The -help Switches

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Any time you need a quick reminder of an MH command's switches, use the -help switch. For example, here's a list for scan:

% scan -help
syntax: scan [+folder] [msgs] [switches]
  switches are:
  -form formatfile
  -(forma)t string
  -width columns
  -(file) file

version: MH 6.8.3 #1[UCI] (ora) of Sun Feb 13 14:19:54 PST 1994
The syntax: shows what kinds of things you can type on the command line. Some parts of some switches are shown in parentheses -- this is the shortest abbreviation you can use -- for example, you can type -forma instead of -format. But it doesn't show all abbreviations; for example, you can use -w instead of -width.

The version: and options: information is important when you're asking questions or reporting bugs to someone who's not at your computer site. There are several versions of MH and lots of configuration options -- an expert may need to know how your MH is set up, and this information will explain it. The #1 means this was the first build of MH 6.8.3 on our computer named ora. Local changes and rebuilds will change this to #2, #3, etc. The options: are explained in your online mh-gen(8) manual page.

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Last change $Date: 1996/06/06 15:14:34 $

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: Jerry Peek <>