The Digital Life, Houston We Have a Problem, 060 10/11/07


Extracting Emails

I use Windows XP and over the past two years have amassed a large quantity of emails that contain important historical information, which I need to preserve. Can you please tell me how to copy my email files so that they can be prepared for edited printout. Obviously it would help if the source file on Outlook Express can be preserved at least until the copy has been worked on.


My problem is that I see no way of transferring messages from my 'Inbox' or 'Sent items' folders, short of laboriously copying them into a Word file one at a time.

Richard D. Amesbury, by email


Here's a quick and dirty method to export email messages in bulk, as plain Text files. Select the ones you want in your Inbox (or any other mail folder) by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on each one in turn then right click on one of them and select Forward as Attachment. This will create an email with all of your selected messages attached. Now go to File > Save As and save it on your hard drive. You can now open this .eml file in Word, which will all appear on one long text document. Simply chop out all of the email and other guff at the beginning of each message and you will be left with the body text or each email.




Logging On For A Solution

I am running XP on my desktop PC and when using Microsoft Word my computer switches itself off. It might be after 5 minutes or 25 minutes - the PC seems to semi-freeze and then turns itself off. It doesn't do this in any other program. What’s going on?

Peter Jaquiss, by email


It’s difficult to say; if happened all the time or when other programs were running it might be due to overheating, caused by a faulty CPU or power supply fan, nevertheless it’s still worth checking. For most problems associated with Word I usually suggest replacing the Normal.dot master document template file, which is at the root of three quarters of Word glitches. However, I don’t think it’s responsible in this case, but if all else fails give it a try; there’s a simple to follow how-to-do-it at: http://tinyurl.com/39xdc4.


With awkward intermittent or apparently random faults like unexpected shutdowns the place to start looking is the Windows XP System Logs, which constantly monitors and records what Windows is up to, and it should tell you what is making the PC shut down.


To access it go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer > System Log. Look for any Events or ‘Error’ symbols (red circles with a white X) in the Type column at or around the time the shutdown occurred. Double click the entry and this may give you a clue as to what happened, or a link to a Microsoft Knowledgebase article with a possible solution.




More Vista Vexations

Windows Vista is driving me mad. So many things have changed but the most irritating thing of all is not being able to copy and paste from my Windows Mail Contacts list.

Lee McMahon, by email


In Outlook Express Address Book you can highlight a contact’s details and copy and paste it directly into a Word document. You can’t do this in Windows Mail but there is a simple workaround if you have the Preview Pane showing (Organize > Layout). Select your contact, highlight the information that you want to copy, click Ctrl + C (Copy) then in your word processor document, or wherever you want it to appear press Ctrl + V to Paste the text.


An even simpler solution would be to create a text file of all of your Contacts. Click Export on the Toolbar, select CSV (Comma Separated Values) then the Export button, give the file a name, set the location, select the fields you want to Export and click OK.



A Date With A Printer

I am running Windows XP Home version and whenever I use the Word facility to create Page Numbers, Dates or File Names etc., the data appears correctly on the screen.  However when I print, they always appear on the printed documents as {DATE\@"dd.MM.yyyy}.  This has occurred ever since I bought my Dell Dimension 2400 PC four years ago. The corresponding problem does not occur on Excel spreadsheets.

John Speight, by email


Like many Word annoyances it’s easy to fix, when you know what you are looking for... All of the items you mention are based on ‘Field Codes’, used to insert chunks of data into documents. On screen they appear with a light grey highlight and what you are seeing is the hidden code. I suspect that at some point you or whoever installed Word fiddled with a printer setup setting. To put it right all you have to do is select Print on Word’s File menu, click the Options button and under ‘Include with document’ deselect Field Code and click OK.






© R. Maybury 2007 1510


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