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3. Deleting Messages

When you no longer need to keep a message, you can delete it. This flags it as ignorable, and some Rmail commands will pretend it is no longer present, but it still has its place in the Rmail file and still has its message number.

Expunging the Rmail file actually removes the deleted messages. The remaining messages are renumbered consecutively. Expunging is the only action that changes the message number of any message, except for undigestifying (see section 11. Digest Messages).

Delete the current message and move to the next non-deleted message (rmail-delete-forward).
Delete the current message and move to the previous non-deleted message (rmail-delete-backward).
Undelete the current message, or move back to a deleted message and undelete it (rmail-undelete-previous-message).
Expunge the Rmail file (rmail-expunge). These two commands are synonyms.

There are two Rmail commands for deleting messages. Both delete the current message and select another message. d (rmail-delete-forward) moves to the following message, skipping messages already deleted, while C-d (rmail-delete-backward) moves to the previous non-deleted message. If there is no non-deleted message to move to in the specified direction, the message that was just deleted remains current.

To make all deleted messages disappear from the Rmail file, type e (rmail-expunge). Until you do this, you can still undelete the deleted messages.

To undelete, type u (rmail-undelete-previous-message), which cancels the effect of a d command (usually). It undeletes the current message if the current message is deleted. Otherwise it moves backward to previous messages until a deleted message is found, and undeletes that message.

You can usually undo a d with a u because the u moves back to and undeletes the message that the d deleted. This does not work when the d skips a few already-deleted messages that follow the message being deleted; in that case the u command undeletes the last of the messages that were skipped. There is no clean way to avoid this problem. However, by repeating the u command, you can eventually get back to the message you intended to undelete. You can also reach that message with M-p commands and then type u.

A deleted message has the `deleted' attribute, and as a result `deleted' appears in the mode line when the current message is deleted. In fact, deleting or undeleting a message is nothing more than adding or removing this attribute. See section 7. Labels.

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