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NN

Section: User Commands (1)
Updated: Release 6.6
Index Return to Main Contents
 

NAME

nn - efficient net news interface (No News is good news)  

SYNOPSIS

nn [ options ] [ newsgroup | +folder | file ]...
nn -g [ -r ]
nn -a0 [ newsgroup ]...  

DESCRIPTION

Net news is a world-wide information exchange service covering numerous topics in science and every day life. Topics are organized in news groups, and these groups are open for everybody to post articles on a subject related to the topic of the group.

Nn is a `point-and-shoot' net news interface program, or a news reader for short (not to be confused with the human news reader). When you use nn, you can decide which of the many news groups you are interested in, and you can unsubscribe to those which don't interest you. nn will let you read the new (and old) articles in each of the groups you subscribe to using a menu based article selection prior to reading the articles in the news group.

When a news group is entered, nn will locate all the presently unread articles in the group, and extract their sender, subject, and other relevant information. This information is then rearranged, sorted, and marked in various ways to give it a pleasant format when it is presented on the screen.

This will be done very quickly, because nn uses the NOV database via the NNTP XOVER command. The news server to use can be overridden by setting the environment variable $NNTPSERVER to the name of the system (such as news.newserver.com), or by setting the variable nntp-server (on the command line only, since it is looked at before the init file), as "nntp-server=news.some.domain"). If you use multiple servers, you probably want to set the nn-directory and newsrc variables on the command line to an alternate names as well, since some of the data files are server dependent. If you are using a slow tcp link (such as ppp over a modem) and NNTP, see the NOTES section at the end of this manual.

When the article menu appears on the screen, nn will be in a mode called selection mode. In this mode, the articles which seems to be interesting can be selected by single keystrokes (using the keys a-z and 0-9). When all the interesting articles among the ones presently displayed have been selected, the space bar is hit, which causes nn to enter reading mode.

In reading mode, each of the selected articles will be presented. You use the space bar to go on to the next page of the current article, or to the next article. Of course, there are all sorts of commands to scroll text up and down, skip to the next article, responding to an article, decrypt an article, and so on.

When all the selected articles in the current group have been read, the last hit on the space bar will cause nn will continue to the next group with unread articles, and enter selection mode on that group.  

FREQUENTLY USED OPTIONS

nn accepts a lot of command line options, but here only the frequently used options are described. Options can also be set permanently by including appropriate variable settings in the init file described later. All options are described in the section on Command Line Options towards the end of this manual.

The frequently used command line options are:

-a0
Catch up on unread articles and groups. See the section "Catch up" below.
-g
Prompt for the name of a news group or folder to be entered (with completion).
-r
Used with -g to repeatedly prompt for groups to enter.
-lN
Print only the first N lines of the first page of each article before prompting to continue. This is useful on slow terminals and modem lines to be able to see the first few lines of longer articles.
-sWORD
Collect only articles which contain the string WORD in their subject (case is ignored). This is normally combined with the -x and -m options to find all articles on a specific subject.
-s/regexp
Collect only articles whose subject matches the regular expression regexp. This is normally combined with the -x and -m options to find all articles on a specific subject.
-nWORD or -n/regexp
Same as -s except that it matches on the sender's name instead of the article's subject. This is normally combined with the -x and -m options to find all articles from a specific author. It cannot be mixed with the -s option!
-i
Normally searches with -n and -s are case independent. Using this option, the case becomes significant.
-m
Merge all articles into one `meta group' instead of showing them one group at a time. This is normally used together with the -x and -s options to get all the articles on a specific subject presented on a single menu (when you don't care about which group they belong to). When -m is used, no articles will be marked as read.
-x[N]
Present (or scan) all (or the last N) unread as well as read articles. When this option is used, nn will never mark unread articles as read (i.e. .newsrc is not updated).
-X
Read/scan unsubscribed groups also. Most useful when looking for a specific subject in all groups, e.g.
        nn -mxX -sSubject all
news.group or file or +folder
If none of these arguments are given, all subscribed news groups will be used. Otherwise, only the specified news groups and/or files will be collected and presented. In specifying a news groups, the following `meta notation' can be used:
If the news group ends with a `.' (or `.all'), all subgroups of the news group will be collected, e.g.
        comp.sources.
If a news group starts with a `.' (or `all.'), all the matching subgroups will be collected, e.g.
        .sources.unix
The argument `all' identifies all (subscribed) news groups.
 

COMMAND INPUT

In general, nn commands consist of one or two key-strokes, and nn reacts instantly to the commands you give it; you don't have to enter return after each command (except where explicitly stated).

Some commands have more serious effects than others, and therefore nn requests you to confirm the command. You confirm by hitting the the y key, and reject by hitting the n key. Some `trivial' requests may also be confirmed simply by hitting space. For example, to confirm the creation of a save file, just hit space, but if one or more directories also have to be created, you must enter y.

Many commands will require that you enter a line of text, e.g. a file name or a shell command. If you enter space as the first character on a line, the line will be filled with a default value (if one is defined). For example, the default value for a file name is the last file name you have entered, and the default shell command is your previous shell command. You can edit this default value as well as a directly typed text, using the following editing commands. The erase, kill, and interrupt keys are the keys defined by the current tty settings. On systems without job control, the suspend key will be control-Z while it is the current suspend character on system with job control.

erase

Delete the last character on the line.
delete-word (normally ^W)

Delete the last word or component of the input.
kill

Delete all characters on the line.
interrupt and control-G

Cancel the command which needs the input.
suspend
Suspend nn if supported by the system. Otherwise, spawn an interactive shell.
return

Terminate the line, and continue with the command.

Related variables: erase-key, flow-control, flush-typeahead, help-key, kill-key, word-key.  

BASIC COMMANDS

There are numerous commands in nn, and most of them can be invoked by a single keystroke. The descriptions in this manual are based on the standard bindings of the commands to the keys, but it is possible to customize these using the map command described later. For each of the keystroke commands described in this manual, the corresponding command name will also be shown in curly braces, e.g. {command}.

The following commands work in both selection mode and in reading mode. The notation ^X means `control X':

?       {help}
Help. Gives a one page overview of the commands available in the
current mode.
^L      {redraw}
Redraw screen.
^R      {redraw}
Redraw screen (Same as ^L).
^P      {message}
Repeat the last message shown on the message line. The command can be
repeated to successively show previous messages (the maximum number of saved messages is controlled via the message-history variable.)
!       {shell}
Shell escape. The user is prompted for a command which is executed
by your favorite shell (see the shell variable). Shell escapes are described in detail later on.
Q       {quit}
Quit nn. When you use this command, you neither lose unread
articles in the current group nor the selections you might have made (unless the articles are expired in the meantime of course).
V       {version}
Print release and version information.
:command {command}
Execute the command by name. This form can be used to invoke any of nn's commands, also those which cannot be bound to a key (such as :coredump), or those which are not bound to a key by default (such as post and unshar).

Related and basic variables: backup, backup-suffix, confirm-auto-quit, expert, mail, message-history, new-group-action, newsrc, quick-count.  

SELECTION MODE

In selection mode, the screen is divided into four parts: the header line showing the name of the news group and the number of articles, the menu lines which show the collected articles - one article per line, the prompt line where you enter commands, and the message line where nn prints various messages to you.

Each menu line begins with an article id which is a unique letter (or digit if your screen can show more than 26 menu lines). To select an articles for reading, you simply enter the corresponding id, and the menu line will be high-lighted to indicate that the article is selected. When you have selected all the interesting articles on the present menu, you simply hit space.

If there are more articles collected for the current group than could be presented on one screenful of text, you will be presented with the next portion of articles to select from. When you have had the opportunity to select among all the articles in the group, hitting space will enter reading mode.

If no articles have been selected in the current group, hitting space will enter selection mode on the next news group, or exit nn if the current group was the last news group with unread articles. It is thus possible to go through ALL unread articles (without reading any of them) just by hitting space a few times.

The articles will be presented on the menu using one of the following layouts:

0:
x Name......... Subject.............. +123
1:
x Name......... 123 Subject..............
2:
x 123 Subject...................................
3:
x Subject...........................................
4:
x Subject........................................

Here x is the letter or digit that must be entered to select the article, Name is the real name of the sender (or the mail address if the real name cannot be found), Subject is the contents of the "Subject:" line in the article, and 123 is the number of lines in the article.

Layout 0 and 1 are just two ways to present the same information, while layout 2 and 3 are intended for groups whose articles have very long subject lines, e.g. comp.sources.

Layout 4 is a hybrid between layout 1 and 3. It will normally use layout 1, but it will use layout 3 (with a little indentation) for menu lines where the subject is longer than the space available with layout 1.

Layout 1 is the default layout, and an alternative menu line layout is selected using the -L option or by setting the layout variable. Once nn is started the layout can be changed at any time using the " key {layout}.

The Name is limited to 16 characters, and to make maximum use of this space, nn will perform a series of simplifications on the name, e.g. changing first names into initials, removing domain names from mail addresses (if the real name is not found) etc. It does a good job, but some people on the net put weird things into the From: field (or actually into their password file) which result in nn producing quite cryptic, and sometimes funny "names".

One a usual 80 column terminal, the Subject is limited to about 60 characters (75 in layout 3) and is thus only an approximation to the actual subject line which may be much longer. To get as much out of this space, Re: prefixes (in various forms) are recognized and replaced by a single `>' character (see the re-layout variable).

Since articles are sorted according to the subject, two or more adjacent articles may share the same subject (ignoring any `>'s). In this case, only the first article will show the subject of the article; the rest will only show the `>' character in the subject field (or a `-' if there is no `>' at the beginning of the line). A typical menu will thus only show each subject once, saving a lot of time in scanning the news articles.

If consolidated menus (see section below) are enabled, adjacent articles sharing the same subject will be shown with a single line on the menu corresponding to the first of the articles. The number of articles with the same subject will be shown as a braketed number in front of the subject, e.g. with layout 1:

        x Name.........   123  [4] Subject..............
For further information see the section on consolidated menus below.

Related variables: collapse-subject, columns, confirm-entry, confirm-entry-limit, entry-report-limit, fsort, kill, layout, limit, lines, long-menu, re-layout, repeat, slow-mode, sort, sort-mode, split, subject-match-limit, subject-match-offset, subject-match-parts, subject-match-minimum.  

ARTICLE ATTRIBUTES

While nn is running and between invocations, nn associates an attribute with each article on your system. These attributes are used to differentiate between read and unread articles, selected articles, articles marked for later treatment, etc. Depending on how nn is configured, these attributes can be saved between invocations of nn, or some of them may only be used while nn is running.

The attribute is shown on the menu using either a single character following the article id or by high-lighting the menu line, depending on the attribute and the capabilities of the terminal. You can also change the attributes to your own taste (see the attributes variable).

The attribute of an article can be changed explicitly using the selection mode commands described below, or it will change automatically for example when you have read or saved a selected article. If a command may change any article attributes, it will be noted in the description of the command. The following descriptions of the attributes will only mention the most important commands that may set (or preserve) the attribute.

The following attributes may be associated with an article:

read
Menu attribute "." - indicates that the article has been read or saved. When you leave the group, these articles will be marked permanently read, and are not presented the next time you enter the group.
seen
Menu attribute "," - indicates that the article is unread, but that it has been presented on a menu. Depending on how nn is configured, these articles will automatically be marked read when you leave the group, they may remain seen, or they may just be unread the next time you enter the group (see the auto-junk-seen, confirm-junk-seen, and retain-seen-status variables).

Only the commands continue (space) and read-skip (X) will mark unread articles on the current (or all) menu pages as seen when they are used. Other commands that scroll through the menu pages or enter reading mode will let unread articles remain unread.

unread
Menu attribute " " - indicates an unread article. These articles were unread when you entered the group, and they may remain unread when you leave the group, unless they have been marked seen by the command that you used to leave the group or enter reading mode.
selected
Menu line high-lighted (or menu attribute "*") - indicates that you have selected the article. If you leave the group, the selected articles will remain selected the next time you enter the group. When you have read a selected article, the attribute will automatically change to read.
auto-selected
These articles have the same appearance as selected articles on the menu, and the only difference is that these articles have been selected automatically via the auto-selection facility rather than manually by you. Very few commands differentiate between these attributes and if they do, it is explicitly stated in this manual. The main difference is that these articles are only marked as unread when you leave the group (supposing they will also be auto-selected the next the group is entered). This simplifies the house-keeping between invocations of nn.
leave
Menu attribute "+" - indicates that the article is marked for later treatment by the leave-article (l) command. These articles may be selected (on demand) when you have read all selected articles in a group. However, if you do not select them then immediately, they are stored as the leave-next attribute described below.
leave-next
Menu attribute "=" - indicates that the article is marked for later treatment by the leave-next (L) command. This is a permanent attribute, which will remain on the article until you either read the article, change the attribute, or it is expired. So assinging this attribute to an article will effectively keep it unread until you do something. If the variable select-leave-next is set, nn will ask whether these articles should be selected on entry to a group (but naturally, doing so will change the leave-next attribute to select).
cancelled
Menu attribute "#" - indicates that the article has been cancelled. This is mainly useful when tidying a folder; it is set by the cancel (C) command, and can be cleared by any command that change attributes, e.g. you can select and deselect the article.
killed
Menu attribute "!" - indicates that the article has been killed (e.g. by the K {kill-select} command). Killed articles are immediately removed from the menu, so you should not normally see articles with this attribute. If you do, report it as a bug!

The attributes are saved in two files: .newsrc (read articles) and .nn/select (other attributes). Plain unread articles are saved by not occurring in either of these files. Both files are described in more detail later on.

Related variables: attributes, auto-junk-seen, confirm-junk-seen, retain-seen-status, select-leave-next.  

SELECTION MODE COMMANDS

The primary purpose of the selection mode is of course to select the articles to be read, but numerous other commands may also be performed in this mode: saving of articles in files, replying and following up on articles, mailing/forwarding articles, shell escapes etc.

As described above, the selected articles are marked either by showing the corresponding menu line in standout mode (reverse video), or if the terminal does not have this capability by placing an asterisk (*) after the selection letter or digit.

Most commands which are used to select articles will work as toggle commands. If the article is not already selected, the selectedattribute on the article(s), independent on the previous attribute. Otherwise, the article(s) will be deselected and marked unread. Consequently, any article can be marked unread simply be selecting and deselecting it.

During selection, the cursor will normally be placed on the article following the last article whose attribute was changed (initially the first article). The article pointed out by the cursor is called the current article, and the following commands work relative to the current article and cursor position.

abc...z 01..9 {article N}
The article with the given identification letter or digit is selected or deselected. The following article becomes the current article. If the variable auto-select-subject is set, all articles with the same subject as the given article are selected.
.       {select}
Select or deselect the current article and move the cursor to the next
article.
,       {line+1}
Move the cursor to the next article. You can use the down arrow
as well.
/       {line-1}
Move cursor to previous article. You can use the up arrow
as well.
*       {select-subject}
Select or deselect all articles with same subject as current
article. This will work across several menu pages if necessary.
-x      {select-range}
Select or deselect the range of articles between the current article
and the article specified by x. For example you can select all articles from e to k by simply typing e-k.

The following commands may change the attributes on all articles on the current menu page, or on all articles on all menu pages.

@       {select-invert}

Reverse selections. All selected articles on the current page are
deselected, and vice-versa. (Use the find command to select all articles.)
~       {unselect-all}
Deselect all auto-selected articles in the group (this works
across all menu pages). If the command is executed twice, the selected articles will also be deselected.
+       {select-auto}
Perform auto-selections in the group (see the section on "auto
kill/select" below).
=       {find}
Prompts for a regular expression, and selects all articles on the menu
(all pages) which matches the regular expression. Depending on the variable select-on-sender matching is performed against the subject (default) or the sender of the articles. An empty answer (= return) will reuse the previous expression. Example: The command = . return will select all articles in the group.
J       {junk-articles}
This is a very versatile command which can be used to perform all
sorts of attribute changes, either on individual articles, all articles on the current menu page, all articles with a specific attribute, or all available articles. To access all the functions of this command, the J key may have to be hit up to four times, to loop through different one-line menus. The full functionality of the junk-articles command is described in a separate section below.
L       {leave-next}
This is a specialized version of the generic J
{junk-articles} command to set the leave-next attribute on a subset of the articles on the menu. It is also described further below.

The following commands move between the pages belonging to the same news group when there are more articles than will fit on a single page. These commands will not change any article attributes.

>       {page+1}
Goto next menu page.
<       {page-1}
Goto previous menu page, or to last menu page if on first menu page.
$       {page=$}
Goto last menu page.
^       {page=1}
Goto first menu page.

The following commands are used to enter reading mode for the selected articles, and to move between news groups (in selection mode). They may change article attributes if noted below.

space   {continue}
Continue to next menu page, or if on last menu page, read the selected
articles. If no articles have been selected, continue to the next news group. The unread articles on the current menu page will automatically be marked seen.
return  {continue-no-mark}
Identical to the continue command, except that the unread
articles on the current menu page will remain unread. (The newline key has the same effect).
Z       {read-return}
Enter reading mode
immediately with the currently selected articles. When all articles have been read, return to selection mode in the current group. It will mark selected articles read as they are read, but unread articles are not normally changed (can be controlled with the variable marked-by-read-return.)
X       {read-skip}
Mark all unmarked articles seen on all menu pages (or the
pages defined by the marked-by-read-skip variable), and enter reading mode immediately with the currently selected articles. As the selected articles are read, they are marked read. When all selected articles have been read, nn will enter selection mode in the next news group. When no articles are selected, it goes directly to the next group. This can be used to skip all the articles in a large news group without having to go through all the menu pages.

If you don't want to read the current group now, but want to keep it for later, you can use the following commands which will only mark seen and read articles as read. Currently selected articles will still be selected the next time you enter the group. None of these commands will change any attributes themselves (by default).

N       {next-group}
Go forward to the next group in the presentation sequence. If the
variable marked-by-next-group is set articles on the menu can optionally be marked seen
P       {previous}
Go back to the previous group. This command will enter selection mode
on the last active group (two P commands in sequence will bring you to the current group). If there are still some unread articles in the group, only those articles will be shown. Otherwise, all the articles which were unread when nn was invoked will be shown marked with the read attribute (which can be changed as usual).

As described in the "Article Attributes" section, the read and seen articles will normally be marked read when you leave the group, and these articles are not shown the next time you enter the group.

In all releases prior to release 6.4, it was impossible to have individual articles in a group marked unread when you left a group, and the default behaviour of release 6.4 onwards will closely match the traditional behaviour. This means that the seen and read articles are treated alike for most practical purposes with the default variable settings.

If you don't like nn to silently mark the seen articles read, you can set the variable confirm-junk-seen to get nn to prompt you for confirmation before doing this, or you can unset the variable auto-junk-seen to simply keep the seen articles for the next time you enter the group. You then have to use the J {junk-articles} to mark articles read.

Using return {continue-no-mark} will also allow you to keep articles unread rather than marking them seen when scrolling through the menu pages and entering reading mode. If this is your preferred reading style, you can remap space to this command.

Related variables: auto-junk-seen, auto-preview-mode, auto-select-subject, case-fold-search, confirm-auto-quit, confirm-entry, confirm-junk-seen, marked-by-next-group, marked-by-read-return, marked-by-read-skip, retain-seen-status, select-on-sender.  

CONSOLIDATED MENUS

Normally, nn will use one menu line for each article, so if there are many articles with identical subjects, each menu page will only contain a few different subjects. To have each subject occur only once on the menu, nn can operate with consolidated menus by setting the variable consolidated-menu.

When consolidated menus are used, nn operates with two kinds of subjects: open and closed.

An open subject is a subject which is shown in the traditional way with one menu line for each article with the given subject. In other words, when consolidated menus are not used, all subjects are open (by default).

A closed subject is a multi-article subject which is presented by a single menu line. This line will be the normal menu line for the first (oldest) article with the subject, but with the subject field annotated with a bracketed number showing the number of articles with that subject, e.g.

        a Kim F. Storm     12  [4] Future plans for nn
        b.Kim F. Storm     43  [3] More plans for nn

In this example, there are four unread articles with subject `a' of which the first is posted by me and has 12 lines. The rest of the articles are hidden, and will only be shown on request. The `.' marker on subject `b' shows that all three articles within that subject have been read (or seen).

To select (or deselect) ALL the articles within a closed subject, simply select the article shown on the menu; this will automatically select (or deselect) the rest (see auto-select-closed). When all the unread articles within a closed subject are selected, the menu line will be high-lighted.

If you want to view the individual articles in a subject (maybe to select individual articles), you can open the subject with the commands:

(x
Open subject x on menu.
((
Open current subject.

When you have completed viewing the opened subject, you can close it again using the commands:

)x
Close subject x on menu (x is any article with the subject).
))
Close current subject.

In the basic layout of the menu line for a closed subject as shown above, ALL articles in the closed subject are supposed to be either:

unread
The menu line is not high-lighted.
selected
Menu line is fully high-lighted (if all UNREAD are selected).
read/seen
There is a `.' (read attribute) following the article id.

If neither of these cases apply, i.e. there is a mixture of unread, selected, and seen/read articles, the bracketed number will have one of the following formats:

[U:T]
There are U unread articles of T total (U<T).
[S/T]
There are S selected articles of T total (S<U=T).
[S/U:T]
There are S selected of U unread of T total (S<U<T).

If there are any selected articles (S>0), the information between the brackets will be high-lighted (to show that something is selected, but not all the unread articles).

Notice: Consolidated menus only work with the `subject' and `lexical' sorting methods.

Variables related to consolidated menus are: auto-select-closed, consolidated-menu, counter-delim-left, counter-delim-right, counter-padding, save-closed-mode.  

THE JUNK-ARTICLES AND LEAVE-NEXT COMMANDS

The J {junk-articles} command is a very flexible command which can perform all sorts of attribute changes, either on individual articles, all articles on the current menu page, all articles with a specific attribute, or all available articles.

To access all the functions of this command, the J key may have to be hit up to four times, to loop through different one-line menus:

Mark Read
This submenu allows you to mark articles read.
Unmark
This submenu allows you to mark articles unread.
Select
This submenu allows you to select articles based on their attribute.
Kill
This submenu allows you to mark articles read and remove them from the menu based on their attribute.

The L {leave-next} command is an extension of the J command with a fifth menu:

Leave
This menu allows you to mark articles for later handling with the leave-next attribute which will keep the article unread until you explicitly change the attribute (e.g. by reading it) or it is expired.

For each of these submenus, nn will list the most plausible choices you may use, but all of the following answers can be used at all submenus. When you have entered a choice, nn will afterward ask whether the change should be made to all menu pages or only the current page.

J
Show next submenu.
L
Change attribute on all leave articles.
N
Change attribute on all leave-next articles.
R
Change attribute on all read articles.
S
Change attribute on all seen articles.
U
Change attribute on all unmarked (i.e. unread) articles.
A
Change attribute on all articles no matter their current attribute.
*
Change attribute on all selected articles on the current page.
+
Change attribute on all selected articles on all pages.
a-z0-9
Change attribute on one or more specific articles on the current page. You end the list of articles by a space or by using one of the other choices described above.
.
Change attribute on current article.
, /
Move the current article down or up the menu without changing any attributes.
 

READING MODE COMMANDS

In reading mode, the selected articles are presented one page at a time. To get the next page of an article, simply hit space, and when you are on the last page of an article, hit space to get to the next selected article. Articles are normally marked read when you go to the next article, while going back to the menu, quitting nn, etc. will retain the attribute on the current article.

When you are on the last page of the last article, hit space to enter selection mode on the next group (or the current group if reading mode was entered using the Z command).

To read an article, the following text scrolling commands are available:

space   {continue}
Scroll one page forward or continue with the next article or
group as described above.
backspace / delete {page-1}
Go one page backwards in article.
d       {page+1/2}
Scroll one half page forward.
u       {page-1/2}
Go one half page backwards.
return  {line+1}
Scroll one line forward in the article.
tab     {skip-lines}
Skip over lines starting with the same character as the last line on
the current page. This is useful to skip over included text or to the next file in a shell archive.
^       {page=1}
Move to the first page (excluding the header) of the article.
$       {page=$}
Move to the last page of the article.
gN      {line=@}
Move to line N in the article.
/regexp {find}
Search forward for text matching the regular expression regexp
in the article. If a matching text is found, it will be high-lighted.
.       {find-next}
Repeat search for last regular expression.
h       {page=0}
Show the header of the article, and continue from the top of the
article.
H       {full-digest}
If the current article is extracted from a digest, show the entire
digest article including its header. Another H command will return to the current subarticle.
D       {rot13}
Turn rot13 (caesar) decryption on and off for the current
article, and redraw current page. If the article is saved while it is decrypted on the screen, it will be saved in decrypted form as well!
c       {compress}
Turn compression on and off for the current article and redraw current
page. With compression turned on, multiple spaces and tabs are shown as a single space. This makes it much easier to read right justified text which separate words with several spaces. (See also the compress variable)

The following commands are used to move among the selected articles.

n       {next-article}
Move to next selected article. This command skips the rest of the
current article, marks it read, and jumps directly to the first page of the next selected article (or to the next group if it was the last selected article).
l       {leave-article}
Mark the current article with the leave attribute and continue
with the next selected article. When all the selected articles in the current group have been read, these left over articles can be automatically selected and shown once more, or the treatment can be postponed to the next time you enter the group.
  This is particularly useful if you see an article which you may want to respond to unless one the following articles is already saying what you intended to say.
L       {leave-next}
Mark the current article with the leave-next attribute and
continue with the next selected article.
p       {previous}
Goto previous article.
k       {next-subject}
Kill subject. Skips rest of current article, and all following
articles with the same subject. The skipped articles are marked read. To kill a subject permanently use the K command.
*       {select-subject}
Show next article with same subject (even if it is not
selected). This command will select all following articles with the same subject as the current article (similar to the `*' command in selection mode). This can be used to select only the first article on a subject in selection mode, and then select all follow-ups in reading mode if you find the article interesting.
a       {advance-article}
Goto the following article on the menu even if it is not selected.
This command skips the rest of the current article and jumps directly to the first page of the next article (it will not skip to the next group if it is the last article). The attribute on the current article will be restored, except for the unread attribute which will be changed to seen.
b       {back-article}
Goto the article before current article on the menu even if it is not
selected. This is similar to the a command, except for the direction.

The following commands perform an immediate return from reading mode to selection mode in the current group or skip to the next group.

=       {goto-menu}
Return to selection mode in the current group (think of = as the
"icon" of the selection menu). The articles read so far will be marked read.
N       {next-group}
Skip the rest of the selected and unread articles in the
current group and go directly to the next group. Only the read (and seen) articles in the current group are marked as read.
X       {read-skip}
Mark all articles in the current group as read and go directly
to the next group. (You will be asked to confirm this command.)

Related variables: case-fold-search, charset, compress, data-bits, date, header-lines, mark-overlap, monitor, overlap, scroll-clear-page, stop, trusted-escape-codes, wrap-header-margin.  

PREVIEWING ARTICLES IN SELECTION MODE

In selection mode, it is possible to read a specific article on the menu without entering reading mode for all the selected articles on the menu. Using the commands described below will enter reading mode for one article only, and then return to the menu mode immediately after (depending on the setting of the preview-continuation variable).

If there are more than 5 free lines at the bottom of the menu screen, nn will use that space to show the article (a minimal preview window can be permanently allocated with the window variable). Otherwise, the screen will be cleared to show the article.

After previewing an article, it will be marked read (if the preview-mark-read variable is set), and the following article will become the current article.

%x      {preview}
Preview article
x.
%%  {preview}
Preview the current article.

When the article is being shown, the following reading mode commands are very useful:

=       {goto-menu}
Skip the rest of the current article, and return to menu mode.
n       {next-article}
Skip the rest of the current article, and preview the next article.
l       {leave-article}
Mark the article as selected (!) on the menu for handling later
on. Then skip the rest of the current article, and preview the next article.
%y      {preview}
Preview article
y .

If the variable auto-preview-mode is set, just hitting the article id in menu mode will enter preview mode on the specified article.

Related variables: auto-preview-mode, min-window, preview-continuation, preview-mark-read, window.  

SAVING ARTICLES

The following commands are used to save articles in files, unpack archives, decode binaries, etc. It is possible to use the commands in both reading mode to save the current article and in selection mode to save one or more articles on the menu.

The saved articles will be appended to the specified file(s) followed by an empty line each. Both files and directories will be created as needed. When an article has been saved in a file, a message reporting the number of lines saved will be shown if the save-report variable is set (default on).

S       {save-full}
Save articles including the full article header.
O       {save-short}
Save articles with a short header
containing only the name of the sender, the subject, and the posting date of the article.
E       {save-header}
Save only the header of the articles.
W       {save-body}
Write article
without a header.
:print  {print}
Print article. Instead of a file name,
this command will prompt for the print command to which the current article will be piped. The default print command is specified at compile time, but it can be changed by setting the printer variable. The output will be identical to that of the O command.
:patch  {patch}
Send articles through patch(1) (or the program defined in the
patch-command variable). Instead of a file name, you will be prompted for the name of a directory in which you want the patch command to be executed. nn will then pipe the body of the article through the patch command.
  The output from the patch process will be shown on the screen and also appended to a file named Patch.Result in the patch directory.
:unshar {unshar}
Unshar articles. You will be prompted for the name of a directory in
which you want nn to unshar the articles. nn will then pipe the proper parts of the article body into a Bourne Shell whose working directory will be set to the specified directory.
  During the unpacking, the normal output from the unshar process will appear on the screen, and the menu or article text will be redrawn when the process is finished.
  The output is also appended to a file named Unshar.Result in the unshar directory.
  The file specified in unshar-header-file (default "Unshar.Headers") in the unshar directory will contain the header and initial text (before the shar data) from the article. You can use the `G' {goto-group} command to look at the Unshar.Headers file.
:decode {decode}
Decode uuencoded articles into binary files. You will be
prompted for the name of a directory in which you want nn to place the decoded binary files (the file names are taken from the uuencoded data).
  nn will combine several articles into single files as needed, and you can even decode unrelated packages (into the same directory) with one decode command.
  To be able to decode a binary file which spans several articles, nn may have to ignore lines which fail the normal sanity checks on uuencoded data instead of treating them as transmission errors. Consequently, it is strongly recommended to check the resulting decoded file using the checksum which is normally contained in the original article. (Actually, you are also supposed to do this after decoding with a stand-alone uudecode program).
  The header and initial information in the decoded articles are saved in the file specified in decode-header-file (default "Decode.Headers") in the same directory as the decoded files.
  If decode-skip-prefix is non-null, :decode will attempt to ignore up to that many characters on each line to find the encoded data. This is particularly useful in some binaries groups where files are both uuencoded and packed with shar; nn will ignore the prefix added to each line by shar, and thus be able to unshar, concatenate, and decode multi-part postings automatically.

In reading mode, the following keys can also be used to invoke the save commands:

s
Same as S.
o
Same as O.
w
Same as W.
P
Same as :print.

The save commands will prompt for a file name which is expanded according to the rules described in the section on file name expansion below. For each group, it is possible to specify a default save file in the init file, either in connection with the group presentation sequence or in a separate save-files section (see below). If a default save file is specified for the group, nn will show this on the prompt line when it prompts for the file name. You can edit this name as usual, but if you kill the entire name immediately, nn will replace the default name with the last file name you entered. If you kill this as well, nn will leave you with a blank line.

If the quick-save variable is set, nn will only prompt for a save file name when the current article is inside a folder; otherwise, the default save file defined in the init file will be used unconditionally.

If the file (and directories in the path) does not exist, nn will ask whether the file (and the directories) should be created.

If the file name contains an asterisk, e.g.

        part*.shar
nn will save each of the articles in uniquely named files constructed by replacing the asterisk by numbers from the sequence 1, 2, 3, etc. The format of the string that replaces the * can be changed with the save-counter variable, and the first number to use can be changed via save-counter-offset.

In selection mode, nn will prompt you for the identifier of one or more articles you want to save. When you don't want to save more articles, just hit space. The saved articles will be marked read.

If you enter an asterisk `*' when you are prompted for an article to save, nn will automatically save all the selected articles on the current menu page and mark them read.

Likewise, if you enter a plus `+', nn will save all the selected articles on all menu pages and mark them read.

This is very useful to unpack an entire package using the :unshar and :decode commands. It can also be used in combination with the save selected articles feature to save a selection of articles in separate, successively numbered files. But do not confuse these two concepts! The S* and S+ commands can be used to save the selected articles in a single file as well as in separate files, and the save in separate files feature can be used also when saving individual articles, either in the selection mode, or in the article reading mode.

When articles are saved in a file with a full or partial header, any header lines in the body of the article will be escaped by a tilde (e.g. ~From: ...) to enable nn to split the folder into separate articles. The escape string can be redefined via the embedded-header-escape variable.

Articles can optionally be saved in MAIL or MMDF compatible format by setting the mail-format and mmdf-format variables. These variables only specify the format used when creating a new folder, while appending to an existing folder will be done in the format of the folder (unless folder-format-check is false).

Related variables: confirm-append, confirm-create, decode-header-file, decode-skip-prefix, default-save-file, folder-save-file, edit-patch-command, edit-print-command, edit-unshar-command, folder, folder-format-check, mail-format, mmdf-format, patch-command, printer, quick-save, save-counter, save-counter-offset, save-report, suggest-default-save, unshar-command, unshar-header-file.  

FOLDER MAINTENANCE

When more than one article is saved in a folder, nn is able to split the folder, and each article in the folder can be treated like a separate article.

This means that you can save, decode, reply, follow-up, etc. just as with the original article.

You can also cancel (delete) individual articles in a folder using the normal C {cancel} command described later. When you quit from the folder, you will then be given the option to remove the cancelled articles from the folder.

The original folder is saved in a file named `BackupFolder~' in the .nn directory (see the backup-folder-path variable) by renaming or copying the old folder as appropriate. When the folder has been compressed, the backup folder will be removed unless the variable keep-backup-folder is set.

If all articles in a folder are cancelled, the folder will be removed or truncated to zero length (whatever is allowed by directory and file permissions). In this case no backup folder is retained even when keep-backup-folder is set!

If the variable trace-folder-packing is set, nn will show which articles are kept and which are removed as the folder is rewritten.

Folders are rewritten in the format of the original folder, i.e. the mail-format and mmdf-format variables are ignored.

Related variables: backup-folder-path, keep-backup-folder, trace-folder-packing.  

FILE NAME EXPANSION

When the save commands prompts for a file name, the following file name expansions are performed on the file name you enter:
+folder
The + is replaced by the contents of the folder variable (default value "~/News/") resulting in the name of a file in the folder directory. Examples:
        +emacs, +nn, +sources/shar/nn
+
A single plus is replaced by the expansion of the file name contained in the default-save-file variable (or by folder-save-file when saving from a folder).
~/file
The ~ is replaced by the contents of the environment variable HOME, i.e. the path name of your home directory. Examples:
        ~/News/emacs, ~/News/nn, ~/src/shar/nn
~user/file
The ~user part is replaced by the user's home directory as defined in the /etc/passwd file.
|command-line
Instead of writing to a file, the articles are piped to the given shell (/bin/sh) command-line. Each save or write command will create a separate pipe, but all articles saved or written in one command (in selection mode) are given as input to the same shell command. Example:
        | pr | lp
This will print the articles on the printer after they have been piped through pr.
    It is possible to create separate pipes for each saved article by using a double pipe symbol in the beginning of the command, e.g.
        || cd ~/src/nn ; patch

The following symbols are expanded in a file name or command:

$F
will be expanded to the name of the current group with the periods replaced by slashes, e.g. rec/music/synth.
$G
will be expanded to the name of the current group.
$L
will be expanded to the last component of the name of the current group. You may use this to create default save file names like +src/$L in the comp.sources groups.
$N
will be expanded to the (local) article number, e.g. 1099. In selection mode it is only allowed at the end of the file name!
$(VAR)
is replaced by the string value of the environment variable VAR.

Using these symbols, a simple naming scheme for `default folder name' is +$G which will use the group name as folder name. Another possibility is +$F/$N.

As mentioned above, you can also instruct nn to save a series of files in separate, unique files. All that is required is that the file name contains an asterisk, e.g.

        +src/hype/part*.shar
This will cause each of the articles to be saved in separate, unique files named part1.shar, part2.shar, and so on, always choosing a part number that results in a unique file name (i.e. if part1.shar did already exist, the first article would be saved in part2.shar, the next in part3.shar, and so on).

Related variables: default-save-file, folder, folder-save-file, save-counter, save-counter-offset.  

FILE AND GROUP NAME COMPLETION

When entering a file name or a news group name, a simple completion feature is available using the space, tab, and ? keys.

Hitting space anywhere during input will complete the current component of the file name or group name with the first available possibility.

If this possibility is not the one you want, keep on hitting space until it appears.

When the right completion has appeared, you can just continue typing the file or group name, or you can hit tab to fix the current component, and get the first possibility for the next component, and then use space to go through the other possible completions.

The ? key will produce a list of the possible completions of the current component. If the list is too long for the available space on screen, the key can be repeated to get the next part of the list.

The current completion can be deleted with the erase key.

The default value for a file name is the last file name you have entered, so if you enter a space as the first character after the prompt, the last file name will be repeated (and you can edit it if you like). In some cases, a string will already be written for you in the prompt line, and to get the default value in these cases, use the kill key. This also means that if you neither want the initial value, nor the default value, you will have to hit the kill twice to get a clean prompt line.

Related variables: comp1-key, comp2-key, help-key, suggest-default-save.  

POSTING AND RESPONDING TO ARTICLES

In both selection mode and reading mode you can post new articles, post follow-ups to articles, send replies to the author of an article, and you can send mail to another user with the option of including an article in the letter. In reading mode, a response is made to the current article, while in selection mode you will be prompted for an article to respond to.

The following commands are available (the lower-case equivalents are also available in reading mode):

R       {reply}
Reply through mail to the author of the article. This is the preferred
way to respond to an article unless you think your reply is of general interest.
F       {follow}
Follow-up with an article in the same newsgroup (unless an alternative
group is specified in the article header). The distribution of the follow-up is normally the same as the original article, but this can be modified via the follow-distribution variable.
M       {mail}
Mail a letter or
forward an article to a single recipient. In selection mode, you will be prompted for an article to include in your letter, and in reading mode you will be asked if the current article should be included in the letter. You will then be prompted for the recipient of the letter (default recipient is yourself) and the subject of the letter (if an article is included, you may hit space to get the default subject which is the subject of the included article).
  The header of the article is only included in the posted letter if it is forwarded (i.e. not edited), or if the variable include-full-header is set.
:post   {post}
Post a new article to any newsgroup. This command will prompt you for
a comma-separated list of newsgroups to post to (you cannot enter a space because space is used for group name completion as described below).
  If you enter ? {help-key} as the first key, nn will show you a list of all available news groups and their purpose. While paging through this list, you can enter q to quit looking at the list. You can also enter / followed by a regular expression (typically a single word) which will cause nn to show a (much shorter) list containing only the lines matching the regular expression.
   Normally, you will be prompted for the distribution of the article with the default take from default-distribution, but this can be changed via the post-distribution variable.

Generally, nn will construct a file with a suitable header, optionally include a copy of the article in the file with each non-empty line prefixed by a `>' character (except in mail mode), and invoke an editor of your choice (using the EDITOR environment variable) on this file, positioning you on the first line of the body of the article (if it knows the editor).

When you have completed editing the message, it will compare it to the unedited file, and if they are identical (i.e. you did not make any changes to the file), or it is empty, the operation is cancelled. Otherwise you will be prompted for an action to take on the constructed article (enter first letter followed by return, or just return to take the default action):

    a)bort c)c e)dit h)old i)spell m)ail p)ost r)eedit s)end v)iew w)rite 7)bit
    Action: (post article)

You now have the opportunity to perform one of the following actions:

a   throw the response away (will ask for confirmation),

c   mail a copy of a follow-up to the poster of the article,

e   edit the file again,

h   hold response for later completion,

i   run an (interactive) spell-checker on the text,

m   mail a (blind) copy to a specified recipient,

n   same as abort (no don't post),

p   post article (same as send),

r   throw away the edited text and edit the original text,

s   send the article or letter,

v   view the article (through the pager),

w   append it to a file (before you send it),

y   confirm default answer (e.g. yes post it), or

7   strip the high-order bit from all characters in the message

If you have selected a 7-bit character set (this is determined by the values of the charset and data-bits variables), nn will not allow you to post an article or send a letter whose body contains characters with the high-order bit set. It will warn you after you have first edited the message and disable the c)c, m)ail, p)ost, s)end and y)es actions. You can then either e)dit the message to delete those characters, use 7)bit to strip the high-order bits, a)bort the message, or h)old it and select an 8-bit character set from nn.

To complete an unfinished response saved by the h)old command, simply enter any response action, e.g. R {reply}. This will notice the unfinished response and ask you whether you want to complete it now. Only one unfinished response can exist at a time. Notice that the $A environment variable may no longer be valid as a path to the original article when the response is completed.

If your message contains 8-bit characters, the charset variable is not set to "unknown" and the message does not already have a MIME-Version or Content-XXX header, nn will add the following headers to your message before sending it:

        MIME-Version: 1.0
        Content-Type: text/plain; charset=charset
        Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

It must be noted that sending 8-bit characters over the current news and mail networks is risky at best; although large parts of the network will pass through such characters unchanged, high-order bits may occasionally be stripped. Although the MIME standard provides solutions for this by encoding the characters, this is not yet supported by nn. Adding the above headers is an interim solution that is compatible with current practice and is much better than just sending the message without any hints about the character set used.

Related variables: append-signature-mail, append-signature-post, charset, data-bits, default-distribution, follow-distribution, post-distribution, edit-response-check, editor, include-art-id, include-full-header, included-mark, mail-header, mail-record, mail-script, mailer, mailer-pipe-input, news-header, news-record, news-script, orig-to-include-mask, pager, query-signature, record, response-check-pause, response-default-answer, save-counter, save-counter-offset, save-report, spell-checker.  

JUMPING TO OTHER GROUPS

By default nn will present the news groups in a predefined sequence (see the section on Presentation Sequence later on). To override this sequence and have a look at any other group the G {goto-group} command available in both selection and reading mode enables you to move freely between all the newsgroups.

Furthermore, the G command enables you to open folders and other files, to read old articles you have read before, and to grep for a specific subject in a group.

It is important to notice that normally the goto command is recursive, i.e. a new menu level is created when the specified group or folder is presented, and when it has been read, nn will continue the activity in the group that was presented before the goto command was executed. However, if there are unread articles in the target group you can avoid entering a new menu level by using the j reply described below. The current menu level (i.e. number of nested goto commands) will be shown in the prompt line as "<N>" (in reverse video).

The goto command is very powerful, but unfortunately also a little bit tricky at first sight, because the facilities it provides depend on the context in which the command is used.

When executed, the goto command will prompt you for the name of the newsgroup, folder, or file to open. It will use the first letter you enter to distinguish these three possibilities:

return
An empty answer is equivalent to the current newsgroup.
letter
The answer is taken to be the name of a newsgroup. If a news group with the given name does not exist, nn will treat the answer as a regular expression and locate the first group in the presentation sequence (or among all groups) whose name matches the expression.
+

The answer is taken to be the name of a folder. If only `+' is entered, it is equivalent to the default save file for the current group.
/ or ./ or ~/
The answer is taken to be the name of a file, either relative to the current directory, relative to your home directory, or an absolute path name for the file.
%
In reading mode, this reply corresponds to reading the current article (and splitting it as a digest). In selection mode, it will prompt for an article on the menu to read.
@
This choice is equivalent to the archive file for the current group.
= and number
These answers are equivalent to the same answers described below applied to the current group (e.g. G return = and G = are equivalent).

Specifying a folder, a file, or an article (with %) will cause nn to treat the file like a digest and split it into separate articles (not physically!) which are then presented on a menu in the usual way, allowing you to read or save individual subarticles from the folder.

When you enter a group name, nn will ask you how many articles in the group you want to see on the menu. You can give the following answers:

a number N
In this case you will get the newest N articles in the group, or if you specified the current group (by hitting return to the group name prompt or entering the number directly), you will get that many extra articles included on the same menu (without creating a new menu level).
j
This answer can only be given if there are unread articles in the group. It will instruct nn to jump directly to the specified group in the presentation sequence without creating a new menu level.
u
This instructs nn to present the unread articles in the group (if there are any). If you have already read the group (in the current invocation of nn), the u answer will instruct nn to present the articles that were unread when you entered nn.
a
This instruct nn to present all articles in the group.
sword or =word
This instructs nn to search all articles in the groups, but only present the articles containing the word word in the subject. Notice that case is ignored when searching for the word in the subject lines.
nword
Same as the s form except that it searched for articles where the sender name matches word.
eword
Same as the s form except that it Psearched for articles where either the subject or the sender name matches word.
word = /regexp
When the first character of the word specified with the s, n, and e forms is a slash `/', the rest of the input is interpreted as a regular expression to search for. Notice that regular expression matching is case insensitive when case-fold-search is set (default).
return
The meaning of an empty answer depends on the context: if there are unread articles in the specified group the unread articles will be presented, otherwise all articles in the group will be included in the menu.

If you specified the current group, and the menu already contains all the available articles, nn will directly prompt for a word to search for in the subject of all articles (the prompt will be an equal sign.)

When the goto command creates a new menu level, nn will not perform auto kill or selection in the group. You can use the + command in menu mode to perform the auto-selections.

There are three commands in the goto family:

G       {goto-group}
This is the general goto command described above.
B       {back-group}
Backup one or more groups. You can hit this key one or more times to
go back in the groups already presented (including those without new articles); when you have found the group you are looking for, hit space to enter it.
A       {advance-group}
Advance one or more groups. This command is similar to the B
command, but operates in the opposite direction.
N       {next-group}
When used within an A or B command, it skips forward to
the next group in the sequence with unread articles or which has previously been visited.
P       {previous}
When used within an A or B command, it skips backwards to
the preceding group in the sequence with unread articles or which has previously been visited.

Once you have entered an A or Bcommand, you can freely mix the A, B, P, and N commands to find the group you want, and you can also use the G command to be prompted for a group name.

To show the use of the goto command some typical examples on its use are given below:

Present the unread articles in the dk.general group

        G dk.general return u

Jump directly to the gnu.emacs group and continue from there

        G gnu.emacs return j

Include the last 10 READ articles in the current group menu

        G 10 return

Find all articles in rec.music.misc on the subject Floyd

        G rec.music.misc return
        = floyd return


Open the folder +nn

        G +nn return

Split current article as a digest (in reading mode)

        G %

Related variables: case-fold-search, default-save-file, folder-save-file  

AUTOMATIC KILL AND SELECTION

When there is a subject or an author which you are either very interested in, or find completely uninteresting, you can easily instruct nn to auto-select or auto-kill articles with specific subjects or from specific authors. These instructions are stored in a kill file, and the most common types of entries can be created using the following command:
K       {kill-select}
Create an entry in your personal kill file. The contents of the entry
is specified during a short dialog that is described in details below. This command is available in both selection and reading mode.

Entries in the kill file may apply to a single newsgroup or to all newsgroups. Furthermore, entries may be permanent or they may be expired a given number of days after their entry.

To increase performance, nn uses a compiled version of the kill file which is read in when nn is invoked. The compiled kill file will automatically be updated if the normal kill file has been modified.

The following dialog is used to build the kill file entry:

AUTO (k)ill or (s)elect (CR => Kill subject 30 days)
If you simply want nn to kill all articles with the subject of the current article (in reading mode) or a specific article (which nn will prompt for in selection mode), just hit return. This will cause nn to create an entry in the kill file to kill the current (or specified) subject in the current group for a period of 30 days (which should be enough for the discussion to die out).

You can control the default kill period, or change it into a "select" period via the default-kill-select variable.

If this "default behaviour" is not what you want, just answer either k or s to kill or select articles, respectively, which will bring you on to the rest of the questions.

AUTO SELECT on (s)ubject or (n)ame (s)
(The SELECT will be substituted with KILL depending on the previous answer). Here you specify whether you want the kill or select to depend on the subject of the article (s or space), or on the name of the author (n).
SELECT NAME:
(Again SELECT may be substituted with KILL and SUBJECT may replace NAME). You must now enter a name (or subject) to select (or kill). In reading mode, you may just hit return (or %) to use the name (or subject) of the current article. In selection mode, you can use the name (or subject) from an article on the menu by answering with % followed by the corresponding article identifier.

When the name or subject is taken from an article (the current or one from the menu), nn will only select or kill articles where the name or subject matches the original name or subject exactly including case.

If the first character typed at the prompt is a slash `/', the rest of the line is used as a regular expression which is used to match the name or subject (case insensitive).

Otherwise, nn will select or kill articles which contain the specified string anywhere in the name or subject (ignoring case).

SELECT in (g)roup `dk.general' or in (a)ll groups (g)
You must now specify whether the selection or kill should apply to the current group only (g or space) or to all groups (a).
Lifetime of entry in days (p)ermanent (30)
You can now specify the lifetime of the entry, either by entering a number specifying the number of days the entry should be active, or p to specify the entry as a permanent entry. An empty reply is equivalent to 30 days.
CONFIRM SELECT ....
Finally, you will be asked to confirm the entry, and you should especially note the presence or absence of the word exact which specify whether an exact match applies for the entry.

Related variables: default-kill-select, kill.  

THE FORMAT OF THE KILL FILE

The kill file consists of one line for each entry. Empty lines and lines starting with a # character are ignored. nn automatically places a # character in the first position of expired entries when it compiles the kill file. You can then edit the kill file manually from time to time to clean out these entries.

Each line has the following format

        [expire time :] [group name] : flags : string [: string]...

Permanent entries have no expire time (in which case the colon is omitted as well!). Otherwise, the expire time defines the time (as a time_t value) when the entry should be expired.

The group name field can have three forms:

news.group.name
If it is the name of a single news group (e.g. comp.unix), the entry applies to that group only.
/regular expression
If it starts with a slash `/' followed by a regular expression (e.g. /^news\..*), the entry applies to all groups whose name are matched by the regular expression.
empty
An empty group field will apply the entry to all groups.

The flags field consists of a list of characters which identifies the type of entry, and the interpretation of each string field. When used, the flag characters must be used in the order in which they are described below:

~       (optional)

When this flag is present on any of the entries for a specific group,
it causes all entires which are not auto-selected to be killed. This is a simple way to say: I'm interested in this and that, but nothing else.
+       or ! (optional)

Specify an auto-select + or an auto-kill ! entry,
respectively. If neither are used, the article is neither selected nor killed which is useful in combination with the `~' flag.
> (optional)
When used with a subject (flag s), the kill entry only matches follow-ups to that subject (i.e. where the Subject: line starts with Re:). For example, to kill all "Re:"'s in rec.humor use the following kill entry: rec.humor:!>s/:.
< (optional)
When used with a subject (flag s), the kill entry only matches base articles with that subject (i.e. where the Subject: line does not start with Re:). For example, to kill all articles asking for help (but not follow-ups) in the tex group, add this to your kill file:
        comp.text.tex:!s</:^HELP
n or s or a (mandatory)

Specify whether the corresponding string applies to the name n or to the subject s of an article. If flag a is used, the corresponding string is ignored (but must be present), and the entry applies to articles with a non-empty References: line.
/ (optional)

Specifies that the corresponding string is a regular expression which the sender or subject is matched against. If not specified, a simple string match is performed using the given string.
= (optional)

Specifies that the match against the name or subject is case sensitive. Furthermore, when regular expression matching is not used, the name or subject must be of the same length of the string to match. Otherwise, the match will be case insensitive, and a string may occur anywhere in the name or subject to match.
| or & (mandatory if multiple strings)

If more than one string is specified, the set of flags corresponding to each string must be separated by either an or operator `|' or an and operator `&'. The and operator has a higher precedence than the or operator, e.g. a complex match expression a|b&c|d will succeed if either of a, b&c, or d matches.

The string field in the entry is the name, subject or regular expression that will be matched against the name or subject of each article in the group (or all groups). Colons and backslashes must be escaped with a backslash in the string.

Example 1: Auto-select articles from `Tom Collins' (exact) on subject `News' in all groups:


    :+n=&s:Tom Collins:News

Example 2: Kill all articles which are neither from `Tom' or `Eve' in some.group. Select only articles from Eve:


    some.group:~n:Tom

    some.group:+n:Eve

The second example can also be written as a single entry with an or operator (in this case, the select/kill attribute only applies to the succeeding strings):

    some.group:~n|+n:Tom:Eve

To remove expired entries, to "undo" a K command, and to make the more advanced entries with more than one string, you will have to edit the kill file manually. To recompile the file, you can use the :compile command. When you invoke nn, it will also recompile the kill file if the compiled version is out of date.  

SHELL ESCAPES

The ! commands available in selection and reading mode are identical in operation (with one exception). When you enter the shell escape command, you will be prompted for a shell command. This command will be fed to the shell specified in the shell variable (default loaded from the SHELL environment variable or /bin/sh) after the following substitutions have been performed on the command:
File name expansion
The earlier described file name expansions will be performed on all arguments.
$G
will be substituted with the name of the current news group.
$L
will be substituted with the last component of the name of the current news group.
$F
will be substituted with the name of the current news group with the periods replaced by slashes.
$N
will be substituted with the (local) article number (only defined in reading mode).
$A
is replaced by the full path name of the file containing the current article (only defined in reading mode).
%
Same as $A.
$(VAR)
is replaced by the string value of the environment variable VAR.

When the shell command is completed, you will be asked to hit any key to continue. If you hit the ! key again, you will be prompted for a new shell command. Any other key will redraw the screen and return you to the mode you came from.

Related variables: shell, shell-restrictions.  

MISCELLANEOUS COMMANDS

Below are more useful commands which are available in both selection and reading modes.
U       {unsub}
Unsubscribe to the current group. You will not see this group
any more unless you explicitly request it. If the variable unsubscribe-mark-read is set, all articles in the group will be marked read when you unsubscribe.
  If the variable keep-unsubscribed is not set, the group will be removed from .newsrc. If you are not subscribing to the group, you will be given the possibility to resubscribe to the group! This may be used in connection with the G command to resubscribe a group.
C       {cancel}
Cancel (delete) an article in the current group or folder. Cancelling
articles in a folder will cause the folder to be rewritten when it is closed. In selection mode, you will be prompted for the identifier of the article to cancel. Normal users can only cancel their own articles. See also the section on folder maintenance.
Y       {overview}
Provide an overview of the groups with unread articles.
"       {layout}
Change menu layout in selection mode. The menu will be redrawn using
the next layout (cycling through ..., 2, 3, 4, 0, 1, ...)

Most of the commands in nn are bound to a key and can be activated by a single keystroke. However, there are a few commands that cannot be bound to a key directly.

As shown in the keystroke command descriptions, all commands have a name, and it is possible to activate a command by name with the extended command key (:). Hitting this key will prompt you for the name of a command (and parameters). For example, an alternative to hitting the R key to reply to an article is to enter the extended command :reply followed by return. The :post and :unshar commands described earlier can also be bound to a key. The complete list of commands which can be bound to keys is provided in the section on Key Mappings below.

The following extended commands cannot be bound to a key, mainly because they require additional parameters on the prompt line, or because it should not be possible to activate them too easily.

:admin
Enter administrative mode. This is identical in operation to the nnadmin(1M) program.
:bug
Prepare and send a bug report to the nn-bugs mailing address.
:cd [ directory ]
Change current working directory. If the directory argument is not provided, nn will prompt for it.
:clear
Clear the screen (without redraw). This may be useful at the beginning of the init file (possibly guarded by "on program nn"), or in some macros.
:compile
Recompile the kill file. This is not necessary under normal operation since nn automatically compiles the file on start-up if it has changed, but it can be used if you modify the kill file while nn is suspended.
:coredump
Abort with a core dump. For debugging purposes only.
:define macro
Define macro number macro as described in the Macro Definition section below. If macro is omitted, the next free macro number will be chosen.
:dump table
Same as the :show command described below.
:help [ subject ]
Provide online help on the specified subject. If you omit the subject, a list of the available topics will be given.
:load [ file ]
Load the specified file. If the file argument is omitted, the init file is reloaded. The sequence part (if present) is ignored.
:local variable [ value ]
Make the variable local to the current group. Subsequent changes to the variable will only be effective until the current group is left. If a value is specified, it will be assigned to the local variable. To assign a new value to a boolean variable, the values on and off must be used.
:lock variable
Lock the specified variable so it cannot be modified.
:man
Call up the online manual. The manual is presented as a normal folder with the program name in the `From' field and the section title in the `subject' field. All the normal commands related to a folder works for the online manual as well, e.g. you can save and print sections of the manual.
:map arguments
This is the command used for binding commands to the keys. It is fully described in the Key Mapping section below.
:mkdir [ directory ]
Create the directory (and the directories in its path). It will prompt for at directory name if the argument is omitted.
:motd
Show the message of the day (maintained by the news administrator in the file "motd" in the lib directory. This file is automatically displayed on start-up whenever it changes if the motd variable is set.
:pwd
Print path name of current working directory on message line.
:q
Has no effect besides redrawing the screen if necessary. If an extended command (one which is prefixed by a :) produces any output requirering the screen to be redrawn, the screen will not be redrawn immediately if the variable delay-redraw is set (useful on slow terminals). Instead another : prompt is shown to allow you to enter a new extended command immediately. It is sufficient to hit return to redraw the screen, but it has been my experience that entering q return in this situation happens quite often, so it was made a no-op.
:q!
Quit nn without updating the .newsrc file.
:Q
Quit nn. This is equivalent to the normal Q command.
:rmail
Open your mailbox (see the mail variable) as a folder to read the incoming messages. This is not a full mail interface (depending on the nn configuration, you may not be able to delete messages, add cc: on replies, etc), but it can give you a quick glance at new mail without leaving nn.
:set variable [ value ]
Set a boolean variable to true or assign the value to a string or integer variable. The :set command is described in details in the section on VARIABLES.
:sh
Suspend nn, or if that is not possible, spawn an interactive shell.
:show groups mode
Show the total number or the number of unread articles in the current group, depending on mode: all (list the number of unread articles in all groups including groups which you have unsubscribed to), total (list the total number of articles in all existing groups), sequence (list unread groups in presentation sequence order), subscr (list all subscribed groups), unsub (list unsubscribed groups only). Any other mode results in a listing of the number of unread articles in all subscribed groups including those you have suppressed with the `!' symbol in the group presentation sequence. To get just the currently unread groups in the presentation sequence, use the `Y' {overview} command.
:show kill
Show the kill entries that applies to the current group and to all groups.
:show rc [ group ]
Show the .newsrc and select file entries for the current or the specified group.
:show map [ mode ]
Show the key bindings in the current or specified mode.
:sort [ mode ]
Reorder the articles on the menu according to mode or if omitted to the default sort-mode. The following sorting modes are available:
arrival: list articles by local article number which will be the same as the order in which they arrived on the system (unless groups are merged),
subject: articles with identical subjects are grouped and ordered after age of the oldest article in the group,
lexical: subjects in lexicographical order,
age: articles ordered after posting date only,
sender: articles ordered after sender's name.
:toggle variable
Toggle a boolean variable.
:unread [ group ] [ articles ]
Mark the current (or specified) group as unread. If the articles argument is omitted, the number of unread articles in the group will be set to the number of unread articles when nn was invoked. Otherwise, the argument specifies the number of unread articles.
:unset variable
Set a boolean variable to false or clear an integer variable.
:x
Quit nn and mark all articles in the current group as read!

Related variables: backup, bug-report-address, delay-redraw, keep-unsubscribed, unsubscribe-mark-read, mail, pager, sort-mode.  

CATCH UP

If you have not read news for some time, there are probably more news than you can cope with. Using the option -a0 nn will put you into catch-up mode.

The first question you will get is whether to catch up interactively or automatically. If you instruct nn to catch up automatically, it will simply mark all articles in all groups as read, thus bringing you completely up-to-date.

If you choose the interactive mode, nn will locate all groups with unread articles, and for each group it will prompt you for an action to take on the group. An action is selected using a single letter followed by return. The following actions are available:

y
Mark all articles as read in current group.
n
Do not update group (this is the default action if you just hit return).
r
Enter reading mode to read the group.
U
Unsubscribe to the group.
?
Give a list of actions.
q
Quit. When you quit, nn will ask whether the rest of the groups should be updated unconditionally or whether they should remain unread.
 

VARIABLES AND OPTIONS

It is possible to control the behaviour of nn through the setting (and unsetting) of the variables described below. There are several ways of setting variables:
- Through command line options when nn is invoked.
- Through assignments on the command line when nn is invoked.
- Through global set commands in the init file.
- Through set or local commands executed from entry macros.
- Through the :set extended command when you run nn.

There are four types of variables:
- Boolean variables
- Integer variables
- String variables
- Key variables

Boolean variables control a specific function in nn, e.g. whether the current time is shown in the prompt line. A boolean variable is set to true with the command

        set variable
and it is set to false with either of the following (equivalent) commands:
        unset variable
        set novariable

You can also toggle the value of a boolean variable using the command:

        toggle variable

For example:

        set time
        unset time
        set notime
        toggle time

Integer variables control an amount e.g. the size of the preview window, or the maximum number of articles to read in each group. They are set with the following command:

        set variable value
In some cases, not setting an integer value has a special meaning, for example, not having a minimal preview window or reading all articles in the groups no matter how many there are. The special meaning can be re-established by the following command:
        unset variable
For example:
        set window 7
        unset limit

String variables may specify directory names, default values for prompts, etc. They are set using the command

        set variable string
Normally, the string value assigned to the variable value starts at the first non-blank character after the variable name and ends with the last non-blank character (excluding comments) on the line. To include leading or trailing blanks, or the comment start symbol, #, in the string they must be escaped using a backslash `\', e.g. to set included-mark to the string " # ", the following assignment can be used:

        set included-mark  \ \#\   # blank-#-blank

To include a backslash in the string, it must be duplicated `\\'. A backslash may also be used to include the following special characters in the string: \a=alarm, \b=backspace, \e=escape, \f=form-feed, \n=new-line, \r=return, \t=tab.

Key variables control the keys used to control special functions during user input such as line editing and completion. They are set using the command

        set variable key-name

A variable can be locked which makes further modification of the variable impossible:

        lock variable
This can be used in the setup init file which is loaded unconditionally to enforce local conventions or restrictions. For example, to fix the included-mark variable to the string ">", the following commands can be placed in the setup file:
        set included-mark >
        lock included-mark
Some variables only make sense when set on the command line, since they are examined early in startup, before the init files are read. The syntax for setting variables on the command line is: variable=value The value may need to be quoted if it contains white space or special characters. They can be intermixed with other options, and are examined prior to other argument parsing.

The current variable settings can be shown with the :set command:

:set (without arguments)
This will give a listing of the variables which have been set in either the init file or interactively.
:set all
This will give a listing of all variables. Modified variables will be marked with a `*' and local variables will be marked with a `>'. A locked variable is marked with a `!'.
:set /regexp
This will give a listing of all variables whose name matches the given regular expression.
:set partial-name space
The space (comp1-key) key will complete the variable name as usual, but as a side effect it will display the variable's current value in the message line.

Variables are global by default, but a local instantiation of the variable can be created using the :local command. The local variable will overlay the global variable as long as the current group is active, i.e. the global variable will be used again when you exit the current group. The initial value of the local variable will be the same as the global variable, unless a new value is specified in the :local command:

        :local variable [ value ]

The following variables are available:

also-full-digest        (boolean, default false)
When a digest is split, the digest itself is not normally included on
the menu, and as such the initial adminstrative information is not available. Setting also-full-digest will cause the (unsplit) digest to be included on the menu. These articles are marked with a @ at the beginning of the subject.
also-subgroups  (boolean, default true)
When set, a group name in the presentation sequence will also cause
all the subgroups of the group to be included, for example, comp.unix will also include comp.unix.questions, etc. When also-subgroups is not set, subgroups are only included if the group name is followed by a `.' in which case the main group is not included, i.e. `comp.unix' is not included when `comp.unix.' is specified in the presentation sequence, and vice-versa. Following a group name by an asterisk `*', e.g. comp.unix*, will include the group as well as all subgroups independently of the setting of also-subgroups.
append-signature-mail   (boolean, default false)
When false, it is assumed that the .signature file is automatically
appended to responses sent via E-mail. If true, .signature will be appended to the letter (see query-signature).
append-signature-post   (boolean, default false)
When false, it is assumed that the .signature file is automatically
appended to posted articles. If true, .signature will explicitly be appended to posted articles (see query-signature).
attributes symbols      (string, default ....)
Each element in this string represents a symbol used to represent an
article attribute when displayed on the screen. See the section on Marking Articles and Attributes.
auto-junk-seen  (boolean, default true)
When set, articles which have the seen attribute (,) will be marked
read when the current group is left. If not set, these articles will still be either unread or marked seen the next time the group is entered (see also confirm-junk-seen and retain-seen-status).
auto-preview-mode               (boolean, default false)
Enables Auto Preview Mode. In this mode, selecting an article
on the menu using its article id (letter a-z) will enter preview mode on that article immediately. Furthermore, the `n' {next-article} command will preview the next article on the menu only if it has the same subject as the current article; otherwise, it will return to the menu with the cursor placed on the next article. The continue command at the end of the article and the `=' {goto-menu} returns to the menu immediately as usual.
auto-read-mode-limit N  (integer, default 0)
When operating in auto reading mode, nn will
auto-select all unread articles in the group, skip the article selection phase, and enter reading mode directly after entry to the group.
  Auto reading mode is disabled when auto-read-mode-limit is zero; it is activated unconditionally if the value is negative, and conditionally if the value is greater than zero and the number of unread articles in the current group does not exceed the given value.
auto-select-closed mode (integer, default 1)
Normally, selecting a closed subject (usually in consolidated
menu mode) will select (or deselect) all unread articles with the given subject (or all articles if they are all read). This behaviour can be changed via the value of this variable as follows:
0: select only the first article with the subject (shown on menu).
1: select only the unread articles with the subject.
2: select all available articles with the subject.
auto-select-rw (boolean, default false)
If set, a subject of an article read or posted is automatically
used for subsequent auto-selecting (if not already selected). This is the most efficient way to see your own posts automatically.
auto-select-subject     (boolean, default false)
When set, selecting an article from the menu using the article id
(a-z), all articles on the menu with the same subject will automatically be selected as well.
backup  (boolean, default true)
When set, a copy of the initial .newsrc and select files will save be
the first time they are changed. nn remembers the initial contents of these files internally, so the backup variable can be set any time if not set on start-up.
backup-folder-path file (string, default "BackupFolder~")
When removing deleted articles from a folder, this variable defines
the name of the file where a (temporary) copy of the original folder is saved. If the file name doesn't contain a `/', the file will be located in the .nn directory. Otherwise the file name is used directly as the relative or full path name of the backup file. If possible, the old folder will be renamed to the backup folder name; otherwise the old folder is copied to the backup folder.
backup-suffix suffix    (string, default ".bak")
The suffix appended to file names to make the corresponding backup
file name (see backup).
bug-report-address address      (string, default mtpins@nndev.org)
The mail address to which bug reports created with the :bug
command are sent.
case-fold-search                (boolean, default true)
When set, string and regular expression matching will be case
independent. This is related to all commands matching on names or subjects, except in connection with auto-kill and auto-select where the individual kill file entries specifies this property.
charset charset (string, default "us-ascii")
The character set in use on your terminal. Legal values are "us-ascii",
"iso-8859-X", where X is a nonzero digit, and "unknown". Setting this variable also sets the data-bits variable to the default bit width of the character set (7 for "us-ascii" and "unknown", 8 for the "iso-8859-X" sets).

The value of this variable also determines wether nn allows 8-bit characters in the body of articles being posted and letters being mailed (unless the value is "unknown", in which case this is determined by the value of the data-bits variable). If necessary, nn will add extra headers to the message indicating its the character set.

check-group-access      (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will perform a check on the readability of a
group's readability before showing the menu for that group. Normally, this is not necessary since all users traditionally have access to all news groups. Setting (and locking) this variable may be used to limit access to a news group via the permissions and ownership of the group's spool directory (this will only work for non-NNTP sites).
collapse-subject offset (integer, default 25)
When set (non-negative), subject lines which are too long to be
presented in full on the menus will be "collapsed" by removing a sufficient number of characters from the subject starting at the given offset in the subject. This is useful in source groups where the "Part (01/10)" string sometimes disappears from the menu. When not set (or negative), the subjects are truncated.
columns col     (integer, default screen width)
This variable contains the screen width i.e. character positions per
line.
comp1-key key   (key, default space)
The key which gives the first/next completion, and the default value
when nn is prompting for a string, e.g. a file name.
comp2-key key   (key, default tab)
The key which ends the current completion and gives the first
completion for the next component when nn is prompting for a string, e.g. a file name.
compress                (boolean, default false)
This variable controls whether text compression (see the
compress command) is turned on or off when an article is shown. The compression is still toggled for the current article with the compress command key.
confirm-append          (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will ask for confirmation before appending an
article to an existing file (see also confirm-create).
confirm-auto-quit               (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will ask for confirmation before quitting after
having read the last group. If not confirmed, nn will recycle the presentation sequence looking for groups that were skipped with the `N' {next-group} command. But it will not look for new articles arrived since the invocation of nn.
confirm-create          (boolean, default true)
When set, nn will ask for confirmation before creating a new
file or directory when saving or unpacking an article (see also confirm-append).
confirm-entry           (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will ask for confirmation before entering a group
with more than confirm-entry-limit unread articles (on the first menu level). It is useful on slow terminals if you don't want to wait until nn has drawn the first menu to be able to skip the group.
  Answering no to the "Enter?" prompt will cause nn to skip to the next group without marking the current group as read. If you answer by hitting interrupt, nn will ask the question "Mark as read?" which allows you to mark the current group as read before going to the next group. If this second question is also answered by hitting interrupt, nn will quit immediately.
confirm-entry-limit articles    (integer, default 0)
Specifies the minimum number of unread articles in a group for which
the confirm-entry functionality is activated.
confirm-junk-seen               (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will require confirmation before marking seen
articles as read when auto-junk-seen is set.
confirm-messages                (boolean, default false)
In some cases, nn will sleep one second (or more) when it has shown a
message to the user, e.g. in connection with macro debugging. Setting confirm-messages will cause nn to wait for you to confirm all messages by hitting any key. (It will show the symbol <> to indicate that it is awaiting confirmation.)
consolidated-manual     (boolean, default false)
When set, the online manual will be presented with one
menu line for each program in the nn package.
consolidated-menu               (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will automatically close all multi-article
subjects on entry to a group, so that each subject only occur once on the menu page.
counter-delim-left      (string, default "[")
The delimiter string output to the left of the article counter in a
closed subject's menu line.
counter-delim-right     (string, default "] ")
The delimiter string output to the right of the article counter in a
closed subject's menu line.
counter-padding pad             (integer, default 5)
On a consolidated menu, the subjects may not be very well aligned
because the added [...] counters have varying length. To (partially) remedy this, all counters (and subjects without counters) are prefixed by up to pad spaces to get better alignment. Increasing it further may yield practially perfect alignment at the cost of less space for the subject itself.
cross-filter-seq                (boolean, default true)
When set, cross posted articles will be presented in the first
possible group, i.e. according to the current presentation sequence (cross-post filtering on sequence). The article is automatically marked read in the other cross posted groups unless you unsubscribe to the first group in which it was shown before reading the other groups. Likewise, it is sufficient to leave the article unread in the first group to keep it for later handling.
  If not set, cross-postings are shown in the first group occurring on the Newsgroups: line which the user subscribes to (i.e. you let the poster decide which group is most appropriate to read his posting).
cross-post              (boolean, default false)
Normally, nn will only show cross-posted articles in the first
subscribed group on the Newsgroups: line. When cross-post is set, nn will show cross-posted articles in all subscribed groups to which they are posted.
cross-post-limit N (integer, default 0)
If this variable is set to a value other than 0, then any articles posted to more than N newsgroups are automatically skipped. A value of 5 is pretty good for discarding ``spam'' articles.
data-bits bits  (integer, default 7)
When set to 7, nn will display characters with the 8th bit set
using a meta-notation M-7bit-char. If set to 8, these characters are sent directly to the screen (unless monitor is set). Setting the charset variable also sets this variable to the default bit width of character set.

It also controls whether keyboard input is 7 or 8 bits, and thus whether key maps contain 127 or 255 entries. See the key mapping section for more details.

If the charset has value "unknown", the value of data-bits also determines wether nn allows 8-bit characters in the body of articles being posted and letters being mailed (this is normally determined directly by the charset variable).

date            (boolean, default true)
If set nn will show the article posting date when articles are
read.
debug mask      (integer, default 0)
Look in the source if you are going to use this.
decode-header-file file (string, default "Decode.Headers")
The name of the file in which the header and initial text of articles
decoded with the :decode command is saved. Unless the file name starts with a `/', the file will be created in the same directory as the decoded files. The information is not saved if this variable is not set.
decode-skip-prefix N    (integer, default 2)
When non-null, the :decode command will automatically skip
upto N characters at the beginning of each line to find valid uuencoded data. This allows nn to automatically decode (multi-part) postings which are both uuencoded and packed with shar.
default-distribution distr      (string, default "world")
The distribution to use as the default suggestion when posting
articles using the follow and post commands if the corresponding follow-distribution or post-distribution variable contains the default option.
default-kill-select [1]days     (number, default 30)
Specifies the default action for the K {kill-select}
command if the first prompt is answered by return. It contains the number of days to keep the kill or select entry in the kill file (1-99 days). If it has the value days+100 (e.g. 130), it denotes that the default action is to select rather than kill on the subject for the specified period.
default-save-file file  (string, default +$F)
The default save file used when saving articles in news groups where
no save file has been specified in the init file (either in a save-files section or in the presentation sequence). It can also be specified using the abbreviation "+" as the file name when prompted for a file name even in groups with their own save file.
delay-redraw            (boolean, default false)
Normally, nn will redraw the screen after extended
commands (:cmd) that clear the screen. When delay-redraw is set nn will prompt for another extended command instead of redrawing the screen (hit return to redraw).
echo-prefix-key         (boolean, default true)
When true, hitting a prefix key (see the section on key mapping below)
will cause the prefix key to be echoed in the message line to indicate that another key is expected.
edit-patch-command      (boolean, default true)
When true, the :patch command will show the current
patch-command and give you a chance to edit it before applying it to the articles.
edit-print-command      (boolean, default true)
When true, the print command will show the current printer
command and give you a chance to edit it before printing the articles. Otherwise the articles are just printed using the current printer command.
edit-response-check     (boolean, default true)
When editing a response to an article, it normally does not have any
meaning to send the initial file prepared by nn unaltered, since it is either empty or only contains included material. When this variable is set, exiting the editor without having changed the file will automatically abort the response action without confirmation.
edit-unshar-command     (boolean, default false)
When true, the :unshar command will show the current
unshar-command and give you a chance to edit it before applying it to the articles.
editor command  (string, default not set)
When set, it will override the current EDITOR environment variable
when editing responses and new articles.
embedded-header-escape string   (string, default '~')
When saving an article to a file, header lines embedded in the body of
the article are escaped using this string to make it possible for nn to split the folder correctly afterwards. Header lines are not escaped if this variable is not set.
enter-last-read-mode mode       (integer, default 1)
Normally, nn will remember which group is active when you quit,
and offer to jump directly to this group when you start nn the next time. This variable is used to control this behaviour. The following mode values are recognized:
0: Ignore the remembered group (r.g.).
1: Enter r.g. if the group is unread (with user confirmation)
2: Enter r.g. or first unread group after it in the sequence (w/conf).
3: Enter r.g. if the group is unread (no confirmation)
4: Enter r.g. or first unread group after it in the sequence (no conf).
entry-report-limit articles    (integer, default 300)
Normally, nn will just move the cursor to the upper left corner
of the screen while it is reading articles from the database on entry to a group. For large groups this may take more than a fraction of a second, and nn can then report what it is doing. If it must read more articles than the number specified by this variable, nn will report which group and how many articles it is reading.
erase-key key   (key, default tty erase key)
The key which erases the last input character
when nn is prompting for a string, e.g. a file name.
expert          (boolean, default false)
If set nn will use slightly shorter prompts (e.g. not tell you
that ? will give you help), and be a bit less verbose in a few other cases (e.g. not remind you that posted articles are not available instantly).
expired-message-delay pause     (integer, default 1)
If a selected article is found to have been expired, nn will
normally give a message about this and sleep for a number of seconds specified by this variable. Setting this variable to zero will still make nn give the message without sleeping afterwards. Setting it to -1 will cause the message not to be shown at all.
flow-control    (boolean, default true)
When set, nn will turn on xon/xoff flow-control before writing
large amounts of text to the screen. This should guard against lossage of output, but in some network configurations it has had the opposite effect, losing several lines of the output. This variable is always true on systems with CBREAK capabilities which can do single character reads without disabling flow control.
flush-typeahead (boolean, default false)
When true, nn will flush typeahead prior to reading commands
from the keyboard. It will not flush typeahead while reading parameters for a command, e.g. file names etc.
folder directory        (string, default ~/News)
The full pathname of the
folder directory which will replace the + in folder names. It will be initialized from the FOLDER environment variable if it is not set in the init file.
folder-format-check     (boolean, default true)
When saving an article with a full or partial header in an existing
folder, nn will check the format of the folder to be able to append the article in the proper format. If this variable is not set, folders are assumed to be in the format specified via the mmdf-format and mail-format variables, and articles are saved in that format without checking. Otherwise, the *-format variables are only used to determine the format for new folders.
folder-save-file file   (string, default not set)
The default save file used when saving articles from a folder.
follow-distribution words       (string, default see below)
This variable controls how the Distribution: header is constructed for
a follow-up to an original article. Its value is a list of words selected from the following list:

[ [ always ] same ] [ ask ] [ default | distribution ]

This is interpreted in two steps:
- First the default distribution is determined. If same is specified and the original article has a Distribution: header, that header is used. Else if default is specified (or distribution is omitted), the value of default-distribution is used. And finally, if only a distribution (any word) is specified that is used as the default.
- Then if ask is specified, the user will be asked to confirm the default distribution or provide another distribution. However, if always (and same) is specified, and the default was taken from the original article's distribution, the original distribution is used without confirmation.
The default value of follow-distribution is always same default, i.e. use either the original distribution or the default-distribution without confirmation in either case.

from-line-parsing strictness    (integer, default 2)
Specifies how strict nn must parse a "From " line in a folder to
recognize it as a mail format message separator line. The following strictness values determine whether a line starting with "From " will be recognized as a separator line:
        0: Always.
        1: Line must have at least 8 fields.
        2: Line must contain a valid date and time (ctime style).
fsort          (boolean, default true)
When set, folders are sorted alphabetically according to the subject
(and age). Otherwise, the articles in a folder will be presented in the sequence in which they were saved.
guard-double-slash      (boolean, default false)
Normally, when entering a file name, entering two slashes `//' in a
row (or following a slash by a plus `/+') will cause nn to erase the entire line and replace it with the `/' (or `+'). On some systems, two slashes are used in network file names, and on those systems guard-double-slash can be set; that will cause nn to require three slashes in a row to clear the input.
header-lines list       (string, no default)
When set, it determines the list of header fields that are shown when
an article is read instead of the normal one line header showing the author and subject. See the full description in the section on Customized Article Headers below.
help-key key    (key, default ?)
The key which ends the current completion and gives a list of possible
completions for the next component when nn is prompting for a string, e.g. a file name.
ignore-re               (boolean, default false)
If set, articles with subjects already seen in a previous
invocation of nn or another newsreader - and not auto-selected - are automatically killed. A great way to read even less news!
ignore-xon-xoff         (boolean, default false)
Normally, nn will ignore ^S and ^Q in the input from the
terminal (if they are not handled in the tty driver). Setting this variable will treat these characters as normal input.
include-art-id          (boolean, default false)
The first line in a response with included material normally reads
"...somebody... writes:" without a reference to the specific article from which the quotation was taken (this is found in the References: line). When this variable is set, the line will also include the article id of the referenced article: "In ...article... ... writes:".
include-full-header     (boolean, default false)
When set, the mail (M) command will always include the full
header of the original article. If it is not set, it only includes the header when the article is forwarded without being edited.
include-mark-blank-lines        (boolean, default false)
When set, the included-mark is placed on blank lines in included
articles. Otherwise, blank lines are left blank (to make it easy to delete whole paragraphs with `d}' in vi and `C-@ M-] C-W' in emacs).
included-mark string    (string, default ">")
This string is prefixed to all lines in the original article that are
included in a reply or a follow-up. (Now you have the possibility to change it, but please don't. Lines with a mixture of prefixes like

   : orig-> <> } ] #- etc.
are very difficult to comprehend. Let's all use the standard folks! (And hack inews if it is the 50% rule that bothers you.)
inews shell-command     (string, default "INEWS_PATH -h")
The program which is invoked by nn to deliver an article to the
news transport. The program will be given a complete article including a header containing the newsgroups to which the article is to be posted. See also inews-pipe-input. It is not used when cancelling an article!
inews-pipe-input                (boolean, default true)
When set, the article to be posted will be piped into the inews
program. Otherwise, the file containing the article will be given as the first (and only) argument to the inews command.
initial-newsrc-file file        (string, default '.defaultnewsrc')
Defines the name of a file which is used as the initial .newsrc file
for new users. The name may be a full path name, or as the default a file name which will be looked for in a number of places: in the standard news lib directory (where it can be shared with other news readers), in nn's lib directory, and in the database directory. Groups which are not present in the initial .newsrc file will be automatically unsubscribed provided new-group-action is set to a value allowing unsubscribed groups to be omitted from .newsrc.
keep-backup-folder      (boolean, default false)
When set, the backup folder (see backup-folder-path) created
when removing deleted articles from a folder is not removed. Notice that a backup folder is not created if all articles are removed from a folder!
keep-unsubscribed               (boolean, default true)
When set, unsubscribed groups are kept in .newsrc. If not set,
nn will automatically remove all unsubscribed from .newsrc if tidy-newsrc is set. See also unsubscribe-mark-read.
kill            (boolean, default true)
If set, nn performs automatic kill and selection based on the
kill file.
kill-debug              (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will display a trace of the auto-kill/select
process on entry to a group. It is automatically turned off if `q' is entered as the answer to a "hit any key" prompt during the debug output.
kill-key key    (key, default tty kill key)
The key which deletes the current line
when nn is prompting for a string, e.g. a file name.
kill-reference-count N  (integer, default 0)
When this variable is non-zero, all articles which have N or
more references on the References: line (corresponding to the number of >>'s on the menu line) will be auto-killed if they are not auto-selected (or preserved) via an entry in the kill file. It should probably not be used globally for all groups, but can be set on a per-group via the entry macros.
layout number   (integer, default 1)
Set the menu layout. The argument must be a number between 0 and 4.
limit max-articles      (integer, default infinite)
Limit the maximum number of articles presented in each group to
max-articles. The default is to present all unread articles no matter how many there are. Setting this variable, only the most recent max-articles articles will be presented, but all the articles will still be marked as read. This is useful to get up-to-date quickly if you have not read news for a longer period.
lines lin       (integer, default screen height)
This variable contains the screen height i.e. number of lines.
long-menu               (boolean, default false)
If set nn will not put an empty line after the header line and
an empty line before the prompt line; this gives you two extra menu lines.
macro-debug     (boolean, default false)
If set nn will trace the execution of all macros. Prior to the
execution of each command or operation in a macro, it will show the name of the command or the input string or key stroke at the bottom of the screen.
mail file       (string, default not set)
file must be a full path name of a file. If defined, nn will
check for arrival of new mail every minute or so by looking at the specified file.
mail-alias-expander program     (string, default not set)
When set, aliases used in mail responses may be expanded by the
specified program. The program will be given the completed response in a file as its only argument, and the aliases should be expanded directly in this file (of course the program may use temporary files and other means to expand the aliases as long the the result is stored in the provided file).
Notice: currently there are no alias expanders delivered with nn.
Warning: Errors in the expansion process may lead to the response not being sent.
mail-format     (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will save articles in a format that is compatible
with normal mail folders. Unless folder-format-check is false, it is only used to specify the format used when new folders are created. This variable is ignored if mmdf-format is set.
mail-header headers     (string, default not set)
The headers string specifies one or more extra header lines
(separated by semi-colons `;') which are added to the header of mail sent from nn using the reply and mail commands. For example:
        set mail-header Reply-To: storm@texas.dk;Organization: TI - DK
To include a semicolon `;' in a header, precede it by a backslash (which must be doubled because of the conventions for entering strings).
mail-record file        (string, default not set)
file must be a full path name of a file. If defined, all replies and
mail will be saved in this file in standard mailbox format, i.e. you can use you favourite mailer (and nn) to look at the file.
mail-script file        (string, default not set)
When set, nn will use the specified file instead of the standard
aux script when executing the reply and mail commands.
mailer shell-command    (string, default REC_MAIL)
The program which is invoked by nn to deliver a message to the
mail transport. The program will be given a complete mail message including a header containing the recipient's address. See also mailer-pipe-input.
mailer-pipe-input               (boolean, default true)
When set, the message to be sent will be piped into the mailer
program. Otherwise, the file containing the message will be given as the first (and only) argument to the mailer command.
marked-by-next-group N  (integer, default 0)
Specifies the amount of (unmarked) articles on the menu marked
seen by the N {next-group} command in selection mode. See marked-by-read-skip for possible values of N.
marked-by-read-return N (integer, default 0)
Specifies the amount of (unmarked) articles on the menu marked
seen by the Z {read-return} command in selection mode. See marked-by-read-skip for possible values of N.
marked-by-read-skip N   (integer, default 4)
Specifies the amount of (unmarked) articles on the menu marked
seen by the X {read-skip} command in selection mode. The following values of N are recognized:
        0:  No articles are marked seen
        1:  Current page is marked seen
        2:  Previous pages are marked seen
        3:  Previous and current pages are marked seen
        4:  All pages are marked seen
mark-overlap   (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will draw a line (using the underline capabilities
of the terminal if possible) to indicate the end of the overlap (see the overlap variable).
mark-overlap-shading    (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will shade overlapping lines (see the
overlap variable) using the attributes defined by the shading-on and shading-off variables (of if not set, with the underline attribute). This is typically used to give overlapping lines a different colour on terminals which have this capability.
menu-spacing mode       (integer, default 0)
When mode is a non-zero number as described below, nn will
add blank lines between the lines on the menu to increase readability at the cost of presenting fewer articles on each page. The following values of mode are recognized:
0: Don't add blank lines between menu lines.
1: Add a blank line between articles with different subjects.
2: Add a blank line between all articles.
merge-report-rate rate (integer, default 1)
When nn is invoked with the -m option (directly or via
nngrap), a status report of the merging process is displayed and updated on the screen every rate seconds. The report contains the time used so far and an estimate of the time needed to complete the merge.
message-history N       (integer, default 15)
Specifies the maximum number, N, of older messages which can be
recalled with the ^P {message} command.
min-window size (integer, default 7)
When the window variable is not set, nn will clear the
screen to preview an article if there are less than size unused lines at the bottom of the menu screen.
mmdf-format     (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will save articles in MMDF format.
Unless folder-format-check is false, it is only used to specify the format used when new folders are created.
monitor         (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will show
all characters in the received messages using a "cat -v" like format. Otherwise, only the printable characters are shown (default).
motd            (boolean, default true)
When set, nn will display the message of the day on
start-up if it has changed since it was last shown. The message is taken from the file "motd" in the lib directory. It can also be shown (again) using the :motd command.
multi-key-guard-time timeout    (integer, default 2)
When reading a multi-key sequence from the keyboard, nn will
expect the characters constituting the multi-key to arrive "quickly" after each other. When a partial multi-key sequence is read, nn will wait (at least) timeout tenths of a second for each of the following characters to arrive to complete the multi-key sequence. If the multi-key sequence is not completed within this period, nn will read the partial multi-key sequence as individual characters instead. This way it is still possible to use for example the ESC key on a terminal with vt100 like arrow keys. When nn is used via an rlogin connection, you may have to increase the timeout to get reliable recognition of multi-keys.
new-group-action action (integer, default 3)
This variable controls how new groups are treated by nn. It is
an integer variable, and the following values can be used. Some of these actions (marked with an *) will only work when keep-unsubscribed is set, since the presence of a group in .newsrc is the only way to recognize it as an old group:

0) Ignore groups which are not in .newsrc. This will obviously include new groups, and therefore you must explictly add any new groups that you care about (by editting the .newsrc file, or using the G menu command and then subscribing to the group). When NNTP is being used, this setting prevents the active.times data from being read from the server; this can be helpful when using a slow link, since the data can often be hundreds of KBytes long.

1*) Groups not in .newsrc are considered to be new, and are inserted at the beginning of the .newsrc file.

2*) Groups not in .newsrc are considered to be new, and are appended to the end of the .newsrc file.

3) New groups are recognized via a time-stamp saved in the file .nn/LAST and in the database, i.e. it is not dependent on the groups currently in .newsrc. The new groups are automatically appended to .newsrc with subscription. Old groups not present in .newsrc will be considered to be unsubscribed.

4) As 3, but the user is asked to confirm that the new group should be appended to .newsrc. If rejected, the group will not be appended to .newsrc, and thus be regarded as unsubscribed.

5) As 4, except that the information is stored in a format compatible with the rn news reader (.rnlast). This needs to be tested!

new-style-read-prompt   (boolean, default true)
When set, the reading mode prompt line includes the group name and the
number of selected articles in the group.
news-header headers     (string, default not set)
The headers string specifies one or more extra header lines
(separated by semi-colons `;') which are added to the header of articles posted from nn using the follow and post commands. See mail-header for an example.
news-record file        (string, default not set)
Save file for follow-ups and postings. Same rules and format as the
mail-record variable.
news-script file        (string, default not set)
When set, nn will use the specified file instead of the standard
aux script when executing the follow and post commands.
newsrc file (string, default "~/.newsrc") Specifies the
file used by nn to register which groups and articles have been read. The default setting corresponds to the .newsrc file used by other news readers. Notice that nn release 6.4 onwards does allow individual articles to be marked unread, and some articles marked unread, and thus no longer messes up .newsrc for other news readers! Also see nntp-server.
nn-directory directory  (string, default "~/.nn")
It only makes sense to set this variable on the command line,
e.g. "nn-directory=$HOME/.nn2" since it is looked at before the init file is read. It must be set to a full pathname. Usually set when using multiple servers; see newsrc above and nntp-server below.
nntp-cache-dir directory        (string, default "~/.nn")
When NNTP is used, nn needs to store articles temporarily on
disk. This variable specifies which directory nn will use to hold these files. The default value may be changed during configuration. This variable can only be set in the init file.
nntp-cache-size size    (integer, default 10, maximum 10)
Specifies the number of temporary files in the nntp cache. The
default and maximum values may be changed during configuration.
nntp-debug      (boolean, default false)
When set, a trace of the nntp related traffic is displayed in the
message line on the screen.
nntp-server hostname or filename (string)
It only makes sense to set this variable on the command line, e.g. "nntp-server=news.some.domain", since it is looked at before the init file, If you use multiple servers, you probably want to set the nn-directory and newsrc variables on the command line to alternate names as well, since some of the data files are server dependent.
old [max-articles]      (integer, default not set)
When
old is set, nn will present (or scan) all (or the last max-articles) unread as well as read articles. While old is set, nn will never mark any unread articles as read.
old-packname    (boolean, default false)
When set, nn display names identically to nn-6.6.5 (and earlier). Only set
this if you have a large number of entries in your killfile that no longer work due to the new behaviour. Note that in the long run, this option will go away, so it's best to update your killfile rather than set this.
orig-to-include-mask N  (integer, default 3)
When replying to an article, nn will include some of the header
lines which may be used to construct a proper mail address for the poster of the original article. These addresses are placed on Orig-To: lines in the reply header and will automatically be removed before the letter is sent. This variable specifies which headers from the article are included; its value N is the sum of the following values:
        1: Reply-To:
        2: From:
        4: Path:
overlap lines  (integer, default 2)
Specifies the number of overlapping lines from one page to the next
when paging through an article in reading mode. The last line from the previous page will be underlined if the terminal has that capability.
pager shell-command             (string, default $PAGER)
This is the pager used by the :admin command (and nnadmin)
when it executes certain commands, e.g. grepping in the Log file.
patch-command shell-command     (string, default "patch -p0")
This is the command which is invoked by the :patch command.
post-distribution words (string, default see below)
This variable controls how the Distribution: header is constructed
when posting an original article. Its value is a list of words selected from the following list:

[ ask ] [ default | distribution ]

This is interpreted in two steps:
- First the default distribution is determined. If default is specified (or distribution is omitted), the value of default-distribution is used. Otherwise, the specified distribution (any word) is used as the default.
- Then if ask is specified, the user will be asked to confirm the default distribution or provide another distribution.
The default value of post-distribution is ask default, i.e. use the default-distribution with confirmation from the user.

preview-continuation cond       (integer, default 12)
This variable determines on what terms the following article should be
automatically shown when previewing an article, and the next-article command is used, or continue is used at the end of the article. The following values can be used:
0 - never show the next article (return to the menu).
1 - always show the next article (use 'q' to return to the menu).
2 - show the next article if it has the same subject as the current article, else return to the menu.
The value should be the sum of two values: one for the action after using continue on the last page of the article, and one for the action performed when the next-article command is used multiplied by 10.
preview-mark-read               (boolean, default true)
When set, previewing an article will mark the article as read.
previous-also-read      (boolean, default true)
When set, going back to the previously read group with P
{previous} will include articles read in the current invocation of nn even if there are still unread articles in the group.
print-header-lines fields       (string, default "FDGS")
Specifies the list of header fields that are output when
an article is printed via the :print command and print-header-type is 1 (short header). The fields specification is desctribed in the section on Customized Article Headers below.
print-header-type N     (integer, default 1)
Specifies what kind of header is printed by the :print command,
corresponding to the three save-* commands: 0 prints only the article body (no header), 1 prints a short header, and 2 prints the full article header.
printer shell-command   (string, default is system dep.)
This is the default value for the
print command. It should include an option which prevents the spooler from echoing a job-id or similar to the terminal to avoid problems with screen handling (e.g. lp -s on System V).
query-signature         (boolean, default ...)
Will cause nn to require confirmation before appending
the .signature file to out-going mail or news if the corresponding append-sig-... variable is set.
quick-count     (boolean, default true)
When set, calculating the total number of unread articles at start-up
is done by simple subtracting the first unread article number from the total number of articles in each group. This is very fast, and fairly accurate but it may be a bit too large. If not set, each line in .newsrc will be interpreted to count every unread article, thus giving a very accurate number. This variable is also used by nncheck.
quick-save      (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will not prompt for a file name when an article is
saved (unless it belongs to a folder). Instead it uses the save file specified for the current group in the init file or the default save file.
re-layout N             (integer, default 0)
Normally on the menu, nn will prefix the subject a number of
`>'s corresponding to the number of references on the References: line. The re-layout variable may be set to use a different prefix on the subjects:
        0:  One `>' per reference is shown (default).
        1:  A single `>' is shown if the Subject contains Re:.
        2:  The number of references is shown as `n>'
        3:  A single Re: is shown.
        4:  If any references use layout 0, else layout 1.
re-layout-read N       (integer, default -1)
When the header-lines variable is not set, or contains the "*"
field specifier, a line similar to the menu line will be used as the header of the article in reading mode, including the sender's name and the article's subject. When this variable is negative, the subject on this header line will be prefixed according to the re-layout variable. Otherwise, it will define the format of the "Re:" prefix to be used instead of the re-layout used on the menu.
read-return-next-page   (boolean, default false)
When set, the Z {read-return} command will return to the
next menu page rather than the current menu page.
record file     (string, no default)
Setting this
pseudo variable will set both the mail-record and the news-record variables to the specified pathname.
repeat          (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will not eliminate duplicated subject lines on
menus (I cannot imagine why anyone should want that, but....)
repeat-group-query      (boolean, default false)
When set, invoking nn with the -g option will always
repeat the query for a group to enter until you quit explicitly. (Same as setting the -r option permanently).
report-cost             (boolean, default true)
This variable is ignored unless nn is running with accounting
enabled (see nnacct). When set, nn will report the cost of the current session and the total on exit.
response-check-pause pause      (integer, default 2)
Specifies the number of seconds to wait after posting an article to
see whether the action *might* have failed. Some commands run in the background and may thus not have completed during this period, so even when nn says "Article posted", it may still fail (in which case you are informed via mail).
response-default-answer action  (string, default "send")
The default action to be taken when hitting return to the
"response action" prompt (abort, edit, send, view, write). If it is unset, no default action is defined.
retain-seen-status      (boolean, default false)
Normally, seen articles will just be unread the next time the group is
entered (unless they were marked read by auto-junk-seen). If retain-seen-status is set, the seen attribute on the articles will survive to the next time the group is entered. (This is not recommended because it may result in very large select files).
retry-on-error times    (integer, default 0)
When set, nn will try the specified number of times to
open an article before reporting that the article does not exist any more. This may be necessary in some network environments.
save-closed-mode mode   (integer, default 13)
When saving an article in selection mode (i.e. by selecting it from
the menu), nn will simply save the specified article if the article's subject is open. When the selected menu entry is a closed subject, the save-closed-mode variable determines how many articles among the closed articles should be saved:
0: save root article (the one on the menu) only
1: save selected articles within subject
2: save unread (excl selected) articles within subject
3: save selected+unread articles within subject
4: save all articles within subject
If `10' is added to the above values, nn will not save the selected subject immediately; instead it will ask which articles to save using the above value as the default answer.
save-counter format     (string, default "%d")
This is the printf-format which nn uses to create substitution
string for the trailing * in save file names. You can set this to more complex formats if you like, but be sure that it will produce different strings for different numbers. An alternative format which seems to be popular is ".%02d" .
save-counter-offset N   (integer, default 0)
Normally, file names created with the part.* form will
substitute the * with successive numbers starting from one. Setting this variable will cause these numbers to start from N+1.
save-header-lines fields        (string, default "FDNS")
Specifies the list of header fields that are saved when
an article is saved via the O {save-short} command. The fields specification is desctribed in the section on Customized Article Headers below.
save-report     (boolean, default true)
When set, a message reporting the number of lines written is shown
after saving an article. Since messages are shown for a few seconds, this may slow down the saving of many articles (e.g. using the S* command).
scroll-clear-page               (boolean, default true)
Determines whether nn clears the screen before showing each new
page of an article.
scroll-last-lines N             (integer, default 0)
Normally, nn will show each new page of an article from the top
of the screen (with proper marking of the overlap). When this variable is set to a negative value, nn will scroll the text of the new pages from the bottom of the screen instead. If it is set to a positive value, nn will show pages from the top as usual, but switch to scrolling when there are less than the specified number of lines left in the article.
select-leave-next               (boolean, default false)
When set, you will be asked whether to select articles with the
leave-next attribute on entry to a group with left over articles.
select-on-sender                (boolean, default false)
Specifies whether the find (=) command in article selection mode
will match on the subject or the sender.
shading-on code...      (control string, default not set)
Specifies the escape code to be sent to the terminal to cause
"shading" of the following output to the screen. This is used if the mark-overlap-shading is set, and by the `+' attribute in the header-lines variable.
shading-off code...     (control string, default not set)
Specifies the escape code to be sent to the terminal to turn off the
shading defined by shading-on. Shading will typically be done by changing the foreground colour to change, e.g.

        on term ti924-colour
                set shading-on  ^[ [ 3 2 m
                set shading-off ^[ [ 3 7 m
                set mark-overlap-shading
                unset mark-overlap
        end
shell program  (string, default $SHELL)
The shell program used to execute shell escapes.
shell-restrictions      (boolean, default false)
When set (in the init file), nn will not allow the user to
invoke the shell in any way, including saving on pipes. It also prevents the user from changing certain variables containing commands.
show-purpose-mode N             (integer, default 1)
Normally, nn will show the purpose of a group the first time it
is read, provided a purpose is known. Setting this variable, this behaviour can be changed as follows:
        0:  Never show the purpose.
        1:  Show the purpose for new groups only.
        2:  Show the purpose for all groups.
When NNTP is being used, a setting of 0 prevents the newsgroups purpose data from being read from the server; this can be helpful when using a slow link, since the data can often be hundreds of KBytes long.
sign-type               (string, default pgp)
What program nn will use to sign messages via the Sign command. Only
pgp and gpg are currently valid.
silent          (boolean, default false)
When set, nn won't print the logo or "No News" if there are no
unread articles. Only useful to set in the init file or with the -Q option.
slow-mode               (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will cut down on the screen output to give better
response time at low speed. Normally, nn will use standout mode (if possible) to mark selected articles on the menu, but when slow-mode is set, nn will just put an asterisk `*' next to the article identifier on selected articles. Also when slow-mode is set nn will avoid redrawing the screen in the following cases: After a goto-group command an empty menu is shown (hit space to make it appear), and after responding to an article, only the prompt line is shown (use ^L to redraw the screen). To avoid redrawing the screen after an extended command, set the delay-redraw variable as well.
slow-speed speed        (integer, default 1200)
If the terminal is running at this baud rate or lower, the on
slow
(see the section on init files) condition will be true, and the on fast will be false (and vice-versa).
sort            (boolean, default true)
When set, nn will sort articles according to the current
sort-mode on entry to a group. Otherwise, articles will be presented in order of arrival. If not set on entry to a menu for merged groups, the articles from each group will be kept together on the menu. If sort is unset while merged groups are presented on the menu, the articles will be reordered by local article number (which may not keep articles from the same group together).
sort-mode mode  (integer, default 1)
The default sort algorithm used to sort the articles on entry to a
news group. It is a numeric value corresponding to one of the sorting methods described in connection with the :sort command:
        0 - arrival (ordered by article number)
        1 - subject (subjects ordered after age of first article)
        2 - lexical (subjects in lexicographical order)
        3 - age (articles ordered after posting date only)
        4 - sender (articles ordered after sender's name)
spell-checker shell-command    (string, default not set)
When set, responses can be checked for spelling mistakes via the
(i)spell action. The command to perform the spelling is given the file containing the full article including header as its only argument. If the spell checker can fix spelling mistakes, it must apply the changes directly to this file.
split           (boolean, default true)
When set, digests will automatically and silently be split into
sub-articles which are then handled transparently as normal articles. Otherwise, digests are presented as one article (which you can split on demand with the G command).
stop lines      (integer, default not set)
When
stop is set, nn will only show the first lines lines of the of each article before prompting you to continue. This is useful on slow terminals and modem lines to be able to see the first few lines of longer articles (and skipping the rest with the n command).
subject-match-limit length      (integer, default 256)
Subjects will be considered identical if their first length
characters match. Setting this uncritically to a low value may cause unexpected results!
subject-match-offset offset     (integer, default 0)
When set to a positive number, that many characters at the beginning
of the subject will be ignored when comparing subjects for ordering and equality purposes.
subject-match-parts     (boolean, default false)
When set, two subjects will be considered equal if they are identical
up to the first (differing) digit. Together with the subject-match-offset variable, this can be used in source groups where the subject often has a format like:

        vXXXXXX: Name of the package (Part 01/04)

Setting subject-match-offset to 8 and subject-match-parts to true will make nn consider all four parts of the package having the same subject (and thus be selectable with `*').

Notice that changing the subject-match-... variables manually will not have an immediate effect. To reorder the menu, an explicit :sort command must be performed. These variables are mainly intended to be set using the :local command in on entry macros for source and binary groups (entry macros are evaluated before the menu is collected and sorted).

subject-match-minimum characters        (integer, default 4)
When set to a positive number, that many characters at the beginning
of the subject must match before the subject-match-parts option comes into affect. This is important, because the part matching causes the rest of the line to be ignored after the first digit pair is discovered. This begins after any subject-match-offset has been applied.
suggest-default-save    (boolean, default true)
When set, nn will present the default-save-file when
prompting for a save file name in a group without a specific save file, or folder-save-file when saving from a folder. When not set, no file name is presented, and to use the default save file, a single + must be specified.
tidy-newsrc             (boolean, default false)
When set, nn will automatically remove lines from .newsrc which
represent groups not found in the active file or unsubscribed groups if keep-unsubscribed is not set.
time            (boolean, default true)
When set, nn will show the current time in the prompt line.
This is useful on systems without a sysline (1) utility.
trace-folder-packing    (boolean, default true)
When set, a trace of the retained and deleted messages is printed when
a folder is rewritten.
trusted-escape-codes codes      (string, default none)
When set to a list of one or more characters, nn will trust and
output escape characters in an article if it is followed by one of the characters in the list. For example, to switch to or from kanji mode, control codes like "esc $" and "esc ( J" may be present in the text. To allow these codes, use the following command:

        set trusted-escape-codes ($

You can also set it to all to pass all espace codes through to the screen. Notice that nn thinks all characters (including esc) output to the screen as occupy one column.

unshar-command shell-command    (string, default "/bin/sh")
This is the command which is invoked by the unshar command.
unshar-header-file file (string, default "Unshar.Headers")
The name of the file in which the header and initial text of articles
unpacked with the :unshar command is saved. Unless the file name starts with a `/', the file will be created in the same directory as the unpacked files. The information is not saved if this variable is not set. Setting it to "Unshar.Result" will cause the headers and the results from the unpacking process to be merged in a meaningful way (unless mmdf-format is set).
unsubscribe-mark-read   (boolean, default true)
When set, unsubscribing to a group will automatically mark all current
articles read; this is recommended to keep the size of .newsrc down. Otherwise, unread articles in the unsubscribe groups are kept in .newsrc. If keep-unsubscribed is false, this variable has no effect.
update-frequency                (integer, default 1)
Specifies how many changes need to be done to the .newsrc or select
files before they are written back to disk. The default setting causes .newsrc to be updated every time a group has been read.
use-editor-line         (boolean, default true)
Most editors accept arguments of the form:
        editor [-arguments] +n filename
where editor is the name of the editor, and n is the line number to put the cursor upon entering the file. If use-editor-line is false, it will not add the "+n" to the arguments.
use-path-in-from                (boolean, default false)
When mail-format is set, saved articles will be preceded by a
specially formatted "From " line:
        From origin date
Normally, the origin will be the name of the news group where the article appeared, but if use-path-in-from is set, the contents of the "Path:" header will be used as the origin.
use-selections          (boolean, default true)
When set, nn uses the selections and other article attributes
saved last time nn was used. If not set, nn ignores the select file.
visible-bell    (boolean, default true)
When set, nn will flash the screen instead of "ringing the
bell" if the visible bell (flash) capability is defined in the termcap/terminfo database.
window size     (integer, default not set)
When set, nn will reserve the last size lines of the menu
screen for a preview window. If not set, nn will clear the screen to preview an article if there are less than min-window lines at the bottom of the screen. As a side effect, it can also be used to reduce the size of the menus, which may be useful on slow terminals.
word-key key    (key, default ^W)
The key which erases the last input component or word
when nn is prompting for a string, e.g. the last name in a path name.
wrap-header-margin size (integer, default 6)
When set (non-negative), the customized header fields specified in
header-lines will be split across several lines if they don't fit on one line. When size is greater than zero, lines will be split at the first space occurring in the last size columns of the line. If not set (or negative), long header lines will be truncated if they don't fit on a single line.
 

CUSTOMIZED ARTICLE HEADER PRESENTATION

Normally, nn will just print a (high-lighted) single line header containing the author, subject, and date (optional) of the article when it is read.

By setting the header-lines variable as described below, it is possible to get a more informative multi line header with optional high-lighting and underlining.

The header-lines variable is set to a list of header line identifiers, and the customized headers will then contain exactly these header lines in the specified order.

The same specifications are also used by the :print and save-short commands via the print-header-lines and save-header-lines variables.

The following header line identifiers are recognized in the header-lines, print-header-lines, and save-header-lines variables:


A   Approved:

a   Spool-File:(path of spool file containing the article)

B   Distribution:

C   Control:

D   Date:

d   Date-Received:

F   From:

f   Sender:

G   Newsgroup:(current group)

g   Newsgroup:(current group if cross-posted or merged)

I   Message-Id:

K   Keywords:

L   Lines:

N   Newsgroups:

n   Newsgroups: (but only if cross posted)

O   Organization:

P   Path:

R   Reply-To:

S   Subject:

v   Save-File:(the default save file for this article)

W   Followup-To:

X   References:

x   Back-References:

Y   Summary:

The 'G' and 'g' fields will include the local article number if it is known, e.g.

        Newsgroup: news.software.nn/754

The following special symbols are recognized in the header-lines variable (and ignored otherwise):

Preceding the identifier with an equal sign "=" or an underscore "_" will cause the header field contents to be high-lighted or underlined.

A plus sign "+" will use the shading attribute defined by shading-on and shading-off to high-light the field contents. If no shading attribute is defined it will underline the field instead.

Including an asterisk "*" in the list will produce the standard one line header at that point.

Example: The following setting of the header-lines variable will show the author (underlined), organization, posting date, and subject (high-lighted) when articles are read:

        set header-lines _FOD=S
 

COMMAND LINE OPTIONS

Some of the command line options have already been described, but below we provide a complete list of the effect of each option by showing the equivalent set, unset, or toggle command.

Besides the options described below, you can set any of nn's variables directly on the command line via an argument of the following format:

        variable=value

To set or unset a boolean variable, the value can be specified as on or off (t and f will also work).

Notice that the init files are read before the options are parsed (unless you use the -I option). Therefore, the options which are related to boolean variables set in the init file will toggle the value set there, rather than the default value. Consequently, the meaning of the options are also user-defined.

The explanations below describe the effect related to the default setting of the variables, with the `reverse' effect in square brackets.

-aN     {set limit N}
Limit the maximum number of articles presented in each group to
N. This is useful to get up-to-date quickly if you have not read news for a longer period.
-a0
Mark all unread articles as read. See the full explanation at the beginning of this manual.
-B      {toggle backup}
Do not [do] backup the rc file.
-d      {toggle split}
Do not [do] split digests into separate articles.
-f      {toggle fsort}
Do not [do] sort folders according to the subject (present the
articles in a folder in the sequence in which they were saved).
-g
Prompt for the name of a news group or folder to be entered
-i      {toggle case-fold-search}
Normally searches with -n and -s are case independent.
Using this option, the case becomes significant.
-I
Do not read the init file. This must be the first option!! The global setup file is still read.
-Ifile-list
Specifies an alternate list of init files to be loaded instead of the standard global and private init files. The list is a comma-separated list of file names. Names which does not contain a `/' are looked for in the ~/.nn directory. An empty element in the list is interpreted as the global init file. The list of init files must not be separated from the -I option by blanks, and it must be the first option. Example: The default behaviour corresponds to using -I,init (first the global file, then the file ~/.nn/init). The global setup file is still read as the first init file independently of the -I option used.
-k      {toggle kill}
Do not [do] perform automatic kill and selection of articles.
-lN     {set stop N}
Stop after printing the first N lines of each article.
This is useful on slow terminals.
-L[f]   {set layout f}
Select alternative menu layout
f (0 to 4). If f is omitted, menu layout 3 is selected.
-m      {no corresponding variable}
Merge all articles into one `meta group' instead of showing
them one group at a time. When -m is used, no articles will be marked as read.
-nWORD
Collect only articles which contain the string WORD in the sender's name (case is ignored). If WORD starts with a slash `/', the rest of the argument is used as a regular expression instead of a fixed string.
-N      {no corresponding variable}
Disable updating of the rc file. This includes not recording that
groups have been read or unsubscribed to (although nn will think so until you quit).
-q      {toggle sort}
Do not [do] sort the articles (q means quick, but it isn't
any quicker in practice!)
-Q      {toggle silent}
Quiet mode - don't [do] print the logo or "No News" messages.
-r      {toggle repeat-group-query}
Make -g repeat query for a group to enter.
-sWORD
Collect only articles which contain the string WORD in their subject (case is ignored). If WORD starts with a slash `/', the rest of the argument is used as a regular expression instead of a fixed string.
-S      {toggle repeat}
Do not [do] eliminate duplicated subject lines on menus.
-T      {toggle time}
Do not [do] show the current time in the prompt line.
-w[N]   {set window N}
Reserve N lines of the menu screen for a preview window. If
N is omitted, the preview window is set to 5 lines.
-W      {toggle confirm-messages}
[Don't] Wait for confirmation on all messages.
-x[N]   {set old N}
Present (or scan) all (or the last N) unread as well as
read articles. This will never mark unread articles as read.
-X      {no corresponding variable}
Read/scan unsubscribed groups also. Most useful when looking for
a specific subject in all groups, e.g.

   nn -mxX -sSubject all
 

MACRO DEFINITIONS

Practically any combination of commands and key strokes can be defined as a macro which can be bound to a single key in menu and/or reading mode.

The macro definition must specify a sequence of commands and key strokes as if they were typed directly from the keyboard. For example, a string specifying a file name must follow a save command. This manual does not give a complete specification of all the input required by the various commands; it is recommended to execute the desired command sequence from the keyboard prior to defining the macro to get the exact requirements of each command.

Although it is possible to define temporary macros interactively using the :define command, macro definitions are normally placed in the init file. Macros are numbered from 0 to 100, i.e. it is possible to define a total of 101 different macros (implicit macros defined with the map command uses internal numbers from 101 to 200).

To define macro number M, the following construction is used (the line breaks are mandatory):

        define M
                body
        end

The body consists of a sequence of tokens separated by white space (blanks or newlines). However, certain tokens continue to the end of the current line.

The following tokens may occur in the macro body:

Comments
Empty lines and text following a # character (preceded by white space) is ignored.
Command Names
Any command name listed in the key mapping section can be included in a macro causing that command to be invoked when the macro is executed.
Extended Commands
All the extended commands which can be executed through the command command (normally bound to the : key) can also be executed in a macro. An extended command starts with a colon (:) and continues to the end of the current line. Example:
        :show groups total
Key Strokes
A key stroke (which is normally mapped into a command depending on the current mode) is specified as a key name enclosed in single quotes. Examples (A-key, left arrow key, RETURN key):
        'A'  'left'  '^M'
Shell Commands
External commands can be invoked as part of a macro execution. There are two forms of shell command invocations available depending on whether a command may produce output or require user input, or it is guaranteed to complete without input or output to the terminal. The difference is that in the latter case, nn does not prepare the terminal to be used by another program. When the command completes, the screen is not redrawn automatically; you should use the redraw command to do that. The tho forms are:

        :!echo this command uses the terminal
        :!!echo this command does not > /tmp/file
Strings
Input to commands prompting for a string, e.g. a file name, can be specified in a macro as a double quoted string. Example (save without prompting for a file name):
        save-short "+$G"
Conditionals
Conditionals may occur anywhere in a macro; a conditional is evaluated when the macro is executed, and if the condition is false the rest of the current line is ignored. The following conditionals are available:
        ?menu   True in menu mode
        ?show   True in reading mode
        ?folder True when looking at a folder
        ?group  True when looking at a news group
        ?yes    Query user, true if answer is yes
        ?no     Query user, true if answer is no
Example (stop macro execution if user rejects to continue):
        prompt "continue? " ?no break

In addition to these conditionals, it is possible to test the current value of boolean and integer variables using the following form:

        ?variable=value
This conditional will be true (1) if the variable is an integer variable whose current value is the one specified, or (2) if the variable is a boolean variable which is either on or off. Examples:
        ?layout=3 :set layout 1
        ?monitor=on  break
        ?sort=off :sort age
break
Terminate macro execution completely. This includes nested macros. Example (stop if looking at a folder):
        ?folder break
return
Terminate execution of current macro. If the current macro is called from another macro, execution of that macro continues immediately.
input
Query the user for a key stroke or a string, for example a file name. Example (prompt the user for a file name in the usual way):
        save-short input
yes
Confirm unconditionally if a command requires confirmation. It is ignored if the command does not require confirmation. Example (confirm creation of new files):
        save-short "+$G" yes
no
Terminate execution of current macro if a command requires confirmation; otherwise ignore it. If neither yes nor no is specified when a command requires confirmation, the user must answer the question as usual - if the user confirms the action execution continues normally; otherwise the execution of the current macro is terminated. Example (do not create new files):
        save-short "+$L/misc" no
prompt string
Print the string in the prompt line (highlighted). The string must be enclosed in double quotes. Example:
        prompt "Enter recipient name"
When the macro terminates, the original prompt shown on entry to the macro will automatically be redrawn. If this is not desirable (e.g. if the macro goes from selection to reading mode), the redrawing of the prompt can be disabled by using a prompt command with an empty string (""). Example:
        prompt "Enter reading mode?" # old prompt is saved
        ?no return # and old prompt is restored
        read-skip       # changes the prompt
        prompt "" # so forget old prompt
echo string
Display the string in the prompt line for a short period. Example:
        ?show echo "Cannot be used in reading mode" break
puts string-to-end-of-line
The rest of the line is output directly to the terminal without interpretation.
macro M
Invoke macro number M. The maximum macro nesting level is five (also catches macro loops).

I use the following macro to quickly save all the selected files in a file whose name is entered as usual. It also works in reading mode (saving just the current article).

        define 1
                :unset save-report
                save-short input yes
                ?menu '+'
                :set save-report
        end
 

KEY MAPPINGS

The descriptions of the keys and commands provided in this manual reflects the default key mappings in nn. However, you can easily change these mappings to match your personal demands, and it is also possible to remap keys depending on the terminal in use. Permanent remapping of keys must be done through the init file, while temporary changes (for the duration of the current invocation of nn) can be made with the :map command.

The binding and mapping of keys are controlled by four tables:

The multikey definition table
This table is used for mapping multicharacter key sequences into single characters. By default the table contains the mappings for the four cursor keys, and there is room for 10 user-defined multikeys. The fourteen multikeys are named: up, down, right, left (the four arrow keys), and #0 through #9 for the user-defined keys.

Multikey #i (where i is a digit or an arrow key name) is defined using the following command:

        map #i key-sequence

where the sequence is a list of 7-bit character names (see below) separated by spaces. For example, if the HOME key sends the sequence ESC [ H, you can define multikey #0 to be the home key using the command:

        map #0 ^[ [ H
The input key mapping table
All characters that are read from the keyboard will be mapped through the input mapping table. Consequently, you can globally remap one key to produce any other key value. By default all keys are mapped into themselves.

An entry in the input key mapping table to map input-key into new-key is made with the command

        map key input-key new-key

For example, to make your ESC key function as interrupt you can use the command

        map key ^[ ^G
The selection mode key binding table
This table defines for each key which command should be invoked when that key is pressed in selection mode, i.e. when the article menu is shown. The command to bind a key to a command in selection mode is:

        map menu key command

For example, to have the HOME key defined as multikey #0 above bound to the select command, the following command is used:

        map menu #0 select

To remap a key to select a specific article on the menu (which the `a' through `z' keys do by default), the command must be specified as `article N' where N is the entry number on the menu counted from zero (i.e. a=0, b=1, ..., z=25, 0=26, ..., 9=35). For example, to map `J' to select article `j', the following command is used:

        map menu J article 9
The reading mode key binding table
This table defines for each key which command should be invoked when that key is pressed in reading mode, i.e. when the article text is shown. The command to bind a key to a command in reading mode is:

        map show key command

In addition to the direct mappings described above, the following variations of the map command are available:

User defined keymaps
Additional keymaps can be defined using the command

        make map newmap

This will create a new keymap which can initialized using normal map commands, e.g.

        map newmap key command 

To activate a user-defined keymap, it must be bound to a prefix key:

        map base-map prefix-key prefix newmap

When used, the prefix key itself does not activate a command, but instead it require another key to be entered and then execute the command bound to that key in the keymap which is bound to the prefix key.
  For example, to let the key sequence "^X i" execute macro number 10 in both modes, the following commands can be used:

        make map ctl-x
        map ctl-x i macro 10
        map both ^X prefix ctl-x
Mapping keys in both modes
Using the pseudo-keymap `both', it is possible to map a key to a command in both selection and reading mode at once. For example, to map the home key to macro number 5 in both modes, the following command can be used:

        map both #0 macro 5
Aliasing
A key can also be mapped directly to the command currently bound to another key. Later remapping of the other key will not change the mapping of the `aliased' key. This is done using the following command:

        map keymap new-key as old-key
Binding macros to keys
A previously defined macro can be bound to a key using the command:

        map keymap key macro macro-number
Implicit macro definitions
An implicit macro can also be defined directly in connection with the map command:

        map keymap key (
        body...
        )

Keys and character names are specified using the following notation:

C
A single printable character represents the key or character itself.
^C
This notation represents a control key or character. DEL is written as ^?
125, 0175, 0x7D
Characters and keys can be specified by their ordinal value in decimal, octal, and hexadecimal notation.
up, down, right, left
These names represent the cursor keys.
#0 through #9
These symbols represent the ten user-defined multikeys.

If the variable data-bits is 7, key maps can specify binding of all keys in the range 0x00 to 0x7F, and the 8th bit will be stripped in all keyboard input. If the variable data-bits is 8, the 8th bit is not cleared, and key maps are extended to allow binding of keys in the range 0xA0 to 0xFE (corresponding to the national characters defined by the ISO 8859 character sets). Binding commands to these keys can be done either by using their numeric value, or directly specifying the 8 bit character in the map command, e.g.

        map menu 0xC8 macro 72
        map key  %

To show the current contents of the four tables, the following versions of the :map command are available:

:map
Show the current mode's key bindings.
:map menu
Show the selection mode key bindings.
:map show
Show the reading mode key bindings.
:map #
Show the multikey definition table.
:map key
Show the input key mapping table.
 

STANDARD KEY BINDINGS

Below is a list of all the commands that can be bound to keys, either in selection mode, in reading mode, or both. For each command the default command key bindings in both modes are shown. If the key is not bound in one of the modes, but it can be bound, the corresponding part will just be empty. If the command cannot be bound in one of the modes, that mode will contain the word nix.


Function            Selection mode   Reading mode

advance-article     nix              a

advance-group       A                A

article N           a-z0-9           nix

back-article        nix              b

back-group          B                B

cancel              C                C

command             :               :

compress            nix              c

continue            space            space

continue-no-mark    return           nix

decode
find                =                /

find-next           nix              .

follow              F                fF

full-digest         nix              H

goto-group          G                G

goto-menu           nix              = Z

help                ?                ?

junk-articles       J                nix

kill-select         K                K

layout              "                nix

leave-article       nix              l

leave-next          L                L

line+1              , down          return

line-1              /                nix

line=@              nix              g

macro M
mail                M                m M

message             ^P               ^P

next-article        nix              n

next-group          N                N

next-subject        nix              k

nil
overview            Y                Y

page+1              >                nix

page+1/2            nix              d

page-1              <                delete backspace

page-1/2            nix              u

page=0              nix              h

page=1              ^                ^

page=$              $                $

patch
post
preview             %                %

previous            P                p

print                                P

quit                Q                Q

read-return         Z                nix

read-skip           X                X

redraw              ^L ^R            ^L ^R

reply               R                r R

rot13               nix              D

save-full           S                s S

save-short          O                o O

save-header         E                e E

save-body           W                w W

select              .                nix

select-auto         +                nix

select-invert       @                nix

select-range        -                nix

select-subject      *                *

shell               !                !

skip-lines          nix              tab

unselect-all        ~                nix

unshar
unsub               U                U

version             V                V

See the descriptions of the default bindings for a description of the commands. The pseudo command nil is used to unbind a key.  

THE INIT FILES

The init files are used to customize nn's behaviour to local conventions and restrictions and to satisfy each user's personal taste.
Normally, nn reads upto three init files on start-up if they exist (all init files are optional):
$LIB/setup
A system-wide file located in the library directory. This file is always loaded before any other init file (even when the -I option is specified). It cannot contain a group presentation sequence.
$LIB/init
Another system-wide (global) init file located in the library directory. This file may be ignored via the -I option.
~/.nn/init
The private init file located in the user's .nn directory. It is read after the global init file to allow the user to change the default setup.

The init file is parsed one line at a time. If a line ends with a backslash `\', the backslash is ignored, and the following line is appended to the current line.

The init file may contain the following types of commands (and data):

Comments
Empty lines and lines with a # character as the first non-blank character are ignored. Except where # has another meaning defined by the command syntax (e.g. multi-keys are named #n), trailing comments on input lines are ignored.
Variable settings
You can set (or unset) all the variables described earlier to change nn's behaviour permanently. The set and unset commands you can use in the init file have exactly the same format as the :set and :unset commands described earlier (except that the : prefix is omitted.)

Variables can also be locked via the lock command; this is typically done in the setup file to enforce local policies.

Key mappings
You can use all the versions of the map command in the init file.
Macro Definitions
You can define sequences of commands and key strokes using the define...end construction, which can then be bound to single keys with the map command.
Load terminal specific files
You can load a terminal specific file using the

        load file

The character @ in the file will be replaced by the terminal type defined in the TERM environment variable. nn silently ignores the load command if the file does not exist (so you don't have to have a specific init file for terminals which does not require remapping). If the file is not specified by an absolute pathname, it must reside in your ~/.nn directory. Examples:

        # load local customizations
        load /usr/lib/nninit
        # load personal terminal specific customizations
        load init.@
Switch to loading a different init file
You can skip the rest of the current init file and start loading a different init file with the following command:

        chain file

If this occur in the private or global init file, the chained init file may contain a sequence part which will replace the private or global presentation sequence respectively.

Stop loading current init file
You can skip the rest of the current init file with the following command:

        stop
Give error messages and/or terminate
If an error is detected in the init file, the following commands can be used to print an error message and/or terminate execution:

error fatal error message...
       Print the message and terminate execution.

echo warning message...
       Print the message and continue.

exit [ status ]
       Terminate nn with the specified exit status or 0 if omitted.
Change working directory of nn
You can use the cd command to change the working directory whenever you enter nn. Example:
        # Use folder directory as working directory inside nn
        cd ~/News
Command groups
The init file can contain groups of commands which are executed under special conditions. The command groups are described in the section on command groups below.
One or more save-files sections
A save-files section is used to assign default save files to specific groups:

        save-files
          group-name (pattern) file-name
          ...
        end

The group name (patterns) and save file names are specified in the same way as in the presentation sequence (see below). Example:

        save-files
          news*  +news/$L
          comp.sources*  /u/src/$L/
        end
The news group presentation sequence
The last part of the init file may specify the sequence in which you want the news groups to be presented. This part starts with the command sequence and continues to the end of the init file.

Both init files may contain a presentation sequence. In this case, the global sequence is appended to the private sequence.  

COMMAND GROUPS

Command groups may only occur in the init file, and they provide a way to have series of commands executed at certain points during news reading.

In release 6.4 onwards, these possibilities are still rather rudimentary, and a mixture of normal init file syntax and macro syntax is used depending on whether the command group is only executed on start-up or several times during the nn session.

A command group begins with the word on and ends with the word end. The following command groups are conditionally executed during the parsing of the init file if the specified condition is true. They may also have an optional else part which is executed if the condition is false:

        on condition
                commands
        [ else
                commands ]
        end

The following conditional command groups may be used in the init file to be executed at start-up:

on [ test ]
The commands (init file syntax) in the group are executed only if the specified test is true. A shell is spawned to execute the command "[ test ]", so all the options of the test(1) command is available. For example, to unset the flow-control variable if the tty is a pseudo-tty, the following conditional can be used:
        on [ -n "`tty | grep ttyp`" ]
                unset flow-control
        end
on !shell command
The command group is executed if the given shell command exits with 0 status (success). Care should be taken that the command does not produce any output, e.g. by redirecting its output to /dev/null. For example, to prevent people from reading news if load is above a specific level, the following conditional might be placed in the global setup file.
        on !load-above 5
                error load is too high, try again later.
        end
on `shell command` string...
The command group is executed if the first output line from executing the specified shell command is listed among the specified string values. The shell command can be omitted on subsequent occurrences of this conditional, in which case the output from the last shell command is used. For example, the following conditional can be used to switch to an init file which has a limited sequence for news reading during working hours, evenings, and nights:
        on `date +%H` 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
                chain init.work
        end
        on `` 17 18 19 20 21
                chain init.evening
        else
                chain init.night
        end
on `` string...
This is equivalent to the previous form except that instead of executing a shell command, the output from the previous
on $variable [ value ]
If no value strings are specified, the command group is executed if the given variable is defined in the environment. Otherwise, the command group is executed only if the value of the variable occur in the value list. For example, if you want nn to look for mail in whatever $MAIL is set to - if it is set - you can use the following code:
        on $MAIL
                set mail $(MAIL)
        end
on slow

The commands (init file syntax) in the group are executed only if the current terminal output speed is less than or equal to the baud rate set in the slow-speed variable. This can be used to optimize the user-interface for slow terminals by setting suitable variables:

        on slow
                set confirm-entry
                set slow-mode
                set delay-redraw
                unset visible-bell
                set compress
                unset header-lines
                set stop 5
                set window 10
        end
on fast

Same as on slow except that the commands are only executed when the terminal is running at a speed above the slow-speed value.
on term term-type...

The commands are executed if one of the term-type names is identical to value of the TERM environment variable.
on host host-name...

The commands are executed if the local host's name occur in the host-name list.
on program program-name...

The commands are executed if the current program (nn, nncheck, etc) in the program-name list.

The following on command groups are really macros which may be executed during nn's normal processing, and as such they cannot have an else part.

on entry [ group list ]

These commands (macro format!) are executed every time nn enters a news group. If a group list is not specified, the commands are associated with all groups which don't have its own entry macro specified in the group sequence. Otherwise, the entry macro will be associated with the groups in the list. The group list is specified using the meta-notations described in the presentation sequence section.

All `:' commands at the beginning of the command group are executed before nn collects the articles in the group, so it is possible to set or unset variables like cross-post and auto-read-mode-limit before any articles are collected and the menu is (not) shown.
  The non-`:' commands, and `:' commands that follows a command of another type will be executed immediately after the first menu page is presented. The execution of a `:' command can be postponed by using a double `::' as the command prefix.

        on entry comp.sources* alt.sources
                :set cross-post on   # set before collection
                :local auto-read-mode-limit -1   # set before showing menu
                ::unset cross-post   # set after collection
        end
on start-up

These `:' commands (macro format!) are executed on start-up just before nn enters the first news group. However, postponed commands (i.e. non-`:' commands) will not be executed until the first group is shown (it works like an entry macro).
 

GROUP PRESENTATION SEQUENCE

News groups are normally presented in the sequence defined in the system-wide init file in nn's library directory.

You can personalize the presentation sequence by specifying an alternative sequence in the private init file. The sequence in the private init file is used before the global presentation sequence, and need only describe the deviations from the default presentation sequence.

The presentation sequence must start with the word

        sequence
followed by a list of the news group names in the order you want them to be presented. The group names must be separated by white space. The sequence list must be the last part of the init file (the parsing of commands from the init file stops when the word sequence is encountered).

You may use a full group name like "comp.unix.questions", or just the name of a main group or subgroup, e.g. "comp" or "comp.unix". However, if "comp" precedes "comp.unix.questions" in the list, this subgroup will be placed in the normal alphabetic sequence during the collection of all the "comp" groups.

Groups which are not explicitly mentioned in any of the sequence files will be placed after the mentioned groups, unless `!!' is used and it has not been disabled (as described below).

Each group name may be followed by a file or folder name (must start with either of `/' `~' or `+') which will specify the default save file for that group (and its subgroups). A single `+' following the group name is an abbreviation for the last save file name used. For example, the following two sequences are equivalent:

        group1 +file group2 +file group3 +file
        group1 +file group2 + group3 +

When an article is saved, the default save name will be used as the initial contents of the file name prompt for further editing. It therefore does not need to be be a complete file name (unless you use the quick save mode).

Each group name may also be associated with a so-called entry action. This is basically an (unnamed) macro which is invoked on entry to the group (following the same rules as the `on entry' command group related to :set and :unset commands).

The entry action begins with a left parenthesis `(' and ends with a right parenthesis `)' on an otherwise empty line:

        comp.sources. +src/$L/ (
                :set cross-post
        )

The last entry action can be repeated by specifying an empty set of parenthesis, e.g.

        comp.unix. +unix ()

The entry action of a preceding group in the sequence can be associated with the current group(s) by specifying the name of the group in the parentheses instead of the commands, e.g.

        comp.unix. +unix (comp.sources.unix)

A macro can also be associated with the entry action by specifying its number in the same way as the group name above, e.g.

        rec.music. +music (30)

Notice that it is the current definition of the macro which is associated with the group, so if the macro is later redefined with the `:define' command, it will not have any effect on the entry action.

Group names can be specified using the following notations:

group.name
Append the group (if it exists) to the presentation sequence list. If also-subgroups is set (default), all subscribed subgroups of the group will be included as well (if there are any). Examples: "comp", "comp.unix", "comp.unix.questions". If the group does not exits (e.g. "comp"), the subgroups will be included even when also-subgroups is not set, i.e. "comp" is equivalent to "comp.".
group.name.
Append the subgroups of the specified group to the presentation sequence. The group itself (if it exists) is not included. Examples: "comp.", "comp.unix.".
Append the groups whose name ends with the specified name to the sequence. Example: ".test".
group.name*
Append the group and its subgroups to the presentation sequence list (even when also-subgroups is not set). Example: "comp.unix*".

The following meta notation can be used in a sequence file. The group.name can be specified using any of the forms described above:

! groups
Completely ignore the group or groups specified unless they are already in the presentation sequence (i.e. has been explicitly mentioned earlier in the sequence).
!:code groups
Ignore a selection of groups based on the given code letter (see below), unless they are already included in the sequence. Notice that these forms only excludes groups from the presentation sequence, i.e. they do not include the remaining groups at this point; that must be done explicitly elsewhere.
!:U groups
Ignore unsubscribed groups, i.e. if they are neither new, nor present and subscribed in .newsrc. This is useful to ignore a whole hierarchy except for a few groups which are explicitly mentioned in .newsrc and still see new groups as they are created.
!:X groups
Ignore unsubscribed and new groups, i.e. if they are not currently present and subscribed in .newsrc. This is useful to ignore a whole hierarchy except for a few groups which are explicitly mentioned in .newsrc. New groups in the hierarchy are ignored unless `NEW' occurs earlier in the sequence.
!:O groups
Ignore old groups, i.e. unless they are new. This is useful to ignore a whole hierarchy but still see new groups which are created in the hierarchy (it might become interesting some day). Individual groups can still be included in the sequence if they are specified before the `!:O' entry.
!:N groups
Ignore new groups in the hierarchy.
!!
Stop building the presentation sequence. This eliminates all groups that are not already in the presentation sequence.
NEW
This is a pseudo group name which matches all new groups; you could place this symbol early in your presentation sequence to see new groups `out of sequence' (to attract your attention to them).
RC
This is a pseudo group name which matches all groups occurring in the .newsrc file. It will cause the groups in .newsrc to be appended to the presentation sequence in the sequence in which they are listed in .newsrc.
RC:number
Similar to the RC entry, but limited to the first number lines of the .newsrc file. Example: RC:10 (use 10 lines of .newsrc).
RC:string
Similar to the RC entry, but limited to the lines up to (and including) the first line (i.e. group) starting with the given string. For example: RC:alt.sources
< group.name
Place the group (and its subgroups) at the beginning of the presentation sequence. Notice that each `<' entry will place the group(s) at the beginning of the current sequence, i.e. < A < B < C will generate the sequence C B A.
> group.name
Place the group (and its subgroups) after all other groups that are and will be entered into the presentation sequence.
@
Disable the `!!' command. This can be included in the personal presentation sequence if the global sequence file contains a !! entry (see example 1 below).
% .... %
Starts and ends a region of the sequence where it is possible to include groups which has been eliminated earlier. This may be useful to alter the sequence of some groups, e.g. to place comp.sources.bugs after all other source groups, the following sequence can be used:

! comp.sources.bugs comp.sources* % comp.sources.bugs %

Example 1: In a company where ordinary users only should read the local news groups, and ignore the rest (including new news groups which are otherwise always subscribed to initially), can use the following global presentation sequence:

        general
        follow
        ! local.test
        local
        !!

The "expert" users in the company must put the @ command somewhere in their private sequence to avoid losing news groups which they have not explicitly mentioned in their init file.

Example 2: This is the global sequence for systems with heavy news addicts who setup their own sequences anyway.

        # all must read the general news first
        < general

        # test is test, and junk is junk,
        # so it is placed at the very end
        > test
        > .test
        > junk

        # this is the standard sequence which everybody may
        # change to their own liking
        local   # our local groups
        dk      # the Danish groups
        eunet.general # to present it before eunet.followup
        eunet   # the other European groups
        comp    # the serious groups
        news    # news on news
        sci     # other serious groups
        rec     # not really that important (don't quote me)
        misc    # well, it must be somewhere

        # the groups that are not listed above goes here

Notice the use of comments in the sequence where they are allowed at the end of non-empty lines as well.

Example 3: My own presentation sequence (in the init file) simply lists my favourite groups and the corresponding default save files:

   sequence
        !:U alt*  # ignore unsubscribed alt groups
        news.software.nn +nn
        comp.sys.ti* +ti/$L
        NEW  # show new groups here
        news*
        rec.music.synth +synth/
        comp.emacs*,gnu.emacs +emacs/misc
        comp.risks +risks
        eunet.sources +src/unix/
        comp.sources* +src/$L/

The presentation sequence is not used when nn is called with one or more news group names on the command line; it is thus possible to read ignored groups (on explicit request) wihtout changing the init file. (Of course, you can also use the G command to read ignored groups).  

MERGING NEWS GROUPS

The third example above contains the following line:

        comp.emacs*,gnu.emacs +emacs/misc

This is the syntax used to merge groups. When two or more groups are merged, all new articles in these groups are presented together as if they were one group. To merge groups, their names must be listed together in the sequence, and only separated by a single comma. To merge the groups resulting from a single group pattern (e.g. comp.emacs*), the group pattern must be followed by a comma and a blank (e.g. comp.emacs*, ...).

Merged groups are presented as the first group in the "list", and the word "MERGED" will be shown after the group name. The Y {overview} command will still show merged groups as individual groups, but they will be annotated with the symbol `&' on the first of the groups, and a `+' on the rest of the groups.

In the current version, the concept of the current group in connection with merged groups is a bit fuzzy. This should only be noticeable with the G command, which will take the most recently used group among the merged groups as the current group. So things like G = ... may not always work as expected.  

ENVIRONMENT

The following environment variables are used by nn:

EDITOR. The editor invoked when editing replies, follow-ups, and composing mail. nn knows about the following editors: vi, ded, GNU emacs, and micro-emacs, and will try to position the cursor on the first line following the header, i.e. after the blank line which must not be deleted! If an article has been included, the cursor is placed on the first line of the included text (to allow you to delete sections easily).

LOGNAME. This is taken as the login name of the current user. It is used by nn to return failed mail. If it is not defined, nn will use the value of USER, or if that is not defined either, nn will use the call `who am i' to get this information. If all attempts fail, the failed mail is dropped in the bit bucket.

PAGER. This is used as the initial value of the pager variable.

SHELL. This is the shell which is spawned if the system cannot suspend nn, and it will be used to execute the shell escapes.

TERM. The terminal type.  

NOTES

When NNTP is being used over a slow link (as with the ppp protocol and a modem), it may be desirable to suppress the retrieval of the information about new newsgroups, and their purpose, since they can be hundreds of KBytes in size. To do this, the new-group-action and show-purpose-mode variables should be set to 0 in your init file. See the descriptions of those variables for more info.

Unfortunately, the list of active newsgroups is still fetched, since nn uses it to determine which groups to check for new articles. Even this could be avoided, but the cost would be checking for new articles in every group, which might well be slower overall, although startup would be faster.  

FILES

~/.newsrc        The record of read articles.

~/.nn/select     The record of selected and seen articles.

~/.nn/init       Personal configuration and presentation sequence.

~/.nn/kill       The automatic kills and selections.

~/.nn/KILL.COMP  The compiled kill file.

~/.nn/LAST       The time stamp of the last new news group we have seen.

~/.nn/NEXTG      Active group last time nn was quit.

~/.nn/.param     Parameter file for the aux script

$lib/setup       System-wide setup - always read first.

$lib/init        System-wide setup and presentation sequence.

$lib/aux         The response edit and send script.

$lib/routes      Mapping rules for mail addresses (on non-domain systems).

$db/*            The news data base.

/etc/termcap     Terminal data base [BSD].

/usr/lib/terminfo/*Terminal data base [SysV].

/usr/local/lib/nntp_serverName of remote nntp server, if not changed
by setting the environment variable NNTPSERVER or the nntp-server variable on the command line.

The name $lib and $db are the directories used for the auxiliary files and the news data base respectively. Their name and location is defined at compile time. Common choices are /usr/local/lib/nn or /usr/lib/news/nn for $lib and /usr/spool/nn or /usr/spool/news/.nn for $db.  

SEE ALSO

Other netnews documentation.
RFC 1341, MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)
nncheck(1), nngoback(1), nngrab(1), nngrep(1), nnpost(1), nntidy(1)
nnusage(1M), nnspew(8)  

ORIGINAL AUTHOR

Kim F. Storm, Texas Instruments A/S, Denmark
 

CURRENT MAINTAINER

Michael T Pins mtpins@nndev.org

The NNTP support was designed and implemented by Ren Seindal, Institute of Datalogy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The news.software.nn group is used for discussion on all subjects related to the nn news reader. This includes, but is not limited to, questions, answers, ideas, hints, information from the development group, patches, etc.


 

Index

NAME
SYNOPSIS
DESCRIPTION
FREQUENTLY USED OPTIONS
COMMAND INPUT
BASIC COMMANDS
SELECTION MODE
ARTICLE ATTRIBUTES
SELECTION MODE COMMANDS
CONSOLIDATED MENUS
THE JUNK-ARTICLES AND LEAVE-NEXT COMMANDS
READING MODE COMMANDS
PREVIEWING ARTICLES IN SELECTION MODE
SAVING ARTICLES
FOLDER MAINTENANCE
FILE NAME EXPANSION
FILE AND GROUP NAME COMPLETION
POSTING AND RESPONDING TO ARTICLES
JUMPING TO OTHER GROUPS
AUTOMATIC KILL AND SELECTION
THE FORMAT OF THE KILL FILE
SHELL ESCAPES
MISCELLANEOUS COMMANDS
CATCH UP
VARIABLES AND OPTIONS
CUSTOMIZED ARTICLE HEADER PRESENTATION
COMMAND LINE OPTIONS
MACRO DEFINITIONS
KEY MAPPINGS
STANDARD KEY BINDINGS
THE INIT FILES
COMMAND GROUPS
GROUP PRESENTATION SEQUENCE
MERGING NEWS GROUPS
ENVIRONMENT
NOTES
FILES
SEE ALSO
ORIGINAL AUTHOR
CURRENT MAINTAINER




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