show - show (list) messages (only available within the
message handling system, mh)
show [+folder] [msgs] [-draft] [-[no]header] [-help]
[-showproc program] [-noshowproc] [options to showproc]
Displays the draft message, or the current message in your
+drafts folder, if you have one set up. You cannot give a
msgs argument when you use this option. Displays a oneline
header before the message. The header consists of the
name of the folder and the message number. This is the
default behavior. It can be suppressed with the -noheader
option. Prints a list of the valid options to this command.
Specifies an alternative program to list messages.
The default is to use the program defined by the showproc:
entry in the file. You can give options to the showproc
program at the command line. These are passed directly to
showproc by show. (If you specify an option that has a
numerical value, leave no space between the argument and
the value. See RESTRICTIONS for more information.)
If the -noshowproc option is specified, /bin/cat is
used instead of showproc.
The MH command mhl can be used as a showproc to
show messages in a more uniform format. See mhl(1)
for more details.
If you are going to use the same showproc all the
time, it is advisable to specify it in your file.
See mh_profile(4) for more details.
The defaults for this command are as follows:
+folder defaults to the current folder
msgs defaults to the current message
Use show to display the contents of the current message.
You can specify alternative messages or folders by using
the +folder or msgs arguments.
If a folder is given, it becomes the current folder. The
last message shown becomes the current message.
You can specify a number of messages or a range of messages
using the msgs argument. If you specify more than
one message, show prompts for a <RETURN> prior to listing
Typically, the messages are listed exactly as they are,
with no reformatting. A program named by the showproc
component in the file is invoked to do the listing, and
any options not recognized by show are passed along to
that program. The default program is more(1).
By default, the show command use the more program to list
each message, a page at a time. When the end of the page
is reached, it waits for a <RETURN> or a space. If you
press <RETURN>, show prints the next line. If you press
the space bar, it prints the next screen of data. At the
end of the message, show automatically returns you to the
system prompt. Press q to quit before the end of the message.
If the profile entry Unseen-Sequence: is present and nonempty,
then show will remove each of the messages shown
from the sequences named by the profile entry.
The -header option does not work when msgs expands to more
than one message. If the showproc is mhl, then this problem
can be circumvented by referencing the messagename
field in the mhl format file.
The command show updates your mail environment before
showing the message. Hence show may mark messages as seen
before you actually see them. However, this is generally
not a problem, unless you are using the unseen messages
mechanism, and you interrupt show while it is showing
If you use the showproc switch to specify an alternative
viewer, leave no space between the options specified with
the viewer and their values. For example, if you want to
use the more command to scroll through messages 6 through
10 in your inbox folder, and you want to pause every five
lines, you would enter the following command, where there
is no space between the option n and the value 5: % show
+inbox 6-10 -showproc more -n5
If there is space between the option n and the value 5,
the command interprets 5 as a message number to view.
If your showprocviewer is mhl, then show uses a built-in
mhl: it does not actually run the mhl program. Hence, if
you define your own showproc, do not call it mhl since
show will not run it.
If more(1) is your showproc (which is the default), then
avoid running show in the background with only its standard
output piped to another process. You should re-direct
the diagnostic output of show as well
For example, in the following incorrect example, show will
go into a tty input state: % show | print &
For users of csh, the correct command is: % show |& print
For users of sh, the correct command is: % show 2>&1 |
Path: To determine the user's Mail directory
Unseen-Sequence: To name sequences denoting unseen messages
showproc: Program to show messages
In the first example, show displays the contents of message
36 in the current folder: % show 36 In the next example,
the pr(1) program is used to list the current message:
% show -showproc pr
The user profile.
more(1), mhl(1), next(1), pick(1), prev(1), scan(1)
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