Folder Contents Viewing Area

The Folder Contents viewing area is a section within the Main window that displays the list of mail messages, one line per entry, contained in the active mailbox folder. The figure Folder Contents Area illustrates this section of the Main window.

Figure: Folder Contents Area

You can control the width, order, and titles of the columns in the Folder Contents viewing area. You can also specify which columns should be displayed. See Message List Option for more information.

A quick and easy way to change the size of columns in the viewing area is to click on a vertical separator bar in the column titles above the viewing area and drag the cursor left or right.

If the list of your messages does not fit completely in the viewing area, horizontal and vertical scroll bars are added as needed. If both scrolls are present you will also see a joystick in the lower right corner. Click the joy stick and drag up, down, left, or right to pan the viewing area.

You can control the order in which messages are displayed in the viewing area via the Sort ... option in the Main window Options menu. (See Sort Option for more information.)

By clicking on options in the Message menu, you can perform various operations on selected mail messages in the Folder Contents viewing area. For example, you can select a message to read, to reply to, to save, to mark for deletion, to print, to copy, and so forth. You can perform these operations on individual selected messages or on multiple selected messages

From the Message menu, you can also launch the Composition window, in order to compose a new message.

In addition, most but not all, of these options can be performed on individual messages (even if they are not selected) by placing the mouse pointer on any message and clicking the right mouse button to open a pop-up menu adjacent to the message.

Folder Status

The Folder Contents area is surrounded by a thin, solid-line box that includes a folder status line. The status line contains the name of the active folder and status information about the contents of the folder. For example:

In Box (62 messages, 22 unread, 1 saved, 7 marked for deletion)

Each column in the Folder Contents window proper, provides a different bit of information about the status of the messages.

Optionally, you can change the width and order of any of the columns and even remove columns from the display. See Message List Option.

Status Information

Message status information is contained in these status columns:

Message status icon column
This column displays an icon that indicates the current status of the message.

For example, when a new message arrives, its status is new. When you read it, or save it, or delete it, its status changes to read, or saved, or marked for deletion. If any messages are left with new status when you exit Ishmail, their status changes to unread the next time you start the program.

(See Message Status Icons and Flags for descriptions of the various status icons and status flags.)

The status of an individual message can be set, or reset, explicitly. See Selection and Status Options for details.

Message number column
This field displays a number indicating the relative position of the message in the folder. Message numbers are assigned first-in, first-out (FIFO) order. The oldest message in the folder is "1". The number assigned to a message will change as other messages in the folder are added or deleted.

You can change the sort order of messages in the list by selecting the Sort ... option in the Options pull-down window, or by editing the appropriate line in your .ishmailrc file. See Ishmail Resources for a description of the resources associated with sorting the messages.

Message status flag
This column also indicates the current status of a message. (See Message Status Icons and Flags for an explanation of the status icon.)

Multiple status indicators may be shown. For example, the flags MSD indicate that the message is a MIME message that has been saved and marked for deletion.

From column
This column contains the name of the sender (or name(s) of the recipient(s) in the case of the +outgoing folder that contain copies of outgoing messages), in the form of the Internet address or the alias of the sender.

Sender/recipient information is extracted from the From line in the mail message header. If this header entry contains text surrounded by parenthesis, the application displays that text in the column. Otherwise, the full address string to the right of From: is displayed in the column. For example:

If you display your outgoing message folder, the addresses or aliases of the message recipients are displayed.

Subject line of the message
If the message is a forwarded message or a reply to a previous message, the subject is preceded by the suffix Re:, Re[2]:, Re[3]:, and so forth, depending on the number of times the message has been replied to.

Date and time the message was sent
This information is in the form day, date, time, time zone.

Total number of lines characters in the message.

The value displayed for the number of lines can be deceiving for a MIME message, which may not contain newline-terminated strings of characters.

Total number of bytes in the message.

Table: Message Status Icons and Flags

Table Notes


  1. Both the Message Status Icon and the Message Status Flag represent the state of each message. To prevent the Message Status Icon from being displayed, you can click the Message List ... option in the Options pull-down menu and toggle the Show status icon button to Off.

  2. A second character (M) may be displayed in the Message Status Flag column, to the left of the N, U, D, S, or <blank>. This flag signifies that the associated message is a MIME message. The Message Status Icon for a MIME message is the same as for ordinary messages but is colored with rainbow hues. The icon appears in shades of gray on a monochrome display terminal.

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Open Folders Viewing Area
Following Section: Main Window File Menu
Parent Section: Main Window Menu Bar
Contents of Ishmail User's Guide