Tips for forwarding

Posted: Updated:
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

Q. I'm getting lots of forwarded messages, some of which I'd like to forward to others. Is there a proper way to do this or is there anything I should be doing? Some of the forwarded messages I receive are a mess.

A. Forwarding jokes has reached epidemic proportions and is occasionally creating problems for previous recipients whose email addresses continue to be displayed. It's a legitimate concern because their email addresses are often harvested and used by spammers. If you are inclined to forward jokes and other material, here are a few things you can do as a good and responsible citizen of cyberspace:

First, change the Subject line and insert the word “Joke” to help recipients distinguish these messages from regular email. Also, when you click “Forward,” edit the message by deleting extraneous material so you’re only forwarding the text of the joke itself. Remove all names and email addresses of previous recipients.

Place the addresses of the people you're forwarding the message to in the BCC field, not the TO field, so their addresses are not displayed to other recipients.

Be sensitive to the fact that some jokes are less than tasteful and may not be appreciated by some recipients. Also, in some households children may have access to email, as well as adults, so a little discretion goes a long way.

Q. Is there a faster way to access my browser's Address field rather than having to move the mouse there, then delete an address and type in a new one?

A. If you’re using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google's Chrome, as well as most other browsers, pressing the F6 key will instantly move your cursor to the Address field and highlight the existing URL so that you can type in a new Web site address. As an added bonus, the contents of the Address field will be highlighted automatically and will be deleted with the first new character entered. Cool!

Q. I'm a new subscriber of your weekly newsletter. It's great. You make my Fridays even better, Mr. M. My question is really more along the lines of asking for a recommendation. Can you suggest or recommend a program that I can use to organize and keep track of my beer can collection?

A. Thanks for your kind words. I'm happy to make recommendations and have lots of Web sites on tap for just that purpose. Collmate, which is shorthand for "Collector's Mate," is a database program designed for collectors. CollMate allows collectors to catalog their hobbies, show what items are on loan, generate reports, and export data. It is not collection specific so it can be used to catalog and organize just about anything from CDs to salt shakers, to coins, stamps, matchbook covers, vases, swizzle sticks -- and beer cans. You can try this award-winning program without charge for 30 days, and it costs $29.95 to purchase. Give it a try. You'll soon be singing “Foam on the Range” as you bask in the glow of your newly organized beer can collection.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week:

Dream Anatomy
This site presents an assortment of astonishing anatomical representations from the collections of the National Library of Medicine, from 1500 to the present.

Visited States
A scaled-down version of the popular Visited Countries, young travelers can use this site to check off license plates observed during the course of a family road trip. When boredom sets in, as it inevitably will, they can crumble up the checklist and toss it around the car until the driver begins screaming and swatting wildly at the kids in the back seat. Ah, that brings back fond memories of our family vacations when I was the swatee. We thought was quality family time. Who knew?

For plain-English answers to your questions by email, plus useful PC tips, subscribe to Mr. Modem’s Weekly Newsletter. For information, visit