Write Message Screen

Pressing W opens the Write Message screen. This is the screen where a new message can be typed, and sent. Cone checks for any unfinished messages in the Draft folder, before opening this screen. If the Draft folder contains any messages, Cone offers an option to resume writing an unfinished message, instead of starting a new message. Cone automatically saves a backup copy of the current message being edited, at regular intervals, so that a backup copy can be recovered in the event that Cone is interrupted, or terminated, in a middle of editing a new message. If a backup copy exists, Cone announces the existence of an interrupted message, and prompts to resume writing the interrupted message. An interrupted message must be opened and either: sent, explicitly cancelled, or saved in the Draft folder; before another message can be written.

Write Message Screen

 EDIT MESSAGE                         CONE                                  
             To: John Smith <jsmith@domain.com>
        Subject: Re: Patch for filtering module
Jeff Williams writes:

> This patch puts the user lookups into their own functions. Means that
> the config files are only read if the user is not found be an earlier
> lookup. It would also make it easier to add support to control the
> type/order of lookups at runtime, rather than always looking for the
> search modules in their built-in order.
> --
> Regards,
> John Smith

^  Mark         ^F Full Hdrs    ^J Justify      ^P Postpone     ^S Search
^D Dict Spell   ^G Insert File  ^K Line Clear   ^R Srch/Rplce   ^O mOre

The following keys are available from this screen:


CTRL-SPACE marks the starting position of a range of text. To delete a block of text: move the cursor to the beginning of the block of text, press CTRL-SPACE, move the cursor to the end of text, press CTRL-W. To re-insert this text someplace else, move the cursor to the insertion point and press CTRL-Y (yank).


Cancel composition of the current message. Everything is thrown away, and this screen is closed.


Starts the spell checker (dictionary lookup). Text starting with the cursor position, and until the end of the message, is spell-checked. Words that are not found in the dictionary are highlighted, and the status line lists up to ten suggested replacement words. To replace the highlighted word with one of the suggestions, press the number corresponding to the suggested replacement, or: press I to ignore this occurence of the misspelled word; press A to ignore all occurencer of the misspelled word, press R to replace the misspelled word with a manually-entered replacement.

Note: quoted text in replies (lines that begin with the > character), are not spell-checked.


Turn display of full headers on/off. Initially, only the To:, Cc:, and Subject: headers are shown. CTRL-F shows additional headers: From:, Reply-To:, Bcc:, and Fcc:.

The Fcc: header specifies the folder where a copy of the message is saved, after it's sent. One of the defined Sent Mail special folders is listed in this header. Highlight this header with the cursor, and press ENTER to cycle through the list of available Sent Mail special folders.


This key (get) inserts a file into the current text document, at the current cursor position.


Re-justifies the current paragraph. Cone uses lazy word-wrapping. Cone word-wraps long lines when new text is being added; however when deleting text short lines are not re-wrapped. Pressing this key re-formats the current paragraph to the optimal line length, taking into account all previous editing.

Cone will not re-justify quoted text in replies. Remove the leading quote characters, >, justify, then re-insert the quote characters, if necessary.

Technical note: messages composed in Cone are marked as flowed-text MIME plain text. This format uses invisible trailing whitespace to tag paragraph breaks. Mail readers that support flowed-text format (of which Cone is one), are capable of automatically reformatting flowed text into a variable-width display. When composing new text, Cone automatically inserts the appropriate invisible whitespace characters, as needed. Extensive editing may inadvertently delete the flowed-text watermarks, resulting in a line, or two, not wrapping properly on the expected margin break. CTRL-J reformats the current paragraph, and makes sure that everything is in proper order, automatically restoring any deleted flowed-text trailing whitespace.

Liberal use of CTRL-J during editing is highly encouraged. Not only does this make written text look good, it makes new text look extra-good, in modern mail clients that know how to read flowed-text formatted messages.


Delete text between the current cursor position, and the end of the line.


Search for a text string starting at the current cursor position, or search and replace text.


Define a new macro. First, define a text range using CTRL-SPACE and cursor keys. With the text range highlighted, press CTRL-N, type in a short abbreviation, then press ENTER.

The text range will be memorized, and from this point on, typing the abbreviation will automatically insert the memorized range.


The abbreviation cannot contain spaces or tabs (the text range itself may contain anything, only the abbreviation cannot have spaces).

The memorized text range is inserted verbatim, without reformatting. If memorized text is inserted in a middle of a line, it may be necessary to use CTRL-J to re-justify the text.

If the keyboard has function keys, it is possible to press a function key instead of entering an abbreviation; and use the same function key to insert the memorized text.


Not all function keys may be available in every situation. gnome-terminal, for example, appropriates F1 for its own online help pages; so F1 is not available to applications running in a gnome-terminal window.

To re-define a macro, highlight another text range, press CTRL-N, then enter the same abbreviation, or press the same function key.

Macros can be deleted from the main setup screen in Cone.


Highlight the Attachments: header and press CTRL-T to create an attachment by picking a file from an interactive dialog that shows all files in the current directory. Move the cursor to highlight a subdirectory, or the parent directory, and press ENTER to switch to a different directory. Highlight a file to read the file and attach it to the current message.

The attachment filename may also be typed directly into the file selection dialog. The attachment filename, relative to the home directory, may also be typed directly into the Attachments: header, instead of pressing CTRL-T.

On most systems it is possible to attach multiple files at the same time by entering a filename pattern, such as *.txt - which selects all files that end in .txt.


Runs an external editor application, to edit the contents of this message. An external editor must be previously configured by choosing the Setup selection from Cone's main menu.


When all is said and done, CTRL-X sends the message. One, final chance, is offered to cancel, and change one's mind. If the mail server supports Delivery Status Notifications, press D to select delivery notifications options. Where available, press E to encrypt the message, and/or press S to sign the message, using GnuPG.

Encryption/signing options, if available, must be selected before setting any delivery status notification options.