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Solutions: It's easy to hide formatting marks

I have a Dell Inspiron with Windows 7, and I use Outlook 2003 for my e-mail. I had no problems with it until recently when I copied directions from Google Maps and pasted them into an e-mail. I went to highlight and delete some of the nonessential information, and all of a sudden something changed that I cannot fix. I see what I think are the "paragraph" symbol prior to my typing words in e-mail and have period marks between every word after I space. People can't see it on their end, but when I compose an e-mail, I see the strange marks. How can I fix this?

You inadvertently turned on the Show Formatting option. Depending on which version of Outlook you have, the menu solutions will be different, so the easiest way to turn it off is to click in the body part of the message window, then on the keypad simultaneously press CTR+SHIFT+8.

I received this message on e-mails that I am unable to open: "This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folder Options control panel." I'm not sure how to do this.

The easiest way is as follows: First, save the attachment to your Desktop. Next, right-click this file and click "Open With." This will open the "Open With" dialog window. Either click the program that you want to use to open this file or click the browse button and navigate to the executable program that should be used. If you want all files of that type to open in this same software program, select the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" check box, and then click "OK." Otherwise, clear the "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" check box, and then click "OK." If you're not sure which programs open which extensions, you can use the list found at to get some clues. If you're not sure and still curious about the contents of a file, the safest thing to do is go to Windows Notepad (C:\windows\system32\Notepad.exe). Notepad is innocuous, and while it won't make sense of any binary file, it also will not activate any possible malicious content in a file.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: It's easy to hide formatting marks 08/15/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 7:48pm]
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