forw(1mh)forw(1mh)Nameforw - forward messages
Syntaxforw [ msgs ] [ +folder ] [ options ]
Use to send one or more messages on to recipients who were not the
original addressees. All messages to be forwarded are encapsulated,
and a message header is added. Forwarded messages appear to originate
from the forwarder and not the sender of the original message.
You can specify the message which you want to forward by giving a msg
argument. You can supply one or more message numbers, or a range of
messages. If you do not supply a message number, takes the current
message. You can also specify a message in another folder by giving
the +folder argument. This argument can be used in conjunction with
the msg argument.
An editor is invoked 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 com‐
pleted draft. This prompt usually takes the form What now? See for
more information on the options available.
If you forward a number of messages, each forwarded message is encapsu‐
lated separately. When received, the message is suitable for expanding
By default, the mail system uses a standard message header for for‐
warded messages. This is taken from the system file You can supply
your own header by creating a file called in your Mail directory. If
this file exists, automatically uses the header in it when creating
If you do not have a draft folder set up, creates your new draft in a
file called in your Mail directory, usually This file must be empty
before you can create a new draft, which means that you can only store
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. The options are:
quit Aborts leaving the draft intact.
replace Replaces the existing draft with the appropriate message
list Displays the draft message.
refile Refiles the existing draft message in the specified folder,
and provides a new message form for you to complete.
If you want to be able to have more than one draft message at a time,
you can set up a draft folder in your This allows you to keep as many
unsent drafts as space allows, and still create new messages as you
wish. To do this, make sure that the following line is in your
For more information on how to do this, see
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 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 to the command.
If you use as your editor, you can specify the -prepend option to in
the file. If you do this, any text you add is entered before the for‐
warded messages. See for details of the other options.
Annotates the message you are forwarding. The following
lines are added to the message that you are forwarding:
The first line records the time at which the message was for‐
warded; the second records the addresses of the recipients of
the forwarded message.
The command only annotates messages when they are success‐
fully 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 by using to send the message, and renum‐
bering it before it is sent, for example by using to reorder
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.
This option is usually set up in your See for more informa‐
tion. If you have this option set up, you can override it by
using the -nodraftfolder option.
Specifies the file in which the draft message is created. If
no absolute pathname is given, the file is assumed to be in
your Mail directory, usually 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.
Specify the editor that you want to use to edit your for‐
warded message. You can supply the name of any approved
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 re-format them according
to instructions in a named filter file. This must be an mhl
file; see for more information.
The -format option also re-formats messages before encapsu‐
lating them in the draft. However, -format always re-formats
according to the instructions in the default file. The -fil‐
ter 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, takes the header of the draft mes‐
sage from the named file. If this option is not present, the
header is taken from the file in your Mail directory, or
failing that, from the mail system default header. However,
the -form option overrides both of these.
-noformat Reformats the messages to be forwarded before enclosing them
in the draft message. If this option is not supplied, the
forwarded messages are included in the draft exactly as they
appear. With the -format option, the forwarded message is
re-formatted according to the instructions in the file in
your Mail directory. If this file does not exist, the mes‐
sage is formatted according to the system file The file is an
mhl file; see for more information.
You can also use the -filter filterfile option to re-format
messages. The difference is that -format always takes its
instructions from the file. With -filter, you can specify
the name of the filter file you want to use.
-help Prints a list of the legal options to this command.
Causes annotation to be done in place, to preserve links to
the annotated message. This option only works with the
-noedit Suppresses editing of the draft message altogether.
Specifies an alternative program. Normally, invokes the
default program. See for a discussion of available options.
You can specify your own alternative to the default program
using the -whatnowproc program option. If you do specify
your own program, you should not call it
You can suppress the program entirely by using the -nowhat‐
nowproc option. However, as the program normally starts the
initial edit, the -nowhatnowproc option will prevent you from
editing the message.
The following are defaults for this command:
+folder defaults to the current folder
msgs defaults to the current message
Path: To determine your Mail directory
Draft-Folder: To find the default draft folder
Editor: To override the default editor
Msg-Protect: To set mode when creating a new message (draft)
fileproc: Program to refile the message
mhlproc: Program to filter messages being forwarded
whatnowproc: Program to ask 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 -digest.
The default message filter.
The user-supplied alternative to the default system message filter.
The user profile.
The draft file.
See Alsocomp(1mh), dist(1mh), refile(1mh), repl(1mh), send(1mh), whatnow(1mh)
Proposed Standard for Message Encapsulation (RFC 934)