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forw - forward messages


forw [+folder] [msgs] [-annotate | -noannotate] [-form formfile] [-format | -noformat]
[-filter filterfile] [-inplace | -noinplace] [-mime | -nomime] [-draftfolder +folder]
[-draftmessage msg] [-nodraftfolder] [-editor editor] [-noedit] [-width colums]
[-from address] [-to address] [-cc address] [-fcc +folder] [-subject text]
[-whatnowproc program] [-nowhatnowproc] [-dashstuffing | -nodashstuffing] [-build]
[-file msgfile] [-version] [-help]

forw [+folder] [msgs] [-digest list] [-issue number] [-volume number] [other switches for
forw] [-version] [-help]


Forw may be used to prepare a message containing other messages.

It constructs the new message from a forms (components) file, with a body composed of the
message(s) to be forwarded. An editor is invoked as in comp, and after editing is
complete, the user is prompted before the message is sent.

The default message template will direct forw to construct the draft as follows:

From: {from switch} or <Local-Mailbox> or <username@hostname>
To: {to switch} or blank
Fcc: {fcc switch} or +outbox
Subject: {subject switch} or "{original subject} (fwd)"

If a file named “forwcomps” exists in the user's nmh directory, it will be used instead of
this default form. You may also specify an alternate forms file with the switch -form
formfile. Forms are processed via the nmh template system; see mh-format(5) for details.
Components from the first forwarded message are available as standard component escapes in
the forms file.

In addition to the standard mh-format(5) escapes, the following component escapes are also

Escape Returns Description
fcc string Any folders specified with `-fcc folder'
nmh-from string Addresses specified with `-from address'
nmh-to string Addresses specified with `-to address'
nmh-cc string Addresses specified with `-cc address'
nmh-subject string Any text specified with `-subject text'

By default the “To:” and “cc:” fields are empty. You may add addresses to these fields
with the -to address and -cc address switches. You may give these switches multiple times
to add multiple addresses.

By default the “From:” field has either the value of the Local-Mailbox profile entry a
system default email address. This default can be overridden by using the -from address
switch. The default mailbox in the “Fcc:” field is +outbox. This can be overridden by
the -fcc switch.

Any text you give to the -subject switch will be placed in the “Subject:” field in the

If the draft already exists, forw will ask you as to the disposition of the draft. A
reply of quit will abort forw, leaving the draft intact; replace will replace the existing
draft with a blank skeleton; and list will display the draft.

If the -annotate switch is given, each message being forwarded will be annotated with the

Forwarded: date
Forwarded: addrs

where each address list contains as many lines as required. This annotation will be done
only if the message is sent directly from forw. If the message is not sent immediately
from forw, “comp -use” may be used to re-edit and send the constructed message, but the
annotations won't take place. Normally annotations are done inplace in order to preserve
any links to the message. You may change this by using the -noinplace switch.

See comp(1) for a description of the -editor and -noedit switches.

Although forw uses a forms (components) file to direct it how to construct the beginning
of the draft, it uses a message filter file to direct it as to how each forwarded message
should be formatted in the body of the draft. The filter file for forw should be a
standard form file for mhl, as forw will invoke mhl to filter (re-format) the forwarded
messages prior to being output to the body of the draft.

The switches -noformat, -format, and -filter filterfile specify which message filter file
to use.

If -noformat is specified (this is the default), then each forwarded message is output
into the draft exactly as it appears with no mhl filtering.

If -format is specified, then a default message filter file is used. This default message
filter should be adequate for most users. This default filter “mhl.forward” is:

; mhl.forward
; default message filter for `forw' (forw -format)

If a file named “mhl.forward” exists in the user's nmh directory, it will be used instead
of this form. You may specify an alternate message filter file with the switch -filter

Each forwarded message is separated with an encapsulation delimiter. By default, any
dashes in the first column of the forwarded messages will be prepended with `- ' so that
when received, the message is suitable for bursting by burst. This follows the Internet
RFC 934 guidelines. You may use the flag -nodashstuffing in order to suppress this form
of quoting to the forwarded messages.

For users of prompter, by specifying prompter's -prepend switch in the .mh_profile file,
any commentary text is entered before the forwarded messages. (A major win!)

To use the MIME rules for encapsulation, specify the -mime switch. This directs forw to
generate an mhbuild composition file. Note that nmh will not invoke mhbuild automatically;
you must specifically give the command

What now? mime

prior to sending the draft.

The -draftfolder +folder and -draftmessage msg switches invoke the nmh draft folder
facility. This is an advanced (and highly useful) feature. Consult the mh-draft(5) man
page for more information.

The -editor editor switch indicates the editor to use for the initial edit. Upon exiting
from the editor, comp will invoke the whatnow program. See whatnow(1) for a discussion of
available options. The invocation of this program can be inhibited by using the
-nowhatnowproc switch. (In truth of fact, it is the whatnow program which starts the
initial edit. Hence, -nowhatnowproc will prevent any edit from occurring.)

The -build switch is intended to be used by the Emacs mh-e interface to nmh. It implies
-nowhatnowproc. It causes a file <mh-dir>/draft to be created, containing the draft
message that would normally be presented to the user for editing. No mail is actually

The -file msgfile switch specifies the message to be forwarded as an exact filename rather
than as an nmh folder and message number. It is intended to be used by the msh interface
to nmh. This switch implies -noannotate. The forwarded message is simply copied verbatim
into the draft; the processing implied by the -filter, -mime, and -digest switches is
bypassed, and the usual leading and trailing 'Forwarded Message' delimiters are not added.
The same caveats apply to this option as to the -build switch.

The -digest list, -issue number, and -volume number switches implement a digest facility
for nmh. Specifying these switches enables and/or overloads the following escapes:

Type Escape Returns Description
component digest string Argument to `-digest'
function cur integer Argument to `-volume'
function msg integer Argument to `-issue'

Consult the Advanced Features section of the nmh User's Manual for more information on
making digests.

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