Reading a message is quite simple. If you have the message pane within view, all you need to do is once click the message you want to read and it already appears in the message view. When you double-click the message, a separate window will open, showing you the message. You can close the opened window by pressing ESCape or clicking the 'close' button.
When a message contains an attachment, you can have several options to view the information in that file. Sylpheed can be able, when compiled against the proper libraries, to display images "inline". This means you can click the name of the image and you can see it in the lower part of the message screen.
How do you see an attachment is in an e- mail?
This shows through an extra section that appears between the summary pane and the message view. In it you can see the separate parts of the e-mail. Sometimes you can't view the contents of an attachment directly. Then you can rightclick the name of the file and select "OPEN" from the appearing menu. If this does not work, it means that the extension of the file is not recognized through the directives in the mailcap file. In that case you can always use the "Save as..." option in the popup menu, save the file to disk and open the file with the proper program.
Sylpheed offers the option to view messages in threads. Threads are no more than series of e-mails in a logical sequence. Suppose 15 people sent you a mail called "Re: bananas". You can't easily tell which one is the first and which one is the last in that sequence.
By activating threads (summary menu), Sylpheed will attempt to show the sequence of mails as they were written/sent from first to last.
To undo the threads view, you simply select the same menu option again and the e-mails are displayed in standard order again.
Sylpheed gives you many ways to manage your messages. You can move them to new mailboxes, or delete them. Through the message menu (see that section for more details) plenty of options are available to do with your e-mails what you want done. The advantage of moving messages to different mailboxes (also see Filtering for that, as described in the Configuration menu section) is that you keep an overview of your inbox. Suppose you are collecting e-mails in there of 8 different subjects. And you are looking for a specific one on a specific subject. That will give you a lot of work, trying to find the right message. Creating a new mail folder for each subject, and moving the messages to that new one, lifts a lot of work afterwards from your hands.
At times you may find a URL in a message. A URL is a link to a website. Usually it is shown in the form "http://www.somewhere.something".
If you want to visit that website, you only need to double-click the URL, and the default webbrowser you set up (usually Netscape) will activate and load the website.
In the configuration options, Sylpheed has a color setting specific for URL's so you can spot a URL easily.