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10. Editing Within a Message

Rmail mode provides a few special commands for moving within and editing the current message. In addition, the usual Emacs commands are available (except for a few, such as C-M-n and C-M-h, that are redefined by Rmail for other purposes). However, the Rmail buffer is normally read-only, and to alter it you must use the Rmail command w described below.

Toggle display of original headers (rmail-toggle-headers).
Edit current message (rmail-edit-current-message).

Rmail reformats the header of each message before displaying it. Normally this involves deleting most header fields, on the grounds that they are not interesting. The variable rmail-ignored-headers should contain a regexp that matches the header fields to discard in this way. The original headers are saved permanently; to see what they look like, use the t (rmail-toggle-headers) command. This discards the reformatted headers of the current message and displays it with the original headers. Repeating t reformats the message again. Selecting the message again also reformats.

The Rmail buffer is normally read-only, and most of the characters you would type to modify it (including most letters) are redefined as Rmail commands. This is usually not a problem since people rarely want to change the text of a message. When you do want to do this, type w (rmail-edit-current-message), which changes from Rmail mode to Rmail Edit mode, another major mode which is nearly the same as Text mode. The mode line indicates this change.

In Rmail Edit mode, letters insert themselves as usual and the Rmail commands are not available. When you are finished editing the message and are ready to go back to Rmail, type C-c C-c, which switches back to Rmail mode. To return to Rmail mode but cancel all the editing you have done, type C-c C-].

Entering Rmail Edit mode calls the value of the variable text-mode-hook with no arguments, if that value exists and is not nil. It then does the same with the variable rmail-edit-mode-hook and finally adds the attribute `edited' to the message.

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