Computer Guide

Converting from American to Australian English

by George Skarbek - 17 October 2006

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Q: I often receive Word documents by email which I then subsequently edit.  I find that quite often people have not changed their set up so that they are using the US English dictionary.  I cannot work out how to change a dictionary once it has been associated with a document.  So what happens is that when I do a spell check, it keeps on telling that words ending is “ise” and spelled incorrectly, and changes them to “ize”, and so on.  So I have to run a spell check and then change the dictionary for each word picked up by the spell checker.  This is extremely tedious.  I would really appreciate it if you could tell me how to change the dictionary to either the UK English or Australian English dictionary.

I have often experienced this problem and have found a quick solution that works for me. I just select the entire document by pressing Ctrl + a (mouse users can triple click in the left margin) and then from Tools, Language, Set Language select Australian.

If you do this often then you should add the Set Language as an icon on the toolbar. I have put this icon up and now I can have the entire document set correctly with a few mouse clicks.

Formatting in Word

Q: My question is when I copy and paste text into Word it sometimes brings strange formatting from where it has been either from the net or from an OCR scan or a PDF file and more. Is there a way to remove all types of formatting such that I can use the text in a letter or whatever? I tried copying into Notepad which worked a bit but still some of the tabbing was extreme rather than the usual tab increments.

The best way to clean up the formatting is to click once on your normal text and then use the Format Painter (icon) to highlight the rest. The way to use this is to click and drag over the text you want to change.

If you double-click on the Format Painter icon then you can format non contiguous sections of the document. After you double-click the icon will change to a paint brush to remind you of your new mode. Just press Esc when you have finished.


Opening eml files

Q: I use the same version of Outlook Express on my notebook at home and my PC at work.  The notebook is configured to leave any messages on the server so I can later access them again at work if I need to print messages or attachments.  When I receive an email with an attachment that has been forwarded on, the attachment has a file suffix of .eml.  My notebook identifies this as a type "Outlook Express Mail Message" and when I open it I find it was originally a .pdf or .jpg etc.  If I receive that same email directly to my PC at work, it has the same .eml suffix, but it is identified as a type "Internet Email Message" and my PC can't open it at all. I have checked my email settings on both computers and they are identical.  How can I change the PC so I can open these .eml files?

This is cause because the eml extension is not registered to be opened with Outlook Express. As a once-off exercise, you can save the attachment to your desktop and Open it with Outlook Express or even Outlook. It will open as a new email, and you will see the contents.

To re-register the .eml file type in permanently, there is a Microsoft article on this topic that will associate eml files with Outlook Express. See: 


Flash drive and Mac

Q: Two days ago I was using my USB flash drive on a PC in my house, and it was working fine. When I got to school, I realised that the Mac computers could not read the files on the drive (it detected the USB drive but started Disk Utility). I tried the library PC computers and it didn't work either (also detected the USB, but could not open the files). When I got home to my PC it was the same problem. Do you have any idea what happened to my USB? It's an Imation 256MB Swivel Flash Drive.

Although the file system on the Mac is different to that of the PC, it is unlikely that the Mac software has altered the directory information after detecting the USB as using USB drives is one method of transferring files to a Mac from a PC. I cannot state what caused the problem.
Realistically, reformatting the flash drive in the PC should fix the problem as the actual drive itself is unlikely to have been damaged.


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