Q. I use Microsoft Works with Windows Vista, but I’m unable to open some documents sent to me via Yahoo e-mail, which, at least in one case, have been in .gif format. Is there something I can do to put these attachments in a readable format? Would buying Microsoft Word solve the problem?
Microsoft Word can’t read .gif files, which contain images or animations rather than text. In Windows Vista, .gif files can be viewed in Internet Explorer, which you already have.
The easiest way to do that is to download the .gif attachment to your PC’s Desktop (main screen), then open it from that location with IE by going to File, Open, Browse and on the left choose Desktop. Then double-click the icon of the picture.
Alternatively, you could download the free IrfanView program (see tinyurl.com/4um8vn6), which is recommended by technology website CNet and reads dozens of image and video file formats, including .gif.
Word might be able to help if you receive other types of text-based files that your software can’t read. But before you buy Word, compare the list of file types that it can read (see tinyurl.com/476jz5y) with the file types you’re receiving as e-mail attachments.
Depending on what attachments you receive, you might be able to get by with the free Microsoft Word Viewer that reads, prints and copies several types of files. (See tinyurl.com/3x9thjy.)
Q. While I was staying at my Florida condo, I could use Wi-Fi on my laptop. But I couldn’t send e-mails via Outlook Express and had to use Facebook instead. I received an error message that said to “reset my ISP SMTP.” My Minnesota Internet service provider (ISP) is Mncable.net, and in Florida it’s Comcast. What do I need to change on my laptop settings so I can send e-mails through another ISP?
SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) refers to the settings on the cable company computer server that handles your outgoing e-mail. Those settings vary from one cable company, or ISP, to another, so you need to adjust software settings on Outlook Express.
For the settings Comcast uses, see tinyurl.com/ybw845f. To return to the settings used by MnCable.net, see tinyurl.com/69436xx.
If you’d rather not change your Outlook Express settings, you could switch to a free Web e-mail account on Google, Yahoo or Hotmail. Like Facebook, those services can be accessed anywhere without altering software settings.
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