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Solutions: Problems sending email using Word

I purchased a new computer earlier this year with Windows 8. My old computer used XP, and I never had any problems with it. Now, when I send emails to three of my friends, they get many pages of code with no conversion to text. I am using Microsoft Word. Any recommendations for a fix?

If you are sending out Microsoft Office Word documents in your email with a later version from your Windows 8 PC, it is possible that your friends do not have a matching version on their PCs. That would explain the "code," which is actually just the binary encoding of the Word document. Your friends can go to to download/install the Microsoft Office Word Viewer. This should allow them to read your Word documents.

Looks as if the XP system I am using will no longer be supported by Microsoft after April 8. Should I be concerned with this? Are there any options other than buying a new computer? I have a 10-year-old desktop.

There are a few concerns. The most immediate is your antivirus protection. If you are using Microsoft Security Essentials, the automatic definitions may end sometime this July, last I heard. You can replace it with another brand that supports Windows XP (Norton, McAfee, etc.). Any new vulnerabilities that are discovered in the browser and the operating system will not be fixed in future updates; that is a long-term issue. Whichever browser you are using, make sure you keep up with the latest security updates available for XP. Microsoft just released one final security update for Windows XP/Internet Explorer. Go to Windows Update and check that you have all available updates installed. Make sure you practice safe Internet browsing habits, and back up your data on a regular basis. You'll eventually have to move on to a new PC, but you still may be able to squeeze another year or two from your XP system.

I have a Time Warner email account, and I view my emails through I have a friend who has an email account with Microsoft Exchange. When he sends me an email, I always receive an attachment titled winmail.dat. Is there anything I can do to stop receiving this attachment? Even when he sends me an attachment, the only attachment I receive is the winmail.dat attachment.

The reason you are receiving the winmail.dat attachments is that your friend is sending his email in rich text format, and the attachment is the plain text version. He could change his sending output to plain text, and that would be one way to solve the problem. You can also check Webmail to see whether there is an option for receiving rich text emails. If he is sending other attachments that you are not receiving, check the Webmail security options to make sure unrecognized attachments are not being blocked.

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

Solutions: Problems sending email using Word 05/23/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 23, 2014 7:28pm]
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