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Tech Tips: E-Mail Fast (and Clean) Forward
Lori Beldo, Denver PC

Tired of getting e-mail that has been forwarded so many times that the actual e-mail is littered with forwards, e-mail addresses and >>>>>>??? Finding three lines of information between 50 lines of headers? Want to make sure everyone reads your forwarded e-mail?

Here’s how to clean them up to send to your family, friends, and clients. Feel free to print this out, or forward to anyone you know who may need assistance in cleaning up their e-mail. The directions should be easy to follow from the hard copy. Readers will appreciate and be more likely to read the mail if it is clean and neat. If the subject line has FW: FW: FW:, it makes the e-mail contents below difficult to read.


Follow these easy steps:

Open your e-mail.

Go to "Edit".

Click on "Select All"

(All the information in the e-mail will now be highlighted)

Click on "Edit" once again.

Click on "Copy". This puts the information in your e-mail into the Windows clipboard and will stay in memory until you’re ready to "paste" it in your word processing program. (Word, Wordpad, Notepad, Works, Word Perfect, etc.)

Exit or close the cluttered e-mail but leave your mail program open. You don’t have to close it.

Go down to "Start" on the lower lefthand side of your screen, and open your word processing program.

Open a "new" file.

Go to "Edit"

Click on "Paste"

The e-mail contents will now be pasted into your document.

"Highlight" all the previous e-mail addresses and subjects until you get down to the actual body of the letter. (You can "highlight" by dragging your mouse over the information you wish to delete. Make sure you hold your index finger down on the left mouse button while dragging.)

Click on "Delete" to get rid of all that junk information.

Two features are available in word processing called "find" and "replace".

Click on "Edit"

Click on "Find"

Type in what you would like to find – the greater than sign - >

Then click on the "Replace" tab.

Just hit the "space bar" on your keyboard.

This will put a blank space that will replace the greater than sign - >

Click on the "Replace all"

This will find all the greater than signs and replace them with a blank space. The blank space will disappear when the contents are pasted back into the e-mail to forward.

Your e-mail will now be beautiful and ready to send to your family, friends, and clients.

It’s time to put the letter back into the e-mail program.

Ready? Moving the letter back to your e-mail is easy. It is called "multi-tasking" – When you have more than one program open at a time – a great feature of Windows.

Go to "Edit"

Go to "Select all"

(This will highlight all of the information in the e-mail)

Go to "Copy"

** Look down at the bottom of your screen in the "Taskbar" (gray boxes down below) and find your e-mail program that is still open – whether Explorer, Navigator, or AOL. Click on the title ONCE and it will put your e-mail full screen again. Your word processing program is still open behind the e-mail. If you look down below once again, at the taskbar, you will see the title waiting there for you to close when you are sure the e-mail is cleaned up and sent.

Click on "Compose message" or "Write"

Type in to whom you will send the e-mail in the "To" section

Type in a new fresh subject without any "FW:’s" in it.

Paste the e-mail you copied into the body of the letter. Here’s how:

Click on "Edit"

Click on "Paste".

Make sure you give credit in your e-mail to originators of the content and if you wish to also let them know the e-mail was forwarded to you and that you are sharing it with them.

You are now ready to click on "Send."

Remember, everyone will love you for taking the time to clean up your e-mail! Once you do it a few times, it’s a piece of cake!

(By the way: I wrote this in my word processing program and then clicked on "copy" and "paste" to put it in this e-mail. That way, I have a copy of this document for my records in the future, and if something goes wrong with my e-mail, I haven’t lost all of my work creating it! I can just open another new message box and paste it in that one.)

Happy E-mail!!

Lori Beldo, Denver PC, is founder of the Women Business Owners Network. She may be reached at