configuration. Note that aggregate commands may be administratively disabled by your system manager; if they don't work, please check with your local help desk before reporting a bug.

Apply and Zoom Commands

Apply: A is the second step of most aggregate operations. Apply becomes active any time there is a defined set of selected messages. When you select the Apply command, Pine displays the set of commands, such as Print, Forward, Save, and others.

Pine never conducts an implicit apply operation. The only way to have a command operate on the selected set is to use the apply command first. Otherwise, commands operate on the current message even if you have just selected a message set.

Another action you might want to take on a set of selected messages is to zoom in on them. Like Apply, Zoom only becomes active when messages have been selected. Zoom: Z is a toggle command which allows you to zoom-in (and only to see the selected messages) and zoom-out (to see all messages in the folder. The setting for auto-zoom-after-select and auto-unzoom-after-apply in the Pine configuration allow you to modify Pine's behavior when messages are selected.

Neither apply nor zoom modify the definition of the selected set; in other words, after you Apply a command to or Zoom your selected messages, the selection still remains in effect .

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