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4.2 Using MIME

Mime is a standard for waving your hands through the air, aimlessly, while people stand around yawning.

MIME, however, is a standard for encoding your articles, aimlessly, while all newsreaders die of fear.

MIME may specify what character set the article uses, the encoding of the characters, and it also makes it possible to embed pictures and other naughty stuff in innocent-looking articles.

Gnus pushes MIME articles through gnus-display-mime-function to display the MIME parts. This is gnus-display-mime by default, which creates a bundle of clickable buttons that can be used to display, save and manipulate the MIME objects.

The following commands are available when you have placed point over a MIME button:

RET (Article)
BUTTON-2 (Article)
Toggle displaying of the MIME object (gnus-article-press-button). If built-in viewers can not display the object, Gnus resorts to external viewers in the mailcap files. If a viewer has the ‘copiousoutput’ specification, the object is displayed inline.


M-RET (Article)
v (Article)
Prompt for a method, and then view the MIME object using this method (gnus-mime-view-part).


t (Article)
View the MIME object as if it were a different MIME media type (gnus-mime-view-part-as-type).


C (Article)
Prompt for a charset, and then view the MIME object using this charset (gnus-mime-view-part-as-charset).


o (Article)
Prompt for a file name, and then save the MIME object (gnus-mime-save-part).


C-o (Article)
Prompt for a file name, then save the MIME object and strip it from the article. Then proceed to article editing, where a reasonable suggestion is being made on how the altered article should look like. The stripped MIME object will be referred via the message/external-body MIME type. (gnus-mime-save-part-and-strip).


r (Article)
Prompt for a file name, replace the MIME object with an external body referring to the file via the message/external-body MIME type. (gnus-mime-replace-part).


d (Article)
Delete the MIME object from the article and replace it with some information about the removed MIME object (gnus-mime-delete-part).


c (Article)
Copy the MIME object to a fresh buffer and display this buffer (gnus-mime-copy-part). If given a prefix, copy the raw contents without decoding. If given a numerical prefix, you can do semi-manual charset stuff (see gnus-summary-show-article-charset-alist in Paging the Article). Compressed files like .gz and .bz2 are automatically decompressed if auto-compression-mode is enabled (see Accessing Compressed Files).


p (Article)
Print the MIME object (gnus-mime-print-part). This command respects the ‘print=’ specifications in the .mailcap file.


i (Article)
Insert the contents of the MIME object into the buffer (gnus-mime-inline-part) as ‘text/plain’. If given a prefix, insert the raw contents without decoding. If given a numerical prefix, you can do semi-manual charset stuff (see gnus-summary-show-article-charset-alist in Paging the Article). Compressed files like .gz and .bz2 are automatically decompressed depending on jka-compr regardless of auto-compression-mode (see Accessing Compressed Files).


E (Article)
View the MIME object with an internal viewer. If no internal viewer is available, use an external viewer (gnus-mime-view-part-internally).


e (Article)
View the MIME object with an external viewer. (gnus-mime-view-part-externally).


| (Article)
Output the MIME object to a process (gnus-mime-pipe-part).


. (Article)
Interactively run an action on the MIME object (gnus-mime-action-on-part).

Gnus will display some MIME objects automatically. The way Gnus determines which parts to do this with is described in the Emacs MIME manual.

It might be best to just use the toggling functions from the article buffer to avoid getting nasty surprises. (For instance, you enter the group ‘alt.sing-a-long’ and, before you know it, MIME has decoded the sound file in the article and some horrible sing-a-long song comes screaming out your speakers, and you can't find the volume button, because there isn't one, and people are starting to look at you, and you try to stop the program, but you can't, and you can't find the program to control the volume, and everybody else in the room suddenly decides to look at you disdainfully, and you'll feel rather stupid.)

Any similarity to real events and people is purely coincidental. Ahem.

Also see MIME Commands.