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8.3 Forwarding Mail

To forward a message, use the f (mh-forward) command. You are prompted for the ‘To:’ and ‘cc:’ recipients. You are given a draft to edit that looks like it would if you had run the MH command forw34. You can then add some text (see Editing Drafts). You can forward several messages by using a range (see Ranges). All of the messages in the range are inserted into your draft. The hook mh-forward-hook is called on the draft.

By default, the option mh-compose-forward-as-mime-flag is on which means that the forwarded messages are included as attachments. These are inline attachments so the forwarded message should appear in the body of your recipient’s mail program. If you would prefer to forward your messages verbatim (as text, inline), then turn off this option. Forwarding messages verbatim works well for short, textual messages, but your recipient won’t be able to view any non-textual attachments that were in the forwarded message. Be aware that if you have ‘forw: -mime’ in your MH profile, then forwarded messages will always be included as attachments regardless of the settings of mh-compose-forward-as-mime-flag.

The format of the ‘Subject:’ header field for forwarded messages is controlled by the option mh-forward-subject-format. This option is a string which includes two escapes (‘%s’). The first ‘%s’ is replaced with the sender of the original message, and the second one is replaced with the original ‘Subject:’. The default value of "%s: %s" takes a message with the header:

To: Bill Wohler <>
Subject: Re: 49er football
From: Greg DesBrisay <>

and creates a subject header field of:

Subject: Greg DesBrisay: Re: 49er football



See the section Forwarding Messages: forw in the MH book.

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