Chapter Introduction (Tour Through mh-e)

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These chapters introduce another interface to MH that is accessible through the GNU Emacs editor, namely, mh-e. mh-e is easy to use. I don't assume that you know GNU Emacs or even MH at this point, since I didn't know either of them when I discovered mh-e. However, mh-e was the tip of the iceberg, and I discovered more and more niceties about GNU Emacs and MH. Now I'm fully hooked on both of them. If you don't already use GNU Emacs but want to learn more, you can read an online tutorial by starting GNU Emacs and typing C-h t (help-with-tutorial). (This notation is described in the Section GNU Emacs Terms and Conventions.) Another excellent reference is the book Learning GNU Emacs, from O'Reilly & Associates.

This chapter introduces some of the terms you'll need to know and then takes you on a tour of mh-e. (The keys mentioned in these chapters refer to the default key bindings. If you've changed the bindings, refer to the mh-e Reference Guide for a mapping between default key bindings and function names.)

When you're done, you'll be able to send, read, and file mail, which is all that a lot of people ever do. But if you're the curious type, you'll read the Chapter Using mh-e to be able to use all the features of mh-e. If you're the adventurous type, you'll read the Chapter Customizing mh-e to make mh-e do what you want. I suggest you read this chapter first to get the big picture, and then you can read the other two as you wish. In addition, there's a series of reference tables in the mh-e Reference Guide.

The mh-e package is distributed with GNU Emacs, so you shouldn't have to do anything special to use it. (Note that mh-e is supported with MH 6 and either GNU Emacs 18 or GNU Emacs 19. Reportedly, large parts of it work with MH 5 and also with Lucid/XEmacs and Epoch, but there are no guarantees. It is also distributed with Lucid/XEmacs, as well as MH itself.)

But it's important to note a brief history of mh-e. Version 3 was prevalent through the Emacs 18 and early Emacs 19 years. Then Version 4 came out (Emacs 19.23), which introduced several new and changed commands. Finally, Version 5.0 was released, which fixed some bugs and incompatibilities. This is the version covered by this book. The section Getting Started will help you decide which version you have.

These chapters on mh-e are available online (although in a slightly different form) through the Info facility in Emacs. The online version will be kept as up to date as possible. Use C-h i (info) and look either at the top-level or within the Emacs menu. There is an Info tutorial as well. If you cannot find the mh-e Info pages, please see the MH Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for instructions on obtaining them. Note that the Info pages are distributed with mh-e.

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(This section was written by Bill Wohler.)
Last change $Date: 1996/07/14 17:35:00 $

This file is from the third edition of the book MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers, ISBN 1-56592-093-7, by Jerry Peek. Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. This file is freely-available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. For more information, see the file copying.htm.

Suggestions are welcome: Bill Wohler <>