I use Emacs and mu4e for email. If I forward an email, the body defaults to this:

From: me <>
Subject: Fwd: ...
--text follows this line--

Sender <> writes:

I would like mu4e to add the date of the email forwarded, such as:

On 1 October 2019, at 18:07, sender <> wrote:

I looked at the source code of mu4e-forward, mu4e-compose, and mu4e~proc-compose without seeing where the text is added. I think it's in:

    "cmd:compose type:%s docid:%d extract-encrypted:%s use-agent:true"
    (symbol-name type) docid (if decrypt "true" "false")))

but I don't know how to hack "cmd:compose ..."

Has anyone tweaked the default message when forwarding or replying?

1 Answer 1


mu4e uses message.el to edit the messages. The documentation for message-citation-line-function in that package shows:

Function called to insert the "Whomever writes:" line.

Predefined functions include ‘message-insert-citation-line’ and ‘message-insert-formatted-citation-line’ (see the variable ‘message-citation-line-format’).

The definition of message-insert-citation-line has:

(insert (mail-header-from message-reply-headers) " writes:")

But this one has no formatting to customize with date and time. The definition of message-citation-line-format shows a value of:

On %a, %b %d %Y, %N wrote:

So you'll have to set both message-citation-line-function and message-citation-line-format:

(setq message-citation-line-function 'message-insert-formatted-citation-line)
(setq message-citation-line-format "On %Y-%m-%d at %R %Z, %f wrote:\n")

The FAQs mention this customization to avoid a bug in Outlook:

(setq  message-citation-line-format "On %Y-%m-%d at %R %Z, %f wrote...")` 
  • thanks @miguelmorin, I tend to be far too brief in my answers.
    – Muihlinn
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 9:50
  • Totally fine! You find the right answer and I pad it with documentation... seems like a good trade to me :)
    – emonigma
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 9:53

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