This section describes how certain features or actions in Pan can be customized.


Many of the default actions of Pan, such as mouse clicks, actions when entering or leaving a group and the action of Space can be altered.

In Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Behavior
  • Mouse

    The two boxes of the mouse section change the default action of the left mouse button. If unselected, you would have to double click on a group or article to activate it.

  • Groups

    The selections in the group section control what commands Pan will automatically run when manipulating groups.

    • The first box, when activated, will automatically get new headers for all subscribed groups whenever Pan is started. This is the equivalent of using Groups ▸ Get New Headers in Subscribed Groups from the menubar.

    • The next box, when activated, will automatically get new headers when entering a group. This is the equivalent of using Groups ▸ Get New Headers in Selected Group from the menubar.

    • The next box, when activated, will mark the entire group read when leaving a group. This is the equivalent of using Groups ▸ Mark Group Read from the menubar.

    • The last box in the Groups section, when activated, will expand all threads in the Header Pane when entering a group.

  • Articles

    The first option, when activated, makes Space select the next article rather than the next unread article. This is handy if you are viewing a thread with read and unread articles mixed together.

    The next option activates smooth scrolling in the Article Pane.

GUI Composition

The layout and view of the Group, Header and Body Panes in Pan can be customized in several ways.

Pane Layout

In Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Layout the orientation of the Groups, Header and Body Panes can be manipulated.

Tabbed Layout

Instead of having all three panes share the Pan main window at one time, another view, called Tabbed Layout, can be activated by choosing View ▸ Layout ▸ Tabbed Layout. Now, only one of the three Panes will be displayed at a time. Each Pane is brought to the front of other Panes by clicking on its tab located directly under the tool bar or by pressing "1", "2" or "3" for the Group, Header or Body Pane respectively.

Show/Hide Panes

You can hide a specific Pane by choosing from View ▸ Layout and using the selection box to show/hide each of the Panes.


Choose Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Fonts to select a font.

Pan can use the monospace font in the article Pane, if activated.


Choose Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Colors to customize the colors used in Pan.

The first section allows you to customize the colors used by scoring in the Header Pane. See Scoring for more information on how to use this feature.

The second section allows you to customize the colors used in the Body Pane.

External Applications

In this section you set up external applications that Pan can use.

In Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Applications:
  • Web Browser

    Click the Web Button to choose which external application to launch when clicking on an HTML link.

  • Mail Reader

    Choose which external application to launch when clicking on an email address or when sending a post via email.

To set up an external text editor, choose Post ▸ Post to Newsgroup . From the Post Article dialog menubar, choose Edit ▸ Set Editor

Article Cache Size

The article cache is a fixed-size disk buffer where Pan stores articles when they are downloaded from a news server. If the user downloads a large amount of binary attachments, the default cache size might be inadequate.

The article cache size can be changed in Edit ▸ Preferences ▸ Behavior ▸ Article Cache

News Servers

Pan must connect to a special computer called a news server. The news server is the gateway used to access Usenet.

Choose Edit ▸ Edit News Servers and the Servers dialog will appear. Click on a server name and you can edit or remove it via the buttons. Click the Add button to add another server.

When you add or edit an existing server, the Edit a Server's Settings dialog will appear.

In the location section:

  • Address

    The internet address of the server.

  • Port

    The port of the server. Port 119 is the standard port number for unsecured NNTP connections, port 563 is for TLS/SSL connections.

The next section is the login information for the server. If you server requires a username and password, enter them here. If the server allows anonymous login or does not require authentication, just let these fields blank.

  • Username

    Enter the login name if required.

  • Password

    Enter the password if required.

The next section allows you to enter certain Pan settings that are server specific.

  • Connection Limit

    Pan can open multiple connections to a server so the user can perform simultaneous actions like download a binary attachment will reading articles in a text group.

    In order to follow the GNKSA rules, the maximum number of connections Pan can have open with a server is 4.

  • Expire Old Articles

    From this toggle box, you can pick a time when Pan will expire old articles and remove them from its article index.

  • Server Rank

    When you have more than 1 server configured, Pan uses server rank to decide from which server to download the article. Only after all primary servers have been tried for the article will Pan use the fallback servers.

    The reason for this feature is that a user might have access to a free server and also have access to a byte-limited premium server. Server ranking allows Pan to use the fallback server as little as possible.

  • TLS (SSL) Options

    If security and privacy are of concern, choose secured connections if the server supports it.

    TLS (SSL) support is an optional feature and may not be available in your Pan build.

  • Always trust this server's certificate

    If you want to trust the server regardless of the authenticity of its certificate, you can enable this option. Use with caution!