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Descrambling your e-mail replies


© St. Petersburg Times, published February 12, 2001

Q. When I reply to e-mail in Outlook Express, the people can't read my notes. They receive what looks like gibberish.

A. This is known to happen when the original message is not included in the reply. Check your setting that controls this function: Within Outlook Express, go to Tools, Options, Send tab and the Include Message in Reply setting. When this option is not selected, Outlook Express uses as a default the UNICODE character set, which may not be readable by the recipient. You can fix this by explicitly selecting a character set when composing a reply this way:

1. On the Format menu, click Encoding.

2. Select the encoding: Western European (Windows).

You also can work around this problem by setting the Include Message in Reply function described above.

Preview pane pain

Q. Regarding your Jan. 29 answer about turning off the preview pane in Outlook Express: I went to View and Layout. A dialog box came up divided into two parts. The upper was Basic and the lower was Preview Pane. None of the preview pane boxes were checked but I still have the preview pane on my e-mail. It also seems that the preview pane part of the dialog box is disabled. I cannot check or uncheck anything.

A. You'll need to first click on one of the account Folders under the Outlook Express column (this on the left side as you open Outlook Express and contains your e-mail and News accounts). The very top of this list is the Outlook Express heading and it is selected by default when Outlook Express is opened. You need to click on one of the folders below this heading to enable the Layout/View options for modification.

EasyPhoto drivers

Q. I purchased an EasyPhoto ImageWave scanner about two years ago. Then my system crashed and I had to reinstall all my programs. I misplaced the EasyPhoto CD-ROM and would like to purchase the software again. However, the manufacturer, Storm Technologies, is gone. Where can I go for help?

A. You might try Trevor's Unofficial Support Center (, a Web site that has a collection of Storm Technologies EasyPhoto drivers for hardware and software available for download.

Restoring thumbnail view

Q. I use Windows 98. Previously, I could left-click on a file and get a thumbnail view of it in the lower left corner of the folder window. I have lost that function and can't get it back. (Quick view is checked in Windows setup.)

A. This feature was introduced with Windows 98. When working with a large number of pictures, this ability is invaluable. The logical place to look would be Tools, Folder Options in the Windows Explorer menu bar, right? Wrong. For some reason, Microsoft decided to put this option in the Folder properties. Through Windows Explorer, click once on the folder (which contains the picture files) to select it. Then right-click and select Properties from the contextual menu. Click the Enable Thumbnail View option to turn this feature on and click OK. You will have the Thumbnails as one of the view options within the folder and as an option on the Windows Explorer menu bar under View.

Starting up the Startup menu

Q. You printed a solution to fix a faulty registry. However, when I followed your instructions, it did not work. I get the message that Windows encountered an error in systems registry. The command prompt never comes up, so the problem remains. I use Windows 98.

A. If you want the Windows 98 Startup menu to appear each time you start your computer, follow these steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type msconfig in the Open box and press Enter.

2. Click Advanced on the General tab and click the Enable Startup Menu check box to select it.

3. Click OK, OK, then Yes.

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