Color files for MultiMail

The color file lets you specify the colors used by MultiMail (on color terminals). When you run MultiMail for the first time, the file “colors” will be automatically generated in the “mmail” directory, listing the default colors.

The format for each line is “ItemName: <foreground>, <background>, <attribute>”, where foreground and background are one of Black, Blue, Green, Cyan, Red, Magenta, Yellow, or White, and the attribute may be Bold or Reverse. Only the first three letters are actually checked, and case is not signifigant.

If no color for a given ItemName is defined, the default will be used. Lines beginning with ‘#’ are commented out.

“Bold” is mainly used to indicate a bright foreground color, but may also (or alternatively) cause actual boldfacing on some terminals (like xterm). “Reverse” is for the benefit of monochrome terminals (xterm again), so that highlights still show up there. (Yes, color schemes are fairly useless on a monochrome terminal; but with care, this feature lets you set up the color file once, so you can use MultiMail from both color and mono terminals without having to change anything.)

You can omit the foreground and background colors, as well as the attribute. (If only one color is specified, it’s taken as the foreground color.) If omitted, the last-defined foreground or background color is used. (Note that this does NOT work for the attribute, which is reset with each color. So, if you have an item with the Bold attribute, and want the next item to be exactly the same, you still have to specify “Bold”.) I did this because color schemes tend to have a lot of repeated values, especially for the background color. See the included color schemes for examples.

Also note that an ItemName with no values after it is NOT the same as an ItemName that’s commented out or removed. In the first case, the colors will default to those defined for the previous item. In the second case, the colors used will be the default colors for that item (as found in tradit.col, or the autogenerated “colors” file).

You can switch between color schemes by changing the “ColorFile” keyword in your .mmailrc to point to a new file. The example color files included here are:

I welcome additonal color schemes. If you have an interesting one, please send it to