Frequently, I find myself having to send code snippets to teammates, etc.

Therefore, I decided to write the following elisp to simplify the process. I am using mutt as the email client, but the only issue with this is the fact that the code is not properly formatted in the email.

(defun email_mark (addr subj)
   (interactive "sEnter email address: \nsEnter email subject: ")
   (let ((fname "~/.emacs.d/files/email.txt"))
     (write-region (region-beginning) (region-end) fname)
     (shell-command (format "mutt -e 'set content_type=text/html' -s '%s' -- '%s' < %s" subj addr fname))))

(global-set-key "\C-x\m" 'email_mark)

Screenshot of email sent using this function: enter image description here

Any suggestions?

  • The write-region call works for me and reproduces indentation exactly (I assume you're using spaces rather than tabs?). Hence, I'm guessing your problem is in the call to format.
    – Dan
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 0:54
  • Just updated my question. The screenshot of the email I receive shows how the code is not properly formatted in the email.
    – gkumar7
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 1:01
  • Snt it as text/plain, not as HTML? Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 3:42
  • Yes, you are correct. Actually, was playing with a few settings in mutt, but relatively no improvement.
    – gkumar7
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 5:14

2 Answers 2


You might want to use HTML for that. I advise you to use Org-mode's syntax to write your email and then use the org-mode's HTML exporter. Because you are a lucky guy, you can use org-mime to do just that! From the description

org-mime can be used to send HTML email using Org-mode HTML export. 

After doing more research into what my options are, I decided to instead use markdown and gimli to create a pdf which I could then attach to the resulting email.

Gimli: https://github.com/walle/gimli

I also added an "Email body: " prompt so that the user could incorporate a message instead of just the pdf attachment. Nevertheless, I am open to any more suggestions (possibly instead of having the code attached as a pdf, include it in the body of the email?

-> actually was able to use html to do this, but without syntax highlighting [for those who are interested, I used google-code-prettify: http://code.google.com/p/google-code-prettify/ ]).

(defun email_mark (addr subj body)
   (interactive "sEnter email address: \nsEnter email subject: \nsEnter email body: ")
   (let* ((default-directory "/files/")
          (fname "email.md")
          (fname-no-ext (substring fname 0 -3))
          (pdf-file (concat fname-no-ext ".pdf"))
          (snip (buffer-substring (region-beginning) (region-end)))
          (lang (if (equal "emacs-lisp" (substring (format "%s" major-mode) 0 -5)) "lisp")))
     (write-region (format "```%s\n%s\n```" lang snip) (region-end) fname)
     (shell-command (format "gimli -f %s -outputdir %s" (concat default-directory fname) default-directory))
     (shell-command (format "echo '%s' | mutt -s '%s' -a '%s' -- '%s'" body subj (concat default-directory pdf-file) addr))))

(global-set-key "\C-x\m" 'email_mark)

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