How to remove >>> forwarding marks

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Q. Is there a way to remove those annoying >>> marks from forwarded emails?

A. To remove those marks, I do one of two things, depending on the program I happen to be using at the time. When I'm using Thunderbird (and this holds true for most other email programs), I press CTRL + F to display the Find and Replace dialog box. Type the > symbol in the Find What field and leave the Replace With field empty. Click Replace All and presto, all the > marks are vaporized.

As an alternative, it doesn’t get much easier than Mr. Ed’s Email Stripper. Simply paste the text you want to clean up into this Web-based form, select the items you would like to remove, then click the STRIP IT button. Copy and paste the cleaned-up text into a new message and send it.

Q. Sometimes it's difficult to read the small font in email I receive. Is there any way to make it larger when needed? I use Outlook Express for my email program and Gmail, on occasion. Thanks, Mr. M.

A. To display a message in a larger font, open the message, click View > Text Size and select a larger font, or press CTRL and + (the Control key and the plus + sign). Repeatedly press the + sign to increase the font size incrementally, or press the – sign to reduce the font size.

If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, hold down the CTRL key and scroll the wheel away from you to make what appears on-screen larger; scroll it back towards you to make it smaller.

Feeling frustrated? You are not alone!

According to a recent Cyber Stress study conducted by Kelton Research, 65 percent of computer users spend more time with their computers than with their spouse or significant other. Further, 84 percent say they are more dependent on computers now than they were three years ago.

As with any relationship, the real test comes not when things are going well but when times are tough. Unfortunately, when it comes to computing, things aren't always smooth sailing. The study revealed that the average computer user:

1. Experiences a major computer problem an average of once every four months.

2. Spends 10 hours per month addressing computer issues, such as updating software, changing settings, general tweaking -- and thus undoubtedly causing some of the problems referenced in Item 1.

3. Describes their most recent reaction to a computer problem as one of anger, frustration and regret -- which sounds a lot like family reunions at my house.

4. Is eternally grateful for Mr. Modem's friendly, easy-to-understand assistance. (Okay, okay, none of the participants in the study actually said this, but I'm sure they were thinking it.)

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week

Human Anatomy Online
A virtual tour that explores the various systems of the body. Click any of the labeled images to find interactive guides to the skeletal, digestive, muscular, lymphatic, nervous, cardiovascular, reproductive, septic and transit systems.

Presidential Recordings
The Presidential Recordings Program provides access to more than 5,000 hours of secretly recorded conversations from the oval office of Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. Highlights include recordings of President Kennedy discussing troop withdrawal from Vietnam, President Nixon assessing a young veteran named John Kerry, and several conversations in which President Johnson opines about the Vietnam war.

Watermelon Carving Gallery
Welcome to the seedy world of fruit-carver extraordinaire Takashi Itoh, an artist who makes sculptures out of watermelons. Enjoy sweet renderings of flowers, birds, ships, mood swings, and other fascinating subjects. Many of the sculptures were created for weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries, and I suspect others stem from the artist’s feelings of despair realizing that he squandered the best years of his life carving fruit.

Mr. Modem publishes "Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks, and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit