Spontaneous groups don't fly with Gmail
Q: I've been using Windows Live Mail on my Windows 7 HP computer. I like most things about Win 7 except the way it handles emailed pictures...
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Q: I've been using Windows Live Mail on my Windows 7 HP computer. I like most things about Win 7 except the way it handles emailed pictures. I don't like my pictures stored on the MS server, plus it rearranges the pictures across the top of the email and any picture comments are left all over the place.
So that's why I opened a Gmail account. I like everything about it, but can't figure out how to set up distribution lists. Do you have any idea how I would do that?
— Don Means
A: Google does allow you to create mailing lists. In Gmail they're called "groups." There is, however, no way to create groups on the fly when you're ready to send a message. Instead, you need to create your group first.
To create a group, click mail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts. Select all contacts you want to include, then click the Groups button and choose the "Create new" option.
When you want to send an email, type the name of the group in the address box. Unfortunately, there's no way to select from a drop list at this point, but as you start to type the name, Gmail will automatically pop up a list of potential matches.
Q: I am retired, and I travel quite a bit, dragging along my 9-year-old Gateway laptop or my 4-year old Asus notebook. (All my OSes are Microsoft, which I prefer.) I would like some sort of compact, lightweight tablet with a relatively generous screen that I could use worldwide. My primary uses are email and Internet searching.
— Richard A. Virant, Seattle
A: There are a variety of tablets on the market, of different sizes and with different features. But I'd really urge you to refrain from buying any model without actually trying it.
That said, I'd also recommend you consider whether you'd really prefer a tablet or an ultrabook. That latter is only slightly more to carry, but it has a keyboard. The first primary use you list is email. I don't know about you, but I hate typing on virtual keyboards. And if you need to get a physical keyboard to carry around with your tablet ... well ... you might as well have the ultrabook.
Q: My email account has started to generate emails that are drafts within a few minutes of logging on. No one from my address book has let me know about receiving bogus emails from me, and my McAfee Total Protection has not found a virus. Please advise. I am using Firefox to access my email at Hotmail.
— Bob Roller
A: Because you're using a Web client, there are only two likely possibilities, both of which lead you to Microsoft. The problem could be with Hotmail itself. Or it could be with Microsoft's Web interface.
Either way, you need to contact the Hotmail folks. Could a piece of malware be causing the problem? Unlikely, but possible. I suggest scanning your computer with Malwarebytes' AntiMalware. You can download a free version at malwarebytes.org.
Q: Quite suddenly (I can't identify the event) the Help function no longer works for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I get to the first screen and when I click on a topic it asks to download a file: HA10354316.HTM. I've downloaded that file and when I try to open it, it loops to a request to download that same file again. Can you help?
— Klaus G
A: While I've always been one who likes to find answers, when it comes to an issue like this I'd rather just solve the problem than find the answer. So, the first thing I'd try is uninstalling and then reinstalling Office.
The most likely cause of the problem is that something in the Windows registry or in an Office program file has been corrupted.
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