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GNU Emacs Manual

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Z. Sending Mail

To send a message in Emacs, you start by typing a command (C-x m) to select and initialize the `*mail*' buffer. Then you edit the text and headers of the message in this buffer, and type another command (C-c C-s or C-c C-c) to send the message.

C-x m
Begin composing a message to send (compose-mail).
C-x 4 m
Likewise, but display the message in another window (compose-mail-other-window).
C-x 5 m
Likewise, but make a new frame (compose-mail-other-frame).
C-c C-s
In Mail mode, send the message (mail-send).
C-c C-c
Send the message and bury the mail buffer (mail-send-and-exit).

The command C-x m (compose-mail) selects a buffer named `*mail*' and initializes it with the skeleton of an outgoing message. C-x 4 m (compose-mail-other-window) selects the `*mail*' buffer in a different window, leaving the previous current buffer visible. C-x 5 m (compose-mail-other-frame) creates a new frame to select the `*mail*' buffer.

Because the mail-composition buffer is an ordinary Emacs buffer, you can switch to other buffers while in the middle of composing mail, and switch back later (or never). If you use the C-x m command again when you have been composing another message but have not sent it, you are asked to confirm before the old message is erased. If you answer n, the `*mail*' buffer is left selected with its old contents, so you can finish the old message and send it. C-u C-x m is another way to do this. Sending the message marks the `*mail*' buffer "unmodified," which avoids the need for confirmation when C-x m is next used.

If you are composing a message in the `*mail*' buffer and want to send another message before finishing the first, rename the `*mail*' buffer using M-x rename-uniquely (see section N.3 Miscellaneous Buffer Operations). Then you can use C-x m or its variants described above to make a new `*mail*' buffer. Once you've done that, you can work with each mail buffer independently.

Z.1 The Format of the Mail Buffer  Format of the mail being composed.
Z.2 Mail Header Fields  Details of permitted mail header fields.
Z.3 Mail Aliases  Abbreviating and grouping mail addresses.
Z.4 Mail Mode  Special commands for editing mail being composed.
Z.5 Mail Amusements  Distracting the NSA; adding fortune messages.
Z.6 Mail-Composition Methods  Using alternative mail-composition methods.


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