Ask Rick Maybury 2015



Ask Rick 348 14/02/15


Privacy On The Move

I would like to be able to transfer several private Word documents, written on my Windows 7 PC, to my Samsung Galaxy tablet and smartphone, and be able to open and edit them. It is important that the documents cannot be read by anyone else, should my phone or tablet be hacked, lost or stolen.

H.S. by email


You can password protect or encrypt documents in Word, but it gets a bit complicated when it comes to opening or editing them on mobile devices that do not run on Windows. The only version of Word for Android is in Microsoft Office Mobile but it only works on phones and cannot open encrypted documents. One simple workaround is to use an encryption utility that works on both Windows and Android, and Word compatible office apps on your smartphone and tablet. For the latter I recommend WPS Office, free from Google Play. Surprisingly there are relatively few cross-platform encryption systems but SSE (Secret Space Encryptor) is worth investigating and by default it uses practically uncrackable 256-bit AES encryption. Both the Android (and iOS) apps and the Windows program are free for personal use; download links can be found at: Once everything is installed open Windows Explorer and SSE File Encryptor on your PC, create your password then drag and drop the Word documents into the open SSE window and when it has finished transfer the saved and encrypted files to your devices Documents folder. Open the SSE app on your smartphone or tablet, select the file, enter your password, the file will be decrypted and you can open it as a normal Word document in WPS Office. 



Photo Finished?

I recently upgraded my system from XP to Windows 7. On XP I had MGI PhotoSuite SE 4, which does not seem to be acceptable to Windows 7. Is there anything I can buy that is similar to PhotoSuite and compatible with W7?

John White, by email


PhotoSuite is one of those borderline compatible programs that can often be persuaded to work in W7 and W8, so do not give up just yet. First try running it in XP Compatibility mode: right-click on the PhotoSuite icon and select Properties > Compatibility tab. Select Windows XP from the drop-down menu; make sure that Disable Visual Themes and Disable Desktop Composition are ticked and click OK. If that doesn’t work run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter (Start > Control Panel > Troubleshooting > Programs > Run Programs made for Previous versions of Windows).


As far as I am aware no current programs have exactly the same set of features or user interface as the now discontinued PhotoSuite but there are plenty of comparable image editing and a few of the better ones are entirely free. Four that you should have on your shortlist are IrfanView,, Photofiltre and Picasa; there are links to the downloads at:



Looking After Your Library

We were pleasantly surprised to find that books purchased for our two Kindles automatically appear on our Samsung tablet as well. Now we have a second Kindle Fire. Books ordered on this also go to the Samsung tablet, but not to our old Kindle. How can we get books from our Kindles 1 and 2 to one another? We are not bothered about the Samsung tablet getting them.

Bryn Green, by email


You can access your Kindle library on up to 6 devices, and these can be actual Kindles or PCs, tablets or smartphones running the Kindle app. The easiest way to take control of your library and decide which books go where is to log onto your Amazon account in a web browser and under Digital Content select Manage your Content and Devices. On the Content tab select the books that you want to be available on another device on the Content tab and click the Actions button, select Deliver and then the device from the drop-down menu. Books and other content can also be moved using a PC and USB connection and there is some easy to follow instructions in an Amazon Support article at:



Meandering Mail

An important email was sent by my daughter from her desktop computer took almost 3 weeks to reach my inbox. A letter I once posted to Germany went via Australia, but even that did not take so long. What caused the delay?

Eric Brooks, by email


Delays of more than a day or two do happen but it is quite rare; 3 weeks is exceptional! More often than not human error is to blame, such as the sender forgetting to press the Send button or accidentally saving an email to the drafts folder. The first thing to do is check the hidden ‘header' information contained in all email messages and this tells you when it was sent and something about its journey around the Internet. To view it right-click on the message in your Inbox, select Properties then Details. (Do this on a PC as headers are often heavily truncated by smartphone and tablet email apps). If it was sent at the stated time and only one message was affected the times and dates in the header should identify the server where the hold-up occurred. You can even find its location by Googling its IP address, though in practice there is little or nothing you can do about it. If it happens again that is another matter, but if it only affects messages from your daughter then she should contact her ISP to see if there is a problem with their mail servers. If it affects messages from other senders your ISP’s email servers or message filters could be to blame so contact them and see if they admit having problems on the dates indicated or with the ISPs concerned. The chances of a fault at your end are quite small but if it persists double check all of your email program’s settings, message rules, Spam filter and if your security software scans emails, try disabling it and ask the affected senders to send you test messages to see if that makes a difference. 


© R. Maybury 2015 2301

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