forw - Forwards messages (only available within the message handling sys-
forw [msgs] [+folder] [options]
The -annotate option annotates the message you are forwarding. If you
do not specify this option or specify the -noannotate option, no anno-
tation is done. The -annotate option adds the following lines to the
message that you are forwarding:
The first line records the time at which the message was forwarded; the
second records the addresses of the recipients of the forwarded mes-
The forw command annotates messages only when they are successfully
sent. If you do not send the message immediately and file the unsent
draft, it will not be annotated. It is also possible to confuse forw by
using the push command to send the message, and renumbering the message
before it is sent (for example, by using folder -pack to reorder the
The -dashmunging option represents default forw behavior, which adds an
extra dash (-) before any line that begins with a dash. This behavior
causes problems when forwarded messages contain PostScript files
because the extra characters prevent those files from being printed.
Specify the -nodashmunging option when forwarding messages that contain
PostScript files. The -nodashmunging option works only in combination
with the -format or -filter filterfile option.
The -draftfolder option specifies the folder in which the draft message
is created. If you do not send the draft, the mail system will store it
in this folder.
The draft folder is usually specified as an option in .mh_profile
rather than through the -draftfolder option on the command line. See
the mh_profile(4) reference page for more information.
If you specify a draft folder in .mh_profile, you can override it by
using the -nodraftfolder option on the command line.
Specifies the file in which the draft message is created. If no abso-
lute pathname is given, the file is assumed to be in your Mail direc-
tory, usually $HOME/Mail. If you do not send the message, it is stored
in the named file until you delete it, or send it at a later date.
Specifies the editor that you want to use to edit your forwarded mes-
sage. You can supply the name of any approved editor.
Reformats (filters) the forwarded messages prior to inclusion in the
draft message. If you do not specify -filter, the forwarded messages
are included in the draft exactly as they appear. This option allows
you to reformat them according to instructions in a named filter file.
This must be an mhl file; see the mh-format(4) reference page for more
The -format option also reformats messages before encapsulating them in
the draft. However, -format always reformats according to the instruc-
tions in the default mhl.forward file. The -filter option allows you
to use your own, named filter file to format the messages.
Specifies the message header to be used in the draft message. If this
option is present, forw takes the header of the draft message from the
named file. If this option is not present, the header is taken from the
forwcomps file in your Mail directory, or failing that, from the mail
system default header. However, the -form option overrides both of
The -format option reformats the messages to be forwarded before
enclosing them in the draft message. If this option is not supplied or
the -noformat option is used, the forwarded messages are included in
the draft exactly as they appear. With the -format option, the for-
warded message is reformatted according to the instructions in the
mhl.forward file in your Mail directory. If this file does not exist,
the message is formatted according to the system file
/usr/lib/mh/mhl.forward. The mhl.forward file is an mhl file; see the
mh-format(4) reference page for more information.
You can also use the -filter filterfile option to reformat messages.
The difference is that -format always takes its instructions from the
mhl.forward file. With -filter, you can specify the name of the filter
file you want to use.
Prints a list of the valid options for this command.
These options apply only when the -annotate option is also used.
The -inplace option causes annotation to be done in place, to preserve
links to the annotated message.
The -noinplace option specifies that annotation be done without
preserving links to the annotated message.
Suppresses editing of the draft message altogether.
The -whatnowproc option specifies an alternative whatnow program. Nor-
mally, forw invokes the default whatnow program. See the whatnow(1)
reference page for a discussion of available options. You can specify
your own alternative to the default program by using the -whatnowproc
program option. If you do specify your own program, you should not call
You can suppress the whatnow program entirely by using the -nowhat-
nowproc option. However, as the program normally starts the initial
edit, the -nowhatnowproc option prevents you from editing the message.
Specifies one or more numbers, or a range of numbers, to identify the
messages that you want to forward. By default, forw forwards the
Identifies the folder from which messages are to be forwarded. By
default, forw forwards messages from the current folder.
The forw command sends one or more messages on to recipients who were not
the original addressees. The command encapsulates all messages to be for-
warded and adds a message header. Forwarded messages appear to originate
from the forwarder and not the sender of the original message.
The command invokes an editor so that you can edit the forwarded message or
add text before or after the encapsulated message. When you exit from the
editor, you receive a prompt asking what you want to do with the completed
draft. This prompt usually takes the form What now?. See the whatnow(1)
reference page for more information on the options available.
If you forward a number of messages, each forwarded message is encapsulated
separately. When received, the message is suitable for expanding with the
burst command (see the burst(1) reference page).
By default, the mail system uses a standard message header for forwarded
messages. This is taken from the system file /usr/lib/mh/forwcomps. You can
supply your own header by creating a file called forwcomps in your Mail
directory. If this file exists, forw automatically uses the header in it
when creating draft messages.
If you do not have a draft folder set up, forw creates your new draft in a
file called draft in your Mail directory, usually $HOME/Mail. This file
must be empty before you can create a new draft, which means that you can
store only one draft at a time. If it is not empty, the mail system will
ask you what you want to do with the existing contents. Your options are:
To abort forw, leaving the draft intact
To replace the existing draft with the appropriate message form
To display the draft message
To refile the existing draft message in a specified folder.
This option provides a new message form for you to complete.
If you want to keep more than one draft (unsent) message available, you can
set up a draft folder in your .mh_profile. This folder allows you to keep
as many unsent drafts as space allows and still create new messages. To set
up a draft folder, make sure that the following line is in your .mh_profile
For more information on setting up folders, see the mh_profile(4) reference
If you set up a draft folder, all draft messages are created in that
folder. If you decide not to send the draft, by typing quit at the What
now? prompt, the message is stored in the draft folder. You can then re-
edit the message, or send it at a later date, by using the -use option with
the comp command.
If you use prompter as your editor, you can specify the -prepend option to
prompter in the .mh_profile file. If you do this, any text you add is
entered before the forwarded messages. See the prompter(1) reference page
for details on other prompter options.
If you specify the forw command without any operands or options, the fol-
lowing defaults apply:
+ +folder defaults to the current folder.
+ msgs defaults to the current message.
+ If a draft folder is specified in the $HOME/.mh_profile file, that
draft folder is used; otherwise, -nodraftfolder is the default.
The following entries in $HOME/.mh_profile can affect operation of the forw
command. Refer to mh_profile(4) for a more complete description of these
Determines your Mail directory.
Finds the default draft folder.
Overrides the default editor.
Sets the protection mode when creating a new message (draft).
Overrides the default mail interchange code.
Specifies a nondefault program for refiling messages.
Specifies a nondefault program for filtering the messages being for-
Specifies a nondefault program for asking the What now? questions.
The default system template for forwarded messages
The user-supplied alternative to the default system template.
The user-supplied alternative to the system message template used with
The default message filter
The user-supplied alternative to the default system message filter
The user profile
The draft file
Commands: comp(1), dist(1), refile(1), repl(1), send(1), whatnow(1)
Files: mh-format(4), mh_profile(4)
Proposed Standard for Message Encapsulation (RFC 934)