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Tip of the Day

These tips were originally posted for Pine, but they are also useful in Alpine.

Below is the current list of tips. In case you want to read more tips, Nancy McGough keeps a list of more than 30 tips to speed Pine.

  1. Posted July 30, 2005
    On a curious note. If you enable [X] spell-check-before-sending, pine will not only check the spelling of the messages you send, but also the signatures you create (either literal or not) from the Main Menu (by pressing S S).
  2. Posted July 29, 2005
    If you read news from many servers, and you have enabled [X] enable-multiple-newsrc, there are at least two ways to read a newsgroup if you can access the target folder through an IMAP server:
    1. Using #move news.server local_folder, or
    2. using #move {proxy.imap}news.server {proxy.imap}local_folder
    The main difference between the two definitions is that the former will use a file called ~/.newsrc-news.server to store information between accesses of the news group you are reading, while the latter will always use your ~/.newsrc file to store such information. In particular, the second definition is good if you are thinking of reading the same maildrop from different computer machines with different ~/.pinerc files.
  3. Posted July 28, 2005
    If you enable [X] enable-multiple-newsrc, then Pine will create a file called ~/ to store the information on which posts you have deleted. If your ISP, however, changes that server, by an alias, Pine will not find the corresponding newsrc file and will read the state of each newsgroup as new. To avoid this to happen enable [X] mult-newsrc-hostnames-as-typed.
  4. Posted July 27, 2005
    The UW-IMAP server allows access to newsgroups using the IMAP server as a proxy server (so that you do not have to authenticate to the NNTP server, if you are already logged in into the IMAP server, and the news server and IMAP server know each other). This allows you to access a newsgroup as an incoming folder by defining the server where such newsgroup is as the imap server and the folder to open as the full path to the the nntp-folder. For example, to read the newsgroup comp.mail.pine in the news server news.server, through the imap server proxy.server, you would use the format:
  5. Posted July 26, 2005
    When you are in the index screen and press the TAB key, Pine will move to the next Unread or Important message in the folder. You can make Pine search for unread messages only by enabling [X] tab-visits-next-new-message-only
  6. Posted July 25, 2005
    Google offers POP3 access to its subscribers for reading your INBOX only. However, the best way to access your INBOX is not by reading it as a POP3 folder, but instead as a maildrop. Add under incoming folders
    Gmail #move {}INBOX ~/GmailInbox
    This will download all e-mail from your Gmail account to a folder in your home directory.
  7. Posted July 24, 2005
    If you have not enabled quell-dead-letter-on-cancel, then every time that you cancel a message, Pine (over)writes a file named dead.letter that contains the text you were writing in the message before you cancelled that message. You can make Pine create more dead.letter files by setting the variable dead-letter-files to the maximum number of dead.letter files that you want created. Your last cancelled message is always in the file dead.letter.
  8. Posted July 22, 2005
    I normally filter e-mail from my INBOX to my incoming folders using procmail, and save all my e-mail for those folders in that folder. However, one can have mail moved from any particular incoming folder to a saved-message-folder of your choice (so that only new mail be in that folder). In order to set this up, from the main screen press S, C and define the option incoming-folders-archive, as a list, where each line is in the format Incoming-Folder Archive-Folder (e.g.INBOX saved-messages)
  9. Posted July 21, 2005
    You can use a filter to make Pine archive messages from a specific sender (e.g. your partner), in a specific folder, instead of the read-message-folder. In this case, when you define the filter you want to set, among other settings, Message is New (Unseen)? = (*) No, which will match only read messages (so only read messages will be moved, as is the case with the auto-move-read-msgs feature.)
  10. Posted July 20, 2005
    Pine can save all messages flagged read and not deleted when you close the program. In order to set this, you must enable [X] auto-move-read-msgs and define the folder that you will use to have those messages moved in the option read-message-folder =.
  11. Posted July 19, 2005
    The periodic informational post posted by Gopi Sundaram contains answers to some frequently asked questions in comp.mail.pine.
  12. Posted July 18, 2005
    You can use keywords to filter messages. An unexpected use of this feature is that you can have a keyword called Reply Later. You can create a filter that changes the status of such messages to Unseen. This combination will prevent that the message be removed from your inbox if you have the auto-move-read-msgs feature enabled. In this way the message will remain in your INBOX until you clear that keyword.
  13. Posted July 17, 2005
    Keywords can not contain spaces in their definitions. If you add a space to the definition of the keyword, it will be considered that all text preceding the last space is a nickname for the keyword and the keyword itself is the text following the last space. One can use this to give nicknames to keywords, for example one can define a keyword as SAspam SpamAccordingToSpamAssassin. In this case, a message will be internally tagged as SpamAccordingToSpamAssassin, but you will see it in the index screen or flag command, as tagged SAspam (which is much shorter!).
  14. Posted July 16, 2005
    The number of keywords that you can set on a message is server/folder dependent. For example local folders in Pine and the UW-IMAP server accept up to 32 keywords (other keywords are ignored).
  15. Posted July 15, 2005
    Some people define keywords starting with the $ character. For example $label1. The problem with this definition is that Pine will try to expand this keyword as an environment variable, rather than interpreting it as a keyword. If you want to have a keyword that starts with a $ character, you must double the $ character (e.g $$label1) in its definition.
  16. Posted July 14, 2005
    Not all IMAP servers, nor POP3 servers keep keywords, and some local folders in some formats (e.g. MH, Maildir) neither do so. Having said this, it is possible that your local format has been extended to support keywords, but such extension is non-standard, so expect failures if you use Pine with these type of folders.
  17. Posted July 13, 2005
    Keywords (also known as labels) can be set on messages, in the same way that you would set a normal flag (e.g. Answered, Deleted, etc.). You must define the name of the Keywords you want to set first (e.g. "Answer Later", or "Trip Related", or "Unfinished Business", etc.). You must define your labels in the keywords configuration option.
  18. Posted July 12, 2005
    If you need to input 8-bit characters in your message, you must set your character-set variable to a value different from US-ASCII.
  19. Posted July 11, 2005
    The arrival date of a message to a folder (the date in which that message was saved to the folder) is saved in Pine in the From separator line. If you ever need to fix a folder, copying a From separator line from another message destroys this type of information, so when you generate a From separator line make sure you pay attention to these details.
  20. Posted July 10, 2005
    The pipe "|" command in Pine has a few toggles. Each subcommand toggles between two options. For example you can use the ^R command to toggle between Raw or Processed text, which means that the pipe will receive the message "as is", or how Pine displays it. You can capture the output of the pipe and display that, or do not display it at all, and you can add the From separator line or not (using the "with delimiter" toggle).
  21. Posted July 09, 2005
    The unix driver is a format where all messages are saved in the same file and are separated between them by a line which has a very specific format. Such line begins with the string "From ". If you save a message, Pine will NOT add a leading quote to such lines unless they look like a From separator line. If this causes problems for you, enable [X] Save-Will-Quote-Leading-Froms.
  22. Posted July 08, 2005
    Sometimes Pine does not receive some commands you give it. For example, you may press ^X and see nothing happen. This is because the command is being intercepted before Pine receives it. If this is your case, try pressing ESC ESC X. This applies to any Control command too.
  23. Posted July 07, 2005
    If you set threads to be expanded by default and one of them is very long, going to the first message of it may not be easy. One way to simplify this process is by enabling [X] slash-collapses-entire-thread. To go to the first message of the thread, from the index screen put the cursor over any message in the thread and press the forward slash key (/) twice.
  24. Posted July 06, 2005
    Every time that Pine is run for the first time in a month, Pine will ask you if you want to rename certain special folders, like sent-mail or saved-messages. There are two ways to avoid being asked this question:
    1. You can set the variable last-time-prune-questioned to a big value, like 999.12 (which means ask me again on January of the year 2900), or
    2. You can set the variable pruning-rule to the value no-no, which means do not ask me again about these folders and do not rename such folders every month.

  25. Posted July 05, 2005
    You can save a message to a non existing folder in a non existing directory. If any of the folders or directories in the path of the folder do not exist, Pine will create them for you.
  26. Posted July 04, 2005
    Checks for new mail occur every certain number of seconds, which is determined by the value of the variable mail-check-interval. If you quit Pine in between checks, it is possible that you do not see new mail that just arrived after the last check. To avoid this possibility enable check-newmail-when-quitting.
  27. Posted July 03, 2005
    If you read newsgroups or mailing lists from, you will see that all their newsgroups begin with the string "gmane". You can make that string disappear (and hence have a cleaner display) if you define the Path: field in the definition of the collection as "#news.gmane." instead of "#news.".
  28. Posted July 02, 2005
    Filters can not check for all possible values in headers (e.g. empty headers), or can not be used to check for certain properties of the message (e.g. the message has a size smaller than 30K). For this kind of tests, use the categorizer command in the filter, which is simply a path to a script/command that you will use to determine if the filter applies to the message. The test is successful if the external command returns an exit value in a predetermined range, set in the filter.
    See also: Using External Commands to Filter Messages.
  29. Posted July 01, 2005
    If you subscribe to a newsgroup that has a big volume of posts, chances are Pine will take a long time to open it. This is specially true if you are using a dial-up connection to your ISP. If you see a big delay in Pine when it opens big newsgroups, you should set nntp-range to the maximum number of posts you want Pine to download in a session (e.g. 400 or a smaller value).
  30. Posted June 30, 2005
    One can manually edit many of the configurations options in Pine, directly from the .pinerc file. When you do this, keep in mind that options whose values are lists (like alt-addresses), must list values on one line per value and ended in a comma, except by the last value which should not have a trailing comma.
    If you wish to remove a value from a list, precede the line that contains such value with a # character and move it to the last line of the list, keeping in mind the format of the above paragraph.
  31. Posted June 29, 2005
    If Pine takes a long time to open your INBOX it may be due to a timeout (an amount of time that passes before an operation gets cancelled). If this is your case, you may want to set certain timeouts to zero. For example, set rsh-open-timeout and ssh-open-timeout to 0 (zero).
  32. Posted June 27, 2005
    You can test Pine against many IMAP servers in your local machine, without the need to install such servers. You can do so by defining the inbox-path to point to {name.local.machine}inbox and make the rsh-path point to the /full/path/to/imapd (this requires, of course, that you do not disable rsh, which means that rsh-open-timeout must be different from zero).
  33. Posted June 24, 2005
    If you access a remote pinerc or addressbook you will see that Pine keeps a number of old copies of such files as if they were e-mail messages in a folder. The number of copies of such file that are kept can be controlled by the variable remote-abook-history in your .pinerc and it defaults to 3 copies.
  34. Posted June 23, 2005
    The G goto command allows you to open folders or newsgroups that are not listed in any collection. You can use this trick to open a remote addressbook or pinerc file by entering G {name.imap.server/user=YourId}path_to_remote_file. You can use this to remove unwanted copies of addressbooks or configuration files that you do not want.
  35. Posted June 22, 2005
    You can save your .pinerc file in an IMAP server. This is useful if you access Pine on different machines and you want to use similar configurations in all of them. You can use Pine to save your .pinerc file in an IMAP server by pressing S Z from the main screen.
  36. Posted June 21, 2005
    In PC-Pine you can specify a color as a combination of red, green and blue. All you need to remember are the codes for "red = 256,0,0", "green = 0,256,0", and "blue = 0,0,256". With those values you can create new colors, for example "white = red + green + blue = 256, 256, 256", "black = 0,0,0", etc.
  37. Posted June 20, 2005
    When you delete an entry in your address book, it is not actually removed from it, but it is moved to the top of the file and commented out by adding a pound sign # at the beginning of the line. This is useful if you remove an entry by mistake and later want to recover it. In this case simply remove the # sign in front of the line that you want to recover.
  38. Posted June 19, 2005
    Copying folders between collections can be done using the E Export and U Import commands in the folder collections. Here's how:
    1. From the folder list screen "Export" the folder you want to copy (to file "foo").
    2. Create the destination folder in the other collection (say folder "bar").
    3. From the folder list screen, put the cursor over folder "bar" and "Import" (use the "U" command) the file "foo".

  39. Posted June 18, 2005
    You can use environment variables in your roles or filters in general. In order to make Pine know the exact name of the environment variable, you must enclose it between braces. For example you can write the environment variable ${HOME}. If you write $HOME, the filter will disappear and will not be editable, nor selectable again.
  40. Posted June 17, 2005
    When you close an incoming folder, chances are it was not closed. When a folder is remote, the connection is possibly kept alive (and the folder open) even if you are not in that folder. This is done to minimize the cost of opening a folder, because this process is considered expensive. Due to this behavior, you may find that the next time that you open a folder, a few new messages that you had not seen before are marked unseen, or that the TAB key will not find new messages in such folder, even though, in your opinion there are new messages in such folder. In order to minimize this latter inconvenience, enable [X] tab-uses-unseen-for-next-folder.
  41. Posted June 16, 2005
    Every field that is displayed in the index screen when you open a folder is controlled by a token which must be entered in the index-format configuration option. The IMAPSTATUS token has four codes for the status of a message, which allow you to differentiate between new and old messages. They are:

    People find that IMAPSTATUS looks strange, but everyone gets quickly accostumed to the new look and greater amount of information you get.
  42. Posted June 15, 2005
    The default configuration of Pine makes you think that any message marked with an N in the index is "New". An N flag means that either the message is new in the folder (it was not there the last time the folder was closed), or the message is unseen (the message was in the folder the last time it was closed, but the message had not been read or had been read but flagged unseen).
  43. Posted May 31, 2005
    The default in Pine is that all messages will be sent with content-type set to flowed. Sometimes this creates problems, because in flowed text it is easy to break formatting of the message. For example, a table may not look right at the receiving end, even though it displays well for you before you send it. To make sure that your messages preserves formatting you have three choices:
    1. disable flowed text completely. This is done by enabling [X] quell-flowed-text, or
    2. make sure that when you send the message, the message is not sent as a flowed message. This is done when you press ^X to send the message. In this case, there will be a menu in the bottom which includes the ^V command, which is the key you need to press, or
    3. (Recommended) Make sure that the lines that need to preserve the original formatting are fixed. This means that the last character in each of those lines in NOT a space.

    See also: Information on flowed text support in Pine.
  44. Posted May 30, 2005
    If you keep files for your "green and red lists" (or if you prefer, "white and black lists"), you can use Pine to add entries to that file. First enable [X] enable-take-export. Now every time that you see and address that you want to add to a file, press the T command in the index screen while the cursor is over the message whose addresses you want to add, and select E to export addresses. Pine will give you a screen which lists addresses that you can export to the desired file. The said address will be appended at the end of the file, keeping the format of only one address per line.
  45. Posted May 29, 2005
    If you receive an e-mail message as an attachment, Pine does not let you reply to the message in the attachment. However once the message that contains the attachment is open, you can press V to go to the list of attachments, put the cursor over the attachment that contains the message you want to reply and press R to reply to the message.
  46. Posted May 28, 2005
    Using a password file is a great way to speed login into a mailbox. The only drawback is that you may forget your password. If this is your case, you can recover your password by running Pine with the command pine -d 10. Your password will be recorded in the debug file. This requires that Pine be compiled with debug support, which is the default in the compilation of Pine.
  47. Posted May 27, 2005
    If you use ispell or aspell as your speller, make sure that you call it with the option -x, which avoids that the speller will leave backup files in the /tmp directory.
  48. Posted May 26, 2005
    The arrival time of a message in a folder is the time when the message was saved in that folder, so when you copy messages between folders, this internal date is modified, therefore when you transfer messages between folders it is better if you sort the original folder by Arrival, to preserve at least the arrival order, even though the arrival date will be lost.
  49. Posted May 25, 2005
    The explanation of what all available commands in a screen do can be obtained by pressing ? or ^G.
  50. Posted May 24, 2005
    Neither the editor, nor the speller configurations allow you to write many options for the program you will use. If you need to specify lots of options, make your editor, or speller a script that calls the program you will want to open. The script can contain all the options you need.
  51. Posted May 23, 2005
    When you attach a file in Pine you can use the TAB key to complete the name of the attachment. To do this, put the cursor in the headers section of the message and press ^J. Pine will ask you for a file name to attach. While entering the name of the file, press the TAB to see if Pine can find a unique file containing the string you have entered, and in that case it will use that name for the file to attach.
  52. Posted May 22, 2005
    If you have incoming folders in different IMAP servers, you may want to preopen at least one folder in each server, and set the number of remote connections equal to the number of incoming folders. In this way operations like opening remote folders, or checking for new mail with the TAB key will be faster, since Pine will not have to open a connection to the server, but will reuse an old connection to one of the preopen folders.
  53. Posted May 21, 2005
    Pine asks you every month if you want to archive your default fcc and read-messages folders. You can have Pine do this automatically, or not do it at all. In order to determine what to do every time Pine is run for the first time of the month, from the Main Screen press S C and set up the value of the variable pruning-rule.
  54. Posted May 20, 2005
    You can use environment variables to define the value of a configuration option. For example, one can define the inbox-path variable to be inbox-path = {your.imap.server/user=$LOGNAME}inbox, where LOGNAME is a variable which the system assigns upon startup which contains the username of your account. Environment variables are only expanded when you start Pine, so if the environment variable changes its value while Pine is being executed, it will not be seen by Pine.
  55. Posted May 19, 2005
    If you are having problems with a message in Pine, and the folder where the message is located is in an IMAP server, first save the message to a local folder. If the problem disappears then it is likely that the problem is related to the external server. If the problem persists it is very likely to be a problem with Pine and you should report it to one of the public forums, like the pine-info mailing list or comp.mail.pine.
  56. Posted May 18, 2005
    There are two dates associated to a message, one of them is always visible and it is the date in the Date: header of the message. The other one is an invisible date, which is the date when the message was saved into the folder, this date is the Arrival date. For messages in your inbox those two dates are probably close, but if you save this message to another folder, then in that folder the arrival date will be the date that you saved it into that folder, while the other date (in the Date: header) will remain intact.
    Pine allows you to select messages (using the ; command) based on these two dates, the date in the Date: header is called the Sent date, while the other is called the Arrived date.
  57. Posted May 17, 2005
    Tranferring folders using (s)ftp is always a bad idea. The transfer of files may damage a folder, making it unreadable. If your folders are located in a collection under an IMAP server, you should try to use aggregate operations to save such messages to some other folder. For more information on how to copy several messages between folders at the same time see this tip.
  58. Posted May 16, 2005
    Starting on version 4.63 Pine allows you to read quoted messages so that no spaces between quote strings are printed, printing longer lines of text in the screen. This can be done by setting the variable quote-replace-string to the value ">" " " (this means two double quotes enclosing a bigger than sign, followed by a space, and another double quotes enclosing a space). You may also want to enable [X] quote-replace-nonflowed.
  59. Posted May 15, 2005
    The TAB command can be used in an Incoming-Folders collection to check which folders contain new mail. If, in addition, you prefer to check for folders that contain either new or unseen e-mail simply enable [X] tab-uses-unseen-for-next-folder.
    See also: Information on the Incoming Folders Collection.
  60. Posted May 14, 2005
    Applying a display filter to a message will destroy coloring of different levels of quotes, unless you enable [X] disable-terminal-reset-for-display-filters.
  61. Posted May 13, 2005
    If you ever post to Usenet and for any reason your post contain accents or in general "8 bits" characters, Pine will post a message which will be unreadable in some newsreaders. To fix this problem enable [X] downgrade-multipart-to-text.
  62. Posted May 12, 2005
    You can attach several messages at the same time, as long as they are in the same directory. To do this, put the cursor over the Attchmnt field in the headers section of the message that you are composing and press ^T. This will bring a list of files which you can use to attach. After navigating to the correct directory, press L to enter in List mode. Select each file you want by pressing the X command next to each file and finally when you have selected all required files, press S to include them in the attachment list.
  63. Posted May 11, 2005
    The feature [X] enable-mouse-in-xterm controls what happens when you press the mouse buttons in the screen. If enabled, you will be able to execute commands in Pine by clicking in the menu in the bottom of the screen. In this case, copying and pasting with the mouse is done as usual, but you need to press the shift key simultaneously with the left and middle buttons of the mouse. If you do not want to execute commands with the mouse you can keep this feature disabled and in that case copying and pasting is done as usual, by using the left and middle buttons of the mouse.
  64. Posted May 10, 2005
    You can delete selected attachments of a message. Open the message and press V. Put the cursor over any attachment that you want to delete and press D. Now go back to reading the message, and save the message, to the same folder (or to other folder). The saved message will not contain the deleted attachments.
  65. Posted May 09, 2005
    Even if there is no space between the quote string and the text, you can add one to make text easier to read. Set the Quote-Replace-String option either to "> " " " or ">" " ".
  66. Posted May 08, 2005
    If a status message that Pine prints in the screen disappears too quickly, you can read it in the journal, which can be reached by pressing J from the Main Screen. You can use this to read detailed execution information in the debug, by changing the debug level once you are in the journal screen.
  67. Posted May 07, 2005
    You can copy all messages between two folders, by using the ; select command. Simply enable [X] enable-aggregate-command-set and use the command ; A A S and enter the name of the folder where you want to copy all the messages. Observe that there are many more options available in the menu after you press the ; Select command.
  68. Posted May 06, 2005
    If you receive several attachments, you can save them all at once. In order to do so, open the message as if you were going to read it, and press E to export the message. You will see a menu in the bottom, which should have a ^P AllParts command. If it does, simply press ^P. Pine will save the message to a file with any name you want (e.g.: foo), and save the attachments to a directory whose name is obtained from the name of the file containing your message with extension "d" (e.g. foo.d).
  69. Posted May 05, 2005
    The fact that Pine looks the same despite of its version number is a myth. Sometimes Pine changes its behavior from well established old behavior. If you find that this is the case, or you want to know which changes affected the current version of Pine, simply read the Release Notes, which can be found from the Main Menu by pressing R.
  70. Posted May 04, 2005
    If you go to the SETUP CONFIGURATION screen, you can change your inbox-path in two ways. One is to press RETURN over that variable and answer each question as appears. The other one is to enter (at the first question) the full path to your inbox. For example you could enter {your.imap.server/user=YourID}INBOX, at that prompt. This works even if you define your INBOX as a maildrop.
  71. Posted May 03, 2005
    To create a directory in a local collection, press A ^X and add the name of the directory to be created. To create the folder foo in the directory bar, simply enter bar/foo as the name of the folder. In the event that the directoy bar does not exist, Pine will create it for you.
  72. Posted May 02, 2005
    Everyone sees your names in your posts to a newsgroup, even if you see them as To: Pine shows where you posted instead of your name. You can change this behavior by going to the main screen and pressing S C, and in the index-format changed the definition of the FROMORTO token to FROMORTONOTNEWS. See the help text for the index-format variable for details on how to make this change.
  73. Posted May 01, 2005
    If you receive a message which contains quoted text, you reply to it, you have not disabled flowed-text support, and you use a normal quote string like ">", then Pine will send your message using flowed text.
    If the original messages was not in flowed text, then the quoted text will not be transformed to flowed text by Pine, unless you justify it. This defeats a little bit the purpose of flowed text, so always justify the full message that you are sending. This can be done with the command ^W^U, or in a paragraph by paragraph basis using the ^J command.
    See also: Patch that allows you to justify quoted text under different quotes
  74. Posted April 30, 2005
    If your version of Pine creates debug files, these are created with debug level defaulting to the number 2. If you need to change the debug level while you are running Pine, you can do so by going to the Main Screen and pressing the number that you would like to set the new debug level. For example, pressing the number 5 will set the debug level to 5.
  75. Posted April 29, 2005
    Starting in version 4.63, a new command to reprocess filters is available. If you want your filters to run at a particular time while you are in the folder, press M S R N.
  76. Posted April 28, 2005
    The Home and End keys of your keyboard can be used to scroll to the top or bottom of the screen respectively. For example in the index screen, the Home key scrolls to the page containing the first message in the folder, and the End key scrolls to the last message in the folder. If you are reading a message, the Home key scrolls to the headers of the messages, while the End key scrolls to the last page of the message. This can also be done (in this a other screens by pressing ^W^Y to go to the top and ^W^V to go to the bottom of the screen).
  77. Posted April 27, 2005
    There is a nice bug in Pine, which can be exploited to your advantage. The G Goto command can be used to go fast to your INBOX folder. This was explained in this tip. If you have multiple collections, then the G RETURN G RETURN trick to return to the same mailbox may not work if you are trying to return to a folder in the incoming-folders collection, since Pine naturally tries to return to INBOX. In this case, changing the collection and returning to it (by pressing the G Up and Down arrow keys) will reset the default folder to go, from INBOX to the last folder you opened in the incoming-folders collections, which is probably what you want to happen.
  78. Posted April 26, 2005
    If a configuration value appears twice in your .pinerc, Pine will use the last value that it finds. Make sure you always remove duplicate values from your .pinerc file. To get a fresh start use the command pine -conf.
  79. Posted April 25, 2005
    If you are having problems because Pine was built with the old maildir patch and you do not use maildirs, you can disable such support by adding disable-these-drivers=maildir in your .pinerc.
    See also: New maildir patch
  80. Posted April 24, 2005
    If you do not have much space to build Pine in your own account, you can reduce the amount of space needed to build by doing the following: This requires only 30MB to build Pine, and it can be pushed down even farther.
  81. Posted April 23, 2005
    If you do not want to be asked about pruning folders each month, press S C in the Main Screen and set the value of the option prune-rule. I set it up as don't rename don't delete, and use environment variables to control creation and pruning of these.
  82. Posted April 22, 2005
    If in the folder list screen you see a name of a folder followed by the string [.] or [/], it means that that name refers to a directory and a folder. To open the folder press RETURN, and to open the directory press >. If you find that listing folders this way is confusing, consider enabling [X] separate-folder-and-directory-entries.
  83. Posted April 21, 2005
    If you are editing your configurations and you add a comma in the value of an option that contains several values (like customized-hdrs), then Pine will split the line you entered into two or more lines, where the comma was placed. To avoid this, enclose the full value of that option in double quotes, as in: "some value, which contains a comma, must be enclosed in double quotes".
  84. Posted April 20, 2005
    If Pine is using your local mbox file to move messages from /var/spool/mail to it, you can stop this behavior by adding disable-these-drivers=mbox to your .pinerc. In case you are having problems with the old maildir patch and you do not use maildir, simply add maildir there too.
    See also: Compiling Alpine and the mbox driver
  85. Posted April 19, 2005
    If you want to reopen a mailbox to check its new status (like a POP3 folder, or a newsgroup, or a closed connection to a remote IMAP server, press < >. What will happen next will depend on the value of the configuration option folder-reopen-rule.
  86. Posted April 18, 2005
    Never make a remote POP3 folder your INBOX. Pine never checks if new e-mail has arrived to a POP3 folder while it was opened. It is always better to add a remote POP3 folder as an incoming folder, since reopening the folder will always show you all new mail that has arrived (to do the same in INBOX you would have to close Pine).
    See also: The Incoming Folders Collection
  87. Posted April 17, 2005
    Organize all your incoming folders so that those that are in the same server are next to each other in the listing. When this is done this way, and you press TAB to check for new mail in one of them, the same connection is used to check for all folders in that server. If you don't do this, then Pine will close the connection to that server when it will open a connection to a new one, which slows down the check. (Opening secure remote connections is considered expensive compared to checking for new mail in an already opened connection).
  88. Posted April 16, 2005
    If you want more space for the subject in the index screen, you could eliminate the message number field from the display by reconfiguring the index-format variable. The number of the message that you are seeing is always at the top of the screen.
    See also: The Index Screen
  89. Posted April 15, 2005
    The fastest way to get to your INBOX from any folder is by pressing G RETURN. The G command allows you to go to any folder, but unless you have changed your goto-default-rule, this defaults to INBOX. You can return to the last folder you were in by pressing G RETURN again.
  90. Posted April 14, 2005
    In order to know how many new messages there are in an incoming folder, put the cursor over that folder (in the FOLDER LIST screen) and press the TAB key. This requires that you enable [X] tab-checks-recent. This does not work in the Mail/ collection or in newsgroups.
    See also: Patch to check new mail in incoming folders
  91. Posted April 13, 2005
    If while you are composing a message using Pico a new message arrives, Pine will notify you and the notification will remain there for a long period of time. If you wish to make such notification disappear press ^C twice.
  92. Posted April 12, 2005
    You can send a link to a local file over e-mail, by using the file:// resource locator. For example file:///etc/pine.conf may be a link to the file /etc/pine.conf.
  93. Posted April 11, 2005
    If you change your From: field to be a different e-mail address to the default one, add your new address to the alt-addresses configuration option. This will avoid Pine including your address in a reply, and will make Pine show the index correctly in folders like sent-mail.
  94. Posted April 10, 2005
    If you can read news from more than one server, try enabling [X] enable-multiple-newsrcs, and if you can post to more than one server try enabling [X] predict-nntp-server.
  95. Posted April 09, 2005
    If you use a screen with a margin that is too wide, it is more convenient to set viewer-margin-right to a value like 74c than to its default. The default makes Pine print characters up to 4 characters before the margin; a value of 74c makes Pine print characters up the 74 column.
  96. Posted April 08, 2005
    If you receive an attachment of type text, and Pine does not realize about it, you can see it, before you save it, by opening the message, pressing V |, and entering cat. This process is called piping and requires that you enable [X] enable-unix-pipe-cmd.
  97. Posted April 07, 2005
    If you are tired of pressing C to compose a message and answer too many questions before you can start composing a message, simply enable [X] alternate-compose-menu. A new message is always C <RETURN> away.
  98. Posted April 06, 2005
    If you want to process or filter the body of the message that you are composing in Pico, without sending the message, make the ^T command a script that can call the filter, instead of making it just call the speller.
  99. Posted April 05, 2005
    You can edit any configuration option from the configuration screen (press M S C to get there) and make sure you enable [X] expose-hidden-config. The next time you get to that screen all hidden options will be visible.
  100. Posted April 04, 2005
    If Pine has problems connecting to a server and becomes unresponsive with a message Still waiting..., edit your .pinerc file and change the value of tcp-query-timeout to a small value. This will make Pine respond faster.
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