Q. Each time I try to open up a jpeg file on my computer, I get an error notice, "Cannot find pictureviewer.exe." I am running Windows 98SE and I am using the IE 6 browser.
A. It's my day for Windows SE questions. In your case, it is safe to say that somewhere over the many years the computer was in use, some software was loaded onto it that assigned a program called pictureviewer.exe to display photographs in the jpeg format. That software appears to be gone now.
You can try to find whatever pictureviewer.exe is or just assign some other program to display jpeg photo files. Most people use Microsoft Internet Explorer to display these photos, because it works very fast and permits one to do things like make a desktop background out of the image, e-mail it or save it to a new location.
Let's cover setting up Internet Explorer first.
To specify the program that runs whenever a given icon gets clicked (called the file association), just find any icon for a jpeg on your machine and give a right-click. You should see a choice called "open with" in the menu that pops up. If not, holding down the shift key while clicking will bring up the "open with" option.
This brings up a typical Windows search box, in which you can click on various folders to home in on the actual program you want to run at each click. Point the search display to the "program files" director on the C: drive and then scroll down to Internet Explorer. Then, open that folder and select the file iexplore.exe to associate with the icon.
If you want to restore the pictureviewer.exe for opening photos, you can find it by clicking on "start" and "find," and then using that file name as a search term.
I'll bet, however, that you'll be happier just sticking with iexplore.exe, as most users do for these files.
Q. I am secretary of our homeowners association and have several Word files with tables. Some residents who don't have Microsoft Office/Word or have a Mac can't open them. Saving in RTF or HTML hasn't worked for me very well, but I am a novice at that. What do you recommend in terms of saving these files so everyone can open them?
A. Actually, I would have been inclined to tell you to convert your Word files holding those tables into the HTML format that you mentioned, and that is supposed to create documents suitable for Web viewing by all computers. Those files can be opened in Web browsers instead of in anybody's word processor. Are your friends doing this?
Assuming they are using browsers, the next likely glitch has to do with formatting getting run off the screen, a common problem for Web authors. The best way to avoid this is to set your margins several spaces wider than you actually will use. Then make sure that the tables do not reach into this empty space, which can cause lines to overrun.
Finally, make sure that everybody is setting their Web browser to view pages in the smallest possible type size. In the Microsoft browser, the "text size" toggle for smallest, smaller, medium, larger and largest is under the "view" tool.
Most other programs also keep this feature under "view."
At the smallest setting, the tables should look fine.
As a final suggestion, software often balks at reading tables created by different programs because the software does them differently.
So a great fix is to make a text box in Word, and then copy your tables and paste them into the box -- not as tables, but as text. The text box command is under "insert."
Pick it and use the mouse to draw a box bigger than the table. Then go to the table and paint all the cells and copy them. Finally, paste them into the text box.
XJim Coates can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via postal mail at the Chicago Tribune, Room 400, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. Questions can be answered only through this column.