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Thread: What is 'plain text' and how do I use it?

  1. #1
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    What is 'plain text' and how do I use it?

    Hi, I feel really really dumb but I would be very grateful if someone could help with this.

    I send out messages by email regularly to a group of people via an 'announce list' but the formatting always makes a complete mess of what I write - no spacing, underlining etc. I've been advised to send things out in plain text, but don't really know what it is or how to do it. Someone suggested using the font Lucida Console, but is it just a question of putting the text in the email into that font and then sending?

    I have Windows XP, but the Word Help section doesn't give any guidance.

    Thanks a million for any help!

  2. #2
    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    I think just plain old typing in whatever font is what they are saying. Whenever you start bolding, colors, different setups, actually formatting, others don't have the same setups and therefore the email is all screwie. Screwie is a technical term. Can you send the email in an attachment in case you need to format for emphasis???

    Dee

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    Thanks very much for replying.

    The list doesn't take attachments -I've tried but they don't go through. I've been sending out the messages in Arial font with no bolding or colors or anything like that, so I don't understand why it's not working. I just want it to space properly more than anything, but it's all bunched up.

    I don't think plain text just means ordinary text.

    I've tried looking it up but it's too technical for me to understand.

  4. #4
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    plain text gets rid of html and all the fancy stuff... if something is formatted it is stripped of its coding in plain text which is why it doesn't look as nice when you read it

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    Thanks Tonichelle , but I guess my real question is how do I create plain text in an ordinary email so that it looks OK when it arrives at the other end? I send emails via AOL. It doesn't seem to matter which font I use (though haven't tried Lucida) as when it gets sent it just gets butchered and looks a complete mess and very unprofessional.

  6. #6
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Do you have AOL installed on your computer, or are you accessing it through their web page? Here is a discussion of how to format your computer for plain text with different versions of AOL.

    http://members.aol.com/adamkb/aol/mailfaq/sendhtml.html

    With some versions you can't do it at all, and depending on the version, there are different hoops that you have to jump through.

    As I understand it, the problem is more with the recipient, if they can't properly display all the HTML bells and whistles. It is kind of surprising that this is still a problem, as ubiquitous as standard HTML code is these days. (Does Golden State display properly on your computer?)

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    Many, many thanks, Mathman - your link has provided the answer for me! I have AOL 9.0 installed and it turns out that it's very simple to convert to plain text. But I agree that it makes you wonder why it's still necessary. HTML is so common and seems to have so many advantages.

    Thank you indeed for going to the trouble of helping with this.

  8. #8
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    AOL mail seems to be more trouble than it's worth!

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I have AOL, too. Every time they upgraded to a new version, it got worse. Finally when I got up to version10.0 and found that it hardly worked at all, I went to oldversion.com and downloaded 7.0, which still works fine.

    Another thing is that AOL (Microsoft, too) has stopped supportng my old operating system (Millennium edition). That seems to be good, too, since I don't have to cope with all the so-called "upgrades, security patches, etc., all the time. Like all those firewalls whose only discernable function is to prevent me from doing what I want to do.

  10. #10
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    that is one thing that I won't want to deal with if/when I get a new laptop, after two years at work using Vista I still hate the new windows... blah

    but as much as I hate windows, I don't have the time to relearn Mac (which I haven't used since 2nd grade anyway lol)

  11. #11
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I have used aol for over 20 years-however, I use v 9.0 and have no problems with it. Relatives did not like v 10.0 either. Using AOL helps you avoid a lot of malware and viruses because the happy little hackerlets have moved on to attacking Outlook based mail programs. However, you have to resist the temptation to download the McAfee firewall. And that clueless computer test program. The spyware and antivirus programs are fine and very helpful. I haven't had a problem with either for a long, long time.

    If you like teh antique, Windows 98 SE will run more modern applications faster than ME-Mathman, you might like a downgrade on Windows as well as on AOL. Or just buy a new computer or a reconditioned one before you're stuck with Vista.

    One way to get plain text is to use Word Pad from the standard Microsoft accessories pack. Save your note as a .txt file. The program will remind you that it is removing all formatting. After you have the note the way you like, copy and paste it in.

    Another way to get plain text is right here in GS-just don't add any formatting. Then copy and past it into your mail program.

    The other thing is just to accept that your friend's mail program is what is messing up your stuff and accept that it can't be fixed and is not your fault.

  12. #12
    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonichelle View Post
    AOL mail seems to be more trouble than it's worth!
    I thought I warned you guys about AOL a long time ago.

    T.W.G.O.S

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