3.6 Insertion Variables


The overall style to be used when replying to messages. This controls things like where the reply should be put relative to the original, how the citation is formatted, where the signature goes, etc.

Value is either nil (no variable overrides) or a let-style list of pairs (VARIABLE VALUE) to override default values.

See gnus-posting-styles to set this variable for specific groups. Presets to impersonate popular mail agents are available in the message-cite-style-* variables.


Where the reply should be positioned. Available styles are traditional to reply inline, above for top-posting, and below for bottom-posting


All headers that match this regexp will be removed from yanked messages. The default is ‘.’, which means that all headers will be removed.


Regexp matching the longest possible citation prefix on a line.


Function called to insert the citation line. The default is message-insert-citation-line, which will lead to citation lines that look like:

Hallvard B Furuseth <h.b.furuseth@usit.uio.no> writes:

Point will be at the beginning of the body of the message when this function is called.

Note that Gnus provides a feature where clicking on ‘writes:’ hides the cited text. If you change the citation line too much, readers of your messages will have to adjust their Gnus, too. See the variable gnus-cite-attribution-suffix. See Article Highlighting in The Gnus Manual, for details.


When you are replying to or following up an article, you normally want to quote the person you are answering. Inserting quoted text is done by yanking, and each line you yank will have message-yank-prefix prepended to it (except for quoted lines which use message-yank-cited-prefix and empty lines which use message-yank-empty-prefix). The default is ‘> ’.


When yanking text from an article which contains already cited text, each line will be prefixed with the contents of this variable. The default is ‘>’. See also message-yank-prefix.


When yanking text from an article, each empty line will be prefixed with the contents of this variable. The default is ‘>’. You can set this variable to an empty string to split the cited text into paragraphs automatically. See also message-yank-prefix.


Number of spaces to indent yanked messages.


Function for citing an original message. The default is message-cite-original, which simply inserts the original message and prepends ‘> ’ to each line. message-cite-original-without-signature does the same, but elides the signature.


Function for modifying a citation just inserted in the mail buffer. This can also be a list of functions. Each function can find the citation between (point) and (mark t). And each function should leave point and mark around the citation text as modified.


String to mark the beginning of some inserted text.


String to mark the end of some inserted text.


String to be inserted at the end of the message buffer. If t (which is the default), the message-signature-file file will be inserted instead. If a function, the result from the function will be used instead. If a form, the result from the form will be used instead. If this variable is nil, no signature will be inserted at all, but you can still insert your message-signature-file by hand when desired, using the C-c C-w (message-insert-signature) command.


File containing the signature to be inserted at the end of the buffer. If a path is specified, the value of message-signature-directory is ignored, even if set. The default is ~/.signature.


Name of directory containing signature files. Comes in handy if you have many such files, handled via Gnus posting styles for instance. If nil (the default), message-signature-file is expected to specify the directory if needed.


If t (the default value) an empty line is inserted before the signature separator.

Note that RFC1036bis says that a signature should be preceded by the three characters ‘-- ’ on a line by themselves. This is to make it easier for the recipient to automatically recognize and process the signature. So don’t remove those characters, even though you might feel that they ruin your beautiful design, like, totally.

Also note that no signature should be more than four lines long. Including ASCII graphics is an efficient way to get everybody to believe that you are silly and have nothing important to say.