Word picture pasting woes easily relieved

Q. I used to be able to copy a picture or text with a picture and paste it into Word. This is handy when shopping online. One can collect product information from different sources and then compare it in one document. This no longer works.
When I copy a blurb that includes a product picture, the box for the picture is empty in the Word document. The same problem arises if I copy a picture from the My Pictures folder and paste it into a Word document.
I have looked at the issue on the Microsoft site and find others have had similar problems. They recommend changing some settings ("in line with text" or the particular view one is using). These have not helped.
Adding to the puzzle is that I use Word as my e-mail message editor, and I can paste Web pictures into Word-based e-mail documents.
A. You can fix this with three clicks of the mouse, Mr. D.
Click one: Tools on the Word toolbar.
Click two: Options in the Tools drop-down menu.
Click three: The View tab in the group of items this produces.
There you will find a check box to toggle a command to show pictures as placeholders instead of their actual content. This transforms all the pictures in a document into one of those empty boxes that so vexed you.
Like you, I was confused while pursuing this issue on the Microsoft Web site, because there appears to have been a large number of glitches over the years that led to the empty-box syndrome. Things like the inability to parse rich file formats (RTF) and anomalies with line-wrap settings were at the head of the class as troublemakers.
So I did some serious checking and found that this problem with the picture placeholders getting set has been fairly common and, as you see, it is easily fixed.
Q. After installing Windows XP Service Pack 2, all data in Quicken has disappeared. It opens as if it had never been used before. Where is the data? Can it be retrieved?
A. The problem with folks losing track of their crucial Quicken files during computer hardware and software changes has become so common that Intuit Inc., Quicken's maker, included a tool in the latest versions to sniff out the whole hard drive and find its files.
Click on Files in the Quicken display and scroll down to the Find Quicken Files command and give it a click. That may fix you up on the spot. It almost always does, I am told.
Another issue has been raised by folks who upgraded to SP2 and encounter problems with Quicken. The Windows firewall, which gets activated by default when SP2 is installed, sometimes will keep users from communicating with banks and other sources of Quicken data. The firewall's settings can be changed by clicking Start and then right-clicking on the My Network Places item that pops up. Select Properties and look in the left pane for a command to change firewall settings.
Q. I'm running Windows ME and Outlook Express for e-mail. Every time I close out of OE I get this error message: & quot;msimn caused an error in unknown msimn will now close. & quot;
What can I do to stop this?
A. I am tempted to tell you to just click and forget that advisory if the only issue is getting an error message that is meaningless to you. However, errors involving the msimn module sometimes foretell serious trouble with a corrupted e-mail inbox. This can make you lose your recent e-mail and probably would keep the computer from displaying future messages.
These problems always involve versions of the Outlook Express software earlier than version 6.0, the current software for Windows XP. The 6.0 upgrade will work fine with Windows ME, so let me urge you to do an upgrade. You can find the download and instructions at www.microsoft.com/ie.
You can also search the computer for the vulnerable inbox files and force Windows ME to rebuild your e-mail in its current form. To force this restoration you need to find and rename a pair of files called inbox.idx and folders.nch so that Windows cannot find them. Then Outlook Express will rebuild them both the next time you run it.
Click on Start and Settings and Find and type inbox.idx as a search term. When it appears, give it a right-click and select Rename and make it something like oldinbox. Repeat for folders.nch, making it oldfolders.nch.
The reason you want to rename these files rather than delete them is that if something else is wrong you can always go back and restore them to their proper names.
Knight Ridder Newspapers

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