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2. Moving Among Messages

The most basic thing to do with a message is to read it. The way to do this in Rmail is to make the message current. You can make any message current, given its message number, by using the j command, but people most often move sequentially through the file, since this is the order of receipt of messages. When you enter Rmail, you are positioned at the first new message (new messages are those received after you last used Rmail), or at the last message if there are no new messages this time. Move forward to see other new messages if there are any; move backward to re-examine old messages.

Move to the next non-deleted message, skipping any intervening deleted
messages (rmail-next-undeleted-message).
Move to the previous non-deleted message
Move to the next message, including deleted messages (rmail-next-message).
Move to the previous message, including deleted messages (rmail-previous-message).
Move to the first message. With argument n, move to message number n (rmail-show-message).
Move to the last message (rmail-last-message).

M-s regexp RET
Move to the next message containing a match for regexp (rmail-search). If regexp is empty, the last regexp used is used again.

- M-s regexp RET
Move to the previous message containing a match for regexp. If regexp is empty, the last regexp used is used again.

To move among messages in Rmail, you can use n and p. These keys move through the messages sequentially but skip over deleted messages, which is usually what you want to do. Their command definitions are named rmail-next-undeleted-message and rmail-previous-undeleted-message. If you do not want to skip deleted messages--for example, if you want to move to a message to undelete it--use the variants M-n (rmail-next-message) and M-p (rmail-previous-message). A numeric argument to any of these commands serves as a repeat count.

In Rmail, you can specify a numeric argument by just typing the digits. It is not necessary to type C-u first.

The M-s (rmail-search) command is Rmail's version of search. The usual incremental search command C-s works in Rmail, but searches only within the current message. The purpose of M-s is to search for another message. It reads a regular expression non-incrementally, then starts searching at the beginning of the following message for a match. The message containing the match is selected.

To search backward in the file for another message, give M-s a negative argument. In Rmail you can do this with - M-s.

It is also possible to search for a message based on labels. See section 7. Labels.

To move to a message specified by absolute message number, use j (rmail-show-message) with the message number as argument. With no argument, j selects the first message. > (rmail-last-message) selects the last message.

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