GNU Emacs Manual. Node: Sending Mail

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Chapter 24: Sending Mail

To send a message in Emacs, you start by typing a command (C-x m) to select and initialize the `*mail*' buffer. Then you edit the text and headers of the message in this buffer, and type another command (C-c C-s or C-c C-c) to send the message.

C-x m

Begin composing a message to send (compose-mail).

C-x 4 m Likewise, but display the message in another window (compose-mail-other-window).
C-x 5 m Likewise, but make a new frame (compose-mail-other-frame).
C-c C-s In Mail mode, send the message (mail-send).
C-c C-c Send the message and bury the mail buffer (mail-send-and-exit).

The command C-x m (compose-mail) selects a buffer named `*mail*' and initializes it with the skeleton of an outgoing message. C-x 4 m (compose-mail-other-window) selects the `*mail*' buffer in a different window, leaving the previous current buffer visible. C-x 5 m (compose-mail-other-frame) creates a new frame to select the `*mail*' buffer.

Because the mail-composition buffer is an ordinary Emacs buffer, you can switch to other buffers while in the middle of composing mail, and switch back later (or never). If you use the C-x m command again when you have been composing another message but have not sent it, you are asked to confirm before the old message is erased. If you answer n, the `*mail*' buffer is left selected with its old contents, so you can finish the old message and send it. C-u C-x m is another way to do this. Sending the message marks the `*mail*' buffer ``unmodified,'' which avoids the need for confirmation when C-x m is next used.

If you are composing a message in the `*mail*' buffer and want to send another message before finishing the first, rename the `*mail*' buffer using M-x rename-uniquely (see Misc Buffer). Then you can use C-x m or its variants described above to make a new `*mail*' buffer. Once you've done that, you can work with each mail buffer independently.

  • Format Format of the mail being composed.
  • Headers Details of permitted mail header fields.
  • Aliases Abbreviating and grouping mail addresses.
  • Mode Special commands for editing mail being composed.
  • Spook How to distract the NSA's attention.
  • Mail Methods Using alternative mail-composition methods.
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