You can use the status of a message to affect MM actions, to interpret a headers display, and to pick messages by message sequence. The status is shown by letter codes in header displays.
When you start a new MM session, any messages with the status N (new) and F (flagged) are displayed automatically:
Columbia MM, version 0.90.0(7) Please report all problems using MM's BUG command, or send mail to BUG-MM. Suggestions are also welcome. Reading /f/u1/d00000/yourid/mbox ... 19 messages read F 3) 20-Jun Joe Brennan corrupted mbox (2285 chars) N 20) 6-Jul Howie Kaye Jul 18 meeting cancelled (106 chars)
When you use the headers command, message status is shown for each message being displayed:
MM>headers 1:6 K 1) 19-Jun Fuat C. Baran New stuff in MM (317 chars) D 2) 19-Jun Melissa Metz charges (1620 chars) F 3) 20-Jun Joe Brennan corrupted mbox (2285 chars) A 4) 21-Jun Sue Zayac another thing (251 chars) 5) 21-Jun Howie Kaye quota (5258 chars) 6) 21-Jun Don Lanini Emacs question (1036 chars)
You can check the message status in the headers display to help keep track of what you've done with messages. You can also use the status as a message-sequence. For example, you might want to see headers deleted to check what messages are marked deleted before you expunge them, or you might want to read flagged to read through the messages you marked with flags. The following sections explain what each status means.
N, R, U: NEW, RECENT, SEEN, AND UNSEEN MESSAGES
The first position of the display shows one of four values, to indicate whether the message is new and whether you have read it. A message with N is totally new: it just came in during this session and you have not read it. When you read it, its status changes to R, recent, showing only that it came in during this session. When you end your MM session, its status changes to old and seen, indicated by no letter in the first position. The last possible condition is relatively uncommon, U, unseen, a message from a previous MM session that you still have not read.
The message sequences new, recent, seen, and unseen correspond to the four letter codes N, R, blank, and U. The command mark does the same thing to a message's status as reading it, that is it changes it from N to R or from U to no letter; the command unmark does the reverse, from R to N or from no letter to U.
F: FLAGGED MESSAGES
The second position may show F for flagged. You can use the flag command to mark a message that you want to look at again. Normally, headers for flagged messages are displayed every time you start up MM, along with new messages. (If you rejoin an MM process that you suspended earlier, you do not see the headers again.) You can also use the message sequence flagged to refer to them, and unflagged to refer to all the others.
A: ANSWERED (REPLIED-TO) MESSAGES
The third position may show A for answered, indicating that you sent a reply to the message. Note the A if you are trying to remember whether you sent a reply yet. The message sequence answered refers to all messages with A, and unanswered to all others. The command unanswer removes the A status.
D: DELETED MESSAGES
The fourth position shows a D if the message is deleted. When you expunge, all messages marked D are removed permanently. The commands delete and undelete control the status, and the message sequences deleted and undeleted refer to the status.
K: MESSAGES WITH KEYWORDS
The last position shows a K if the message has at least one keyword. Keywords are used to let you pick out messages on a common subject with the keyword message sequence. A message showing a K has a Keywords field in its header with one or more keywords in it. The keywords are put on by the sender of the message, or by you (using the keyword command). In practice, you would use the message sequence keyword <word>, where <word> is some particular keyword, and by doing so you would refer to a set of messages on one topic.