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Use Any Text Editor with KMail

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KMail comes with a pretty capable message editor, but its editing power does not (want to) match the vast possibilities of vim or emacs, for example.

Fortunately, you can use any editor with KMail. KMail will still show the usual message composition window, but as soon as you start typing in the body area, it launches your favorite editor to take your input. When you leave the editor, saving the file, you are returned to KMail, and the results of your editing appear in the message body.

To use any text editor with KMail:

  • Select Settings | Configure KMail... from the menu in KMail.
  • Go to the Composer category.
  • Make sure the General tab is selected.
  • Under External Editor, make sure Use external editor instead of composer is checked.
  • Specify the editor you want to use.
    • Make sure you use "%f" where your editor expects the file name to edit on the command line.
    • To use vim, for example, type "gvim -f %f" (or "konsole -e vim -f %f" if you don't like the vim GUI and prefer a console experience).

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