mh-e. Node: Customizing Sending

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3.2: Sending Mail

You may wish to start off by adding the following useful key bindings to your `.emacs' file:

(global-set-key "\C-xm" 'mh-smail)
(global-set-key "\C-x4m" 'mh-smail-other-window)

In addition, several variables are useful when sending mail or replying to mail. They are summarized in the following table.


Format file for drafts (default: `"components"').


Format file for replies (default: `"replcomps"').


Functions to run in MH-Letter mode (default: nil).


Functions to run when starting a new draft (default: nil).


Whom reply goes to (default: nil).


Format string for forwarded message subject (default: `"%s: %s"').


send requires entire message (default: nil).


Remove these header fields from re-edited draft (default: `"^Date:\\| ^Received:\\| ^Message-Id:\\| ^From:\\| ^Sender:\\| ^Delivery-Date:\\| ^Return-Path:"').

Since mh-e does not use comp to create the initial draft, you need to set mh-comp-formfile to the name of your components file if it isn't `components'. This is the name of the file that contains the form for composing messages. If it does not contain an absolute pathname, mh-e searches for the file first in your MH directory and then in the system MH library directory (such as `/usr/local/lib/mh'). Replies, on the other hand, are built using repl. You can change the location of the field file from the default of `replcomps' by modifying mh-repl-formfile.

Two hooks are provided to run commands on your freshly created draft. The first hook, mh-letter-mode-hook, allows you to do some processing before editing a letter. For example, you may wish to modify the header after repl has done its work, or you may have a complicated `components' file and need to tell mh-e where the cursor should go. Here's an example of how you would use this hook---all of the other hooks are set in this fashion as well.

Prepare draft for editing via mh-letter-mode-hook

(defvar letter-mode-init-done nil
  "Non-nil when one-time mh-e settings have made.")

(defun my-mh-letter-mode-hook ()
  "Hook to prepare letter for editing."
  (if (not letter-mode-init-done)    ; only need to bind the keys once
        (local-set-key "\C-ctb" 'add-enriched-text)
        (local-set-key "\C-cti" 'add-enriched-text)
        (local-set-key "\C-ctf" 'add-enriched-text)
        (local-set-key "\C-cts" 'add-enriched-text)
        (local-set-key "\C-ctB" 'add-enriched-text)
        (local-set-key "\C-ctu" 'add-enriched-text)
        (local-set-key "\C-ctc" 'add-enriched-text)
        (setq letter-mode-init-done t)))
  (setq fill-prefix "  ")            ; I find indented text easier to read
    (goto-char (point-max))          ; go to end of message to
    (mh-insert-signature)))          ;   insert signature

(add-hook 'mh-letter-mode-hook 'my-mh-letter-mode-hook)

The function, add-enriched-text is defined in the example in Customizing Editing MIME.

The second hook, a function really, is mh-compose-letter-function. Like mh-letter-mode-hook, it is called just before editing a new message; however, it is the last function called before you edit your message. The consequence of this is that you can write a function to write and send the message for you. This function is passed three arguments: the contents of the `To:', `Subject:', and `cc:' header fields.

  • Customizing Replying
  • Customizing Forwarding
  • Customizing Redistributing
  • Customizing Old Drafts
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