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The commands read and review display messages and leave you at the R> prompt.

You can use any message sequence with read or review. The command read by itself implies read unseen, while review requires a message sequence. The screen normally clears at the start of each message.

MM>read 73

 Message 73 (378 chars)
Return-Path: <jb51>
Received: by (5.59/FCB)
        id AA01344; Monday, 7 Sep 92 10:50:29 EDT
Date: Monday, 7 Sep 92 10:50:28 EDT
From: Joe Brennan <>
To: fb2
Cc: mm33, hk12
Subject: Meeting on Sept 21
Message-Id: <>

Let's meet on Sept 21 at 2:00 to go over plans for this semester.



Since read means read unseen, you might sometimes want to use the commands mark and unmark to falsify the status seen or unseen; you could for example unmark a message so the next read unseen will show it again, or mark a message so read unseen will skip over it.

Screen clearing is controlled by the variable clear-screen, which is normally set to yes. You can eliminate the clearing with the command set clear-screen no and save the setting with save-init.


The prompt R> indicates that you are in what is called Read Mode. You can give many of the usual commands. Commands that refer to messages always refer to the message you just read: for example, headers will show you only a header for the message you just read. In Read Mode you cannot use message sequences.

Moving to other messages:

next (return key), previous

Move to other messages with the commands next and previous. Both refer to the message sequence you typed with the read or review command. The command next or just n shows you the next message in the sequence, or, if you have read the last message, it takes you out of Read Mode and back to the MM> prompt. The command previous or just p shows you the message before the one you just read.

Pressing the return key, without typing any command, is the same as the command next.

The variable default-read-command defines what command is to be done when you type nothing and just press the return key. It is normally set to next. If you set it to nothing, with set default-read-command, then nothing will happen when you just press return, i.e. you will just see another R> prompt. To restore the usual setting, type set default-read-command next. If you change the setting and want to keep it as changed, use the save-init command also.

Repeating a Message:


Use the type command to redisplay the same message you just read. Many terminals also have a scroll feature that lets you see the previous screen, and you can use that to go back at least a screen. If you normally hide some header fields by setting the variables dont-type-headers or only-type-headers, you may use literal type (or just literal) to display all the header fields when that seems useful.


delete, kill

The command delete or just d marks the message you just read as deleted. It is still the current message, and you can undelete it or use any other command referring to it as the current message. Another R> prompt then appears. As usual, press the return key to move on to the next message.

The command kill or just k combines the action of delete and next. The kill command exists only in Read Mode.

Leaving Read Mode:


The command quit or just q stops Read Mode, and returns you to the MM> prompt. You need to use quit only when you want to stop before the end of a sequence of messages, since next will quit Read Mode when there are no more messages to read.


The read and review commands will not read deleted messages. If you use a command like read from sue, you will not be able to read deleted messages from sue.

To illustrate the result, the following specifies a deleted message:

MM>r 19
 Message 19 deleted, ignored.

Although the message is not shown, you are left at a R> prompt. You can read the message from the R> prompt by using the type command. You can also use the undelete command to cancel the deleted status.

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