Columbia MM
MM Manual


Inserting the text of the original message into your reply may both clarify and shorten your reply.


From the R> prompt, type reply including (or an abbreviation like reply inc). The simple command reply is the same as reply not-including. You can also use one of the address options, like reply all including, if desired.

 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.


R>reply inc
 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.):

OK, I can meet then.  --Fuat

From: Fuat Baran <>
To: Joseph Brennan <>
Subject: Re: Meeting on Sept 21
In-Reply-To: Your message of Mon, 7 Sep 92 10:50:28 EDT

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

OK, I can meet then.  --Fuat


In the example, including the original really makes the reply much more clear. The date of the meeting is in the subject line, but not the time. Whenever you reply, bear in mind the inevitable lag for the other person between writing the original and reading your reply. Be sure your reply is understandable, either by including the original or by spelling out what you're talking about in your own message. By including the original, you may be able to write a very short reply.


The original message is set off by a > sign at the start of each line; to be exact, there are two indent characters, a > sign and a space, at the beginning of each line. This is the most common indent in general use, but you can change it if you like. The variable reply-indent defines the indent characters in use. To change it, type set reply-indent and then type your desired indent characters inside quotation marks. Use save-init to save the change. To reset the normal indent, type set reply-indent "> " (note it is > and a space, within quotes).

A short indent, like two or three characters, is advisable, so that the original text does not run off the right margin. MM and most mail programs set a right margin for outgoing mail that is several spaces in from the right, so that a message can be set off by a few indent characters without having to wrap awkwardly.


The normal situation is that reply means reply not-including, and you specify reply including when that is desired. You can reverse this default by changing the variable reply-insert, normally set to no. Type set reply-insert yes and then save-init to save the change. Then