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When I visit usenet or gmane group for the first time I want to see only recent articles.

Is it possible to mark articles as read based on their publication date?

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You can use / t to limit the article in a *Summary* to a number of days:

/ t runs the command gnus-summary-limit-to-age, which is an interactive compiled Lisp function in `gnus-sum.el'.

It is bound to / t, .

(gnus-summary-limit-to-age AGE &optional YOUNGER-P)

Limit the summary buffer to articles that are older than (or equal) AGE days. If YOUNGER-P (the prefix) is non-nil, limit the summary buffer to articles that are younger than AGE days.

You are prompted: "Limit to articles older than (in days, younger when negative): " when using / t

So you should be able to limit the articles shown to the ones older than 30*n days, and then mark those as read?

  • Nice tip! One issue with your solution - when I visit new newsgroup there are a lot of messages (5000-200000) I like to strip history older then in 2010 or other year and sniff around the rest. Rarely I am in that situation. I don't like a solution which mean simply to download all article just to strip most of them especially when I on high cost mobile network connection. – gavenkoa Feb 16 '16 at 16:10
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    I guess the easiest is to catch up the group, so everything is read, and then use / t to find the messages you are interested in, and mark those as unread. I don't think you'll be able to select/deselection articles by date without downloading the headers. – asjo Feb 16 '16 at 19:22
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I've found the temporary solution:

  • mark group as read with c (which is bound to gnus-topic-catchup-articles) in *Group* buffer while point is placed on group of interest

  • enter the group (press RET or specify how many latest articles should be displayed using numeric argument, e.g. C-u 1 2 3 RET)

  • load as many articles as you want using something like / o 123 RET (this runs gnus-summary-insert-old-articles) and repeat it until you're satisfied with publication date of oldest loaded article

  • mark every article as unread with M-u (gnus-summary-clear-mark-forward) or mark all articles with M P a (gnus-uu-mark-all) and apply command to each article M-& M-u (gnus-summary-universal-argument).

I am not satisfied with this solution. Better solution would be to simply specify how many months of history I want to fetch.

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