The "actions" feature is a convenient way for the user to launch external commands to process a complete message file including headers and body or just one of its parts. It allows also the use of an external command to filter the whole text or just a selected part in the message window or in the compose window. This is a generic tool that allows to do any uncommon actions on the messages, and thus extends the possibilities of Claws Mail.
To create a new action, go to Configuration -> Actions.... The "Actions setting" dialog offers to enter the Menu name that will trigger the command. The created menu will be found in the Tools -> Actions submenu. By inserting a slash / in the menu name, you create a submenu.
The command is entered in the Command line entry. Note that Claws Mail stores every single email in a separate file. This allows to use the following syntax for the command :
- %f denotes the file name of the selected message. If you selected more than one, then the command will be launched for each message with the appropriate file name;
- %F denotes the list of the file names of the selected message. If only one message is selected, this amounts to %f, but if more messages are selected, then the command will be launched only once with the list of the file names. (You can use both %f and %F in one command: then the command will be launched for each selected message with the name of this message and with the list of all selected messages. I did not find a practical example for this.);
- %p denotes the current selected message part of a multipart message. The part is decoded accordingly. If the message is not a multipart message, it denotes the message body
- Prepending >: this will allow you to send to the command's standard input a text that you will enter in a dialog window
- Prepending *: this will allow you to send to the command's standard input a text that you will enter in a dialog window. But in contrast to prepending >, the entered text is hidden (useful when entering passwords)
- Appending an ampersand &: this will run the command asynchronously. That means "fire and forget". Claws Mail won't wait for the command to finish, nor will it catch its output or its error messages
- Prepending the vertical bar | (pipe-in): this will send the current displayed text or the current selected text from the message view or the compose window to the command standard input. The command will silently fail if more than one message is selected
- Appending the vertical bar | (pipe-out): this will replace the current displayed text or the current selected text from the message window or the compose window with the command standard output. The command will silently fail if more than one message is selected
- Appending the "greater than" sign > will insert the command output in the message. The difference between the trailing | is that no text will be deleted or replaced. Most used when composing mails to insert text. Only available since 0.8.6claws66*
Note: It is not possible to use actions containing %f, %F or %p from the compose window.
When a command is run, and unless it is run asynchronously, Claws Mail will be insensitive to any interaction and it will wait for the command to finish. If the command takes too long (5 seconds), it will popup a dialog window allowing to stop it. This dialog will also be displayed as soon as the command has some output: error messages or even its standard output when the command is not a "pipe-out" command. When multiple commands are being run, they are run in parallel and each command output is separated from the outputs of the others.
Here are some examples that are listed in the same syntax as used for storing the actions list. You can copy and paste the definition in your ~/.claws-mail/actionsrc file (exit Claws Mail before). The syntax is very simple: one line per action, each action contains the menu name and the command line separated by a colon and a space ": ". Alternatively, you can use Configuration -> Actions... and for each example enter a menu name and copy&paste the text after the colon and space ": " in the command definition.
|Purpose||Menu Name: Command Line||Details|
|rot13 cyphering||Rot13: |tr a-zA-Z n-za-mN-ZA-M|||This will apply the rot13 cyphering algorithm to the (selected) text in the message/compose view|
|Decoding uuencoded messages||UUdeview: xdeview %F&||xdeview comes with uudeview. If an encoded file is split in multiple messages, just select them all and run the command.|
|Display uuencoded image||Display uuencoded: uudec %f&||Displays uuencoded files. The uudec script can be found here.|
|Opening uuencoded document with OpenOffice||Open uuencoded with OpenOffice: uuooffice %f&||Opens uuencoded file with OpenOffice. The uuooffice script can be found here.|
|Save attachments||Save attachments: munpack -C ~ -- %F||Select one or several mails then use the action. The attachments will be saved to your home folder, you can replace ~ by another directory provided you create it first. munpack is provided by the mpack package in debian.|
|Save MS TNEF parts||Save TNEF part: xterm -e tnef-claws %p||Select the TNEF message part then use this action to extract the attachment.|
|Alter messages||Edit message: gvim -f "%F"||Allows to edit any received message. Can be used to remove unneeded message parts etc.|
|Pretty format||Format/Par: |par 72Tbgjqw74bEe B=.Aa 72bgi|
Format/Fmt: |fmt -s -w 75|
|Par: http://www.nicemice.net/par/ is an utility that can pretty format any text. It does a very good job in indenting quoted messages, and justify text. Used when reading or composing a message.
Fmt: part of the the GNU core utilities
|Browse||Part/Dillo: dillo %p&||Browse the selected message part in Dillo.|
|Receive key from server via PGP/MIME signature||GnuPG/Receive Key from PGP/MIME sig: ID=`gpg --verify %p /dev/null 2>&1|grep "key ID"|tr -d "[:space:]"|tail -c8`;echo "==== Fetching $ID ===="; gpg --no-tty --keyserver wwwkeys.nl.pgp.net --recv-keys $ID||Select the signature part of a message then call this action to fetch the key from wwwkeys.nl.pgp.net|
|Receive key from server via signed unencrypted inline message||GnuPG/Receive Key from Signed Inline Message: ID=`gpg --verify %p 3>&1 1>&2 2>&3 |grep "key ID"|tr -d "[:space:]"|tail -c8`;echo "==== Fetching $ID ===="; gpg --no-tty --keyserver wwwkeys.nl.pgp.net --recv-keys $ID||No need to mouse-select the message, just use the action.|
|Receive key from ID in message||GnuPG/Receive Key From ID in Message | gpg --recv-keys||Useful when only the desired key ID is in the message. Just select the ID and call the action.|
|Receive key from URL in message||GnuPG/Receive Key from URL in message | wget -i - -O - | gpg --import||Select the URL where the public key is then import it with this action.|
|Import key from mail||GnuPG/Import Key From Mail: gpg --import %p||Select the message part where the public key is then import it with this action.|
|Insert public key in message||GnuPG/Insert My Public Key: gpg --export -a MYKEYID>||Insert your public key in the message your are composing. Replace MYKEYID with your key id. Needs 0.8.6claws66 or newer|
|Reporting SPAM||Report as SPAM: spamassassin -r < %f||Use spamassassin to report mail as spam. Redirection (<) is possible only with version 0.7.7.|
|Check spelling||Check spelling: |T=`mktemp $HOME/.sXXXXXX`; cat - > $T;xterm -e ispell $T;cat $T;rm $T|||Open a terminal and check the spelling with ispell|
|Search Google for selected text||Search Google: |google_search.pl||Search google for the selected text. Needs the google_search.pl script.|
|Search any searchable website for the selected text||Search: |multiwebsearch.pl --where="%u" --what="%s"||Search any searchable website for the selected text. Needs the multiwebsearch.pl script.|
|Google for message id||Google Msg ID: |google_msgid.pl||Search google for the selected message ID. Needs the google_msgid.pl script. Edit the script to change the browser (default is mozilla).|
|Pipe a header value to a script||Get Subject: grep "^Subject:\ " %f | cut -d\ -f 2-| script.sh||Pipe the Subject: header value of selected message to script.sh|
|Fix missing date||Fix date: fix_date %F||Add a 'Date:' header in the selected email(s) when such header is missing. Needs the fix_date.sh script.
The correct date is guessed from other headers that contain timestamp information or from the file or system date as a fallback. The order or preference for the date value replacement can be changed by editing the script. This script can be used to fix messages that show non RFC-compliant Date headers as well. X-Original-Date is always added too, to keep track of the original value if any. Date: and X-Original-Date: headers are not overwritten unless you use the --force switch.