GNU Mailutils Manual (split by node):   Section:   Chapter:FastBack: Programs   Up: Composing Mail   FastForward: Libraries   Contents: Table of ContentsIndex: Function Index Executing Shell Commands: ~! and ~|

The ‘~!’ escape executes specified command and returns you to mail compose mode without altering your message. When used without arguments, it starts your login shell. The ‘~|’ escape pipes the message composed so far through the given shell command and replaces the message with the output the command produced. If the command produced no output, mail assumes that something went wrong and retains the old contents of your message.