prompter - prompting editor front-end (only available
within the message handling system, mh)
prompter [options] file
Adds text to the beginning of the message body, so that
the rest of the body follows. This is useful for the forw
command. You can suppress this behavior by using the
-noprepend option. Causes the text not to be displayed on
your terminal if the draft already contains text in the
message-body. This is useful for low-speed terminals. You
can suppress this behavior by using the -norapid option.
Specifies the line-editing characters, where char may be a
character or \nnn, where nnn is the octal value for the
character. Specifies the line-editing characters, where
char may be a character or \nnn, where nnn is the octal
value for the character.
The first argument to prompter which is not an option is
taken as the name of the draft file, and subsequent nonoption
arguments are ignored.
The default settings for prompter are:
The prompter editor is a rudimentary editor provided by
comp, dist, forw, and repl. It is automatically called by
the above commands; you do not need to specify it.
The prompter editor allows rapid composition of messages.
It is particularly useful to network and low-speed (less
than 2400 baud) users of MH.
The prompter editor is an MH program. Although is not
invoked directly, it can have its own profile entry with
options; see mh_profile(4). The comp, dist, forw, and
repl commands invoke prompter in one of three ways: when
invoked with the -editor prompter option; by an entry in
the file; or by a command at the What now? prompt. If you
do not specify an editor in any of these ways, MH provides
prompter as the default editor for all of these commands.
For information on how to use a different editor with MH
commands, see the reference pages for the appropriate commands,
and also mh_profile(4).
Composing a Message with prompter [Toc] [Back]
When you create a message with an MH command, the mail
system provides a message template for you to fill in.
This template consists of two parts: the message header,
comprising a number of header fields; and the body of the
message, which is the area where you type the text of your
The prompter editor displays each header field, one at a
time, for you to fill in. Fill in the component by typing
the text that you want. Type <RETURN> to move onto the
next component. Once you have moved on from a header
field, you cannot edit what you have entered.
If you want to leave a header field empty, simply type
<RETURN>. You can continue a header field over one line
by typing a back-slash (\) before the <RETURN>. Continuation
lines must start with a blank (a space or a tab).
The start of the message body is indicated by a blank line
or a line of dashes. If you are creating a new message,
the cursor is placed beneath this line to allow you to
enter text. If there is already some body text in the message
(for example, if you are using an existing draft, or
if you are forwarding a message), you will receive a
--------Enter additional text
--------Enter initial text
The cursor is placed under the prompt to allow you to
To finish the message, type <CTRL/D>. You will then
receive a prompt asking What now?. See whatnow(1) for more
details of responses.
An interrupt, usually <CTRL/C>, during component typing
will abort prompter and the MH command that invoked it. An
interrupt during message-body typing is equivalent to
<CTRL/D>, for historical reasons.
The prompter editor will not work with files with nulls in
prompter-next: To name the editor to be used on exit from
Msg-Protect: To set protections when creating a new draft
The user profile. Temporary copy of message.
comp(1), dist(1), forw(1), repl(1), whatnow(1), mh_profile(4)
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