show - show (list) messages (only available within the message handling
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 one-line 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.
-showproc program [ options ]
Specifies an alternative program to list messages. The default is to
use the program defined by the showproc: entry in the .mh_profile 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
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 .mh_profile file. See mh_profile(4) for more
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 each message.
Typically, the messages are listed exactly as they are, with no reformat-
ting. A program named by the showproc component in the .mh_profile 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 non-empty, then show
will remove each of the messages shown from the sequences named by the pro-
The -header option does not work when msgs expands to more than one mes-
sage. 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 unseen messages.
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 inter-
prets 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
% show | print &&
For users of csh, the correct command is:
% show |&& print &&
For users of sh, the correct command is:
% show 2>>&&1 | print &&
Path: To determine the user's Mail directory
Unseen-Sequence: To name sequences denoting unseen messages
showproc: Program to show messages
1. In the first example, show displays the contents of message 36 in the
% show 36
2. In the next example, the pr(1) program is used to list the current
% show -showproc pr
The user profile.
more(1), mhl(1), next(1), pick(1), prev(1), scan(1)