Columbia MM
MM Manual


When you are writing a message in MM at the prompt Message..., you normally are in a very simple editor sometimes called Text Mode. This section describes how to use Text Mode.


 Message (End with CTRL/D or ESC
  Use CTRL/B to insert a file, CTRL/E to enter editor, CTRL/F to run text
  through a filter, CTRL/K to redisplay message, CTRL/L to clear screen and
  redisplay, CTRL/N to abort, CTRL/P to run a program and insert output.):

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


Line break is done automatically. You don't have to press the return key to get to the next line.

To make a change, use the backspace or delete key to move the cursor to the left, wiping out everything as it goes, until you reach the spot desired, and then type forward from there. The cursor even moves back to previous lines if you keep pressing the delete key.

End by pressing the escape key or control-d.

There are numerous commands you can give by pressing control letters. Hold down the control key and type the letter (as you would use the shift key to type a capital letter).

The following is a complete list of the control-letter commands in Text Mode. Some of them are described in detail elsewhere by topic.

The redisplay commands, especially control-l, which clears the screen first, can be very valuable if your screen gets cluttered with junk, from noisy phone lines, system messages, or accidental use of the control-letter commands (like control-b) that leave prompts on the screen.

The erasing commands, control-u and -w, can be used in place of holding down the backspace/delete key.

The command control-v lets you insert control letters and other special characters into the text. This is sometimes called a literal or escape character. The most useful character to insert is control-l, form feed, which makes many terminals stop displaying text at that point, until the person reading the message presses the space bar or return key. To insert control-l, you have to type control-v control-l. An interesting character to insert is a control-g, bell, which makes the terminal beep when the message is read; type control-v control-g to insert it. Use control characters sparingly.


The variable autowrap-column defines at what point the line wraps, that is, how long a line should be before th