Plain Text Paste

I have been getting a lot of complaints regarding my admonition to copy and paste text from the web to keep it for reference.

It seems that many of those who have tried doing this do not realize that if you do a straight copy and paste to a word processor, the formatting is also pasted.

This is my fault, as I tend to think everyone works the same as I do.

To paste the text with no formatting, in most applications, select Paste Special from the Edit or Insert menu, depending upon the application and then select either Plain text or Unformatted text, again depending upon the application.

If you somehow have a word processor which does not enable you to do a Paste Special, another way around this is to use a text only editor such as Windows Notepad as the place you safe the text.

I have just been so used to using Paste Special with Word, Publisher, email, etc., that I thought everyone knew to do it that way.

Remember, if you do not understand something in one of my posts or things do not work the way I describe, just let me know and I will research it and get back with you. It is probably me not being clear in the way I did the posting.

Happy 4th!!!!

Safely Viewing Suspect Email in Outlook Express

After the BPCA General meeting, I was asked how to view an email safely in Outlook Express, to determine if it should be opened. This is due to the topic of internet security at the meeting and the admonition to never open email, unless the sender is known or you had requested the specific email.

The following should give you some information to make the determination:

  • Right-click the message, select Properties, and click Details to read the message’s header.
  • Highlight the email in question and click Message Source to read the message itself in a non-running mode (you’ll see HTML code, but can scroll down and view the message’s text).

In the first case, you should be able to make a decision based on message origin and in the second by a perusal of the actual text.

This only applies to Outlook Express, but other email programs should have similar functions.

I do not use Outlook Express as a general rule, but I did check to make sure the above instructions work.

Note: This posting is a day late due to severe thunderstorms leaving me without computer access. I do apologize but, this will happen from time to time this time of year. Also, with next Tuesday being July 4th, I will probably post either Monday or Wednesday instead.

Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice CALC – Association and Saving

I was recently asked two questions regarding Microsoft Excel files and OpenOffice.

“Why can’t I open an Microsoft Excel file, sent via e-mail, even though I have OpenOffice 2.0 installed?”

The person asking the question does not have Excel installed on their computer.

The most likely reason is that OpenOffice is not set up as the default for opening Excel files.

The easiest way to associate the .xls extension with OpenOffice in Windows XP, assuming that you have saved the file to your computer is:

  • Locate the appropriate file in My Documents or whatever else it was you saved it.
  • Right-click the file you want to open in a different program, and then click Properties.
  • On the General tab, click Change.
  • Click the name of the program in which you want the file to open.

This will make it so that any files with an .xls extension will not automatically be opened by OpenOffice CALC.

Note: Use the same procedure to change the association with other extensions and the programs you want to have them automatically open in.

“How do I save an OpenOffice spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel format, to send via e-mail?

This is much easier to answer.

When you are finished creating or editing the OpenOffice spreadsheet use the Save As and select the appropriate format from the drop down menu.