G.J. Taylor, Ph.D.
So you received an e-mail message that you would like to save or share with others, but the message is cluttered with “>> > >> >” characters, appearing before each line of text. Some genius thought that we like to be distracted when reading our messages; moreover, this genius figured Outlook Express offers more than enough window space to read a medium sized letter. Well, somebody with a lot more common sense figured a way to strip e-mail of these nuisance characters. Unfortunately, software developers--no exception seen to date—do not have an adequate command of English to communicate what they know; and reading the instructions for the StripMail v0.99f program is a real pain.
Ah--but take heart: below are some steps you can follow to run this nifty program and strip away all those pesky greater-than-signs (>). In our example, we assume that you want to save and share the stripped message but prefer first to correct the spelling and often pitiful grammatical errors that appear in 99.9% of all text on the Internet.
NOTE: All clicks are left mouse button unless otherwise stated.
THE STRIP SHOW...
1. Click on the message you wish to strip in the “Inbox" of Outlook Express.
2. Right-click on any part of the text in the message.
3. Click on “Select All” in the pop-up menu.
4. Right click again anywhere on the highlighted text and select “Copy” from the menu (you now have the message placed on Windows’ Clipboard).
5. Minimize all open windows in Outlook Express and return to Windows Desktop.
6. Open “StripMail” (of course you placed a shortcut icon to StripMail on Desktop, right?).
7. Click on “Paste” in the upper taskbar of StripMail.
8. Now click on the “Do it All” icon in the upper taskbar (StripMail window will automatically strip the message of the unwanted characters, reformat the paragraphs, copy the message back to Clipboard, and minimize StripMail in one svelte swoop). You may now paste the cleaned-up message from Clipboard into new e-mail or save it in a new word processor document for further editing if so desired.
MAILING THE STRIPPED MESSAGE
9. Click on the “New Mail” icon in the upper taskbar of Outlook Express.
10. Click on the icon (a small open book) just before “To:”, which is on the same line as the blinking cursor.
11. Select the person to which you would like to send e-mail in your address book and click on the “To: ->” button on the right.
12. Select any others in your address book to which you would like to send a copy of your message. But this time click on the “Bcc: ->” button. The Blind carbon copy (Bcc) option will respect the anonymity of the other recipients by omitting their names in the message—that is, you won’t send everybody in your mailing list a copy of your address book.
13. Now click on the “OK” button below.
14. Click once in the “Subject” line and type in the subject (optional).
15. Now right click anywhere in the main text box (where you normally type your message) and select “Paste.”
16. Voila! Your stripped message will appear, which you can further edit, add to, save, and send to the people you selected from your address book.
Don’t you wish all software instructions were this clear and reliable?