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4.24.1 Pick and Read

Some newsreaders (like nn and, uhm, Netnews on VM/CMS) use a two-phased reading interface. The user first marks in a summary buffer the articles she wants to read. Then she starts reading the articles with just an article buffer displayed.

Gnus provides a summary buffer minor mode that allows this—gnus-pick-mode. This basically means that a few process mark commands become one-keystroke commands to allow easy marking, and it provides one additional command for switching to the summary buffer.

Here are the available keystrokes when using pick mode:


Pick the article or thread on the current line or unpick it if is already picked (gnus-pick-article-or-thread). If the variable gnus-thread-hide-subtree is true, then this key selects the entire thread when used at the first article of the thread. Otherwise, it selects just the article. If given a numerical prefix, go to that thread or article and pick it. (The line number is normally displayed at the beginning of the summary pick lines.) If gnus-process-mark-toggle is nil, this key will pick an article or thread.


Scroll the summary buffer up one page (gnus-pick-next-page). If at the end of the buffer, start reading the picked articles.


Unpick the thread or article (gnus-pick-unmark-article-or-thread). If the variable gnus-thread-hide-subtree is true, then this key unpicks the thread if used at the first article of the thread. Otherwise it unpicks just the article. You can give this key a numerical prefix to unpick the thread or article at that line.


Start reading the picked articles (gnus-pick-start-reading). If given a prefix, mark all unpicked articles as read first. If gnus-pick-display-summary is non-nil, the summary buffer will still be visible when you are reading.

All the normal summary mode commands are still available in the pick-mode, with the exception of u. However ! is available which is mapped to the same function gnus-summary-tick-article-forward.

If this sounds like a good idea to you, you could say:

(add-hook 'gnus-summary-mode-hook 'gnus-pick-mode)

gnus-pick-mode-hook is run in pick minor mode buffers.

If gnus-mark-unpicked-articles-as-read is non-nil, mark all unpicked articles as read. The default is nil.

The summary line format in pick mode is slightly different from the standard format. At the beginning of each line the line number is displayed. The pick mode line format is controlled by the gnus-summary-pick-line-format variable (see Formatting Variables). It accepts the same format specs that gnus-summary-line-format does (see Summary Buffer Lines).

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