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Trying to open e-mails

>Q: Sometimes on my Dell PC I receive an e-mail with an attachment (usually pictures) that I cannot open. The message, "This file does not have a program associated with it to perform this action. Create an association in the Folder Option control panel" comes up. I cannot figure how to do this. Can you help?

--R.S., Burlington, N.C.

A: What you need to do is designate the program that will open the file for you.

In XP, start by going to the "start" menu and choosing "Control Panel." Select "Folder Options" and, in the window that pops up, click on the tab that reads, "File Types."

In the box, you'll see every type of file extension imaginable. Look for the extension on the file you need help with. (If it's a photo, you're probably looking for jpg or jpeg.) Clicking on the extension will show you which program is associated with it and give you the chance to change it.

If you can't find the extension, click the "New" button to add one. First, enter the extension and click "OK." When it appears in the list of file extensions, click on it and then click the "Change" button.

Click to "select the program from a list," and Microsoft will give you a list of options with its recommendations at the top. If you don't see what you need, you can opt to have your computer search the Web for appropriate programs to associate with it.

For instance, I entered .tif, clicked to change the associated program and then clicked to select from a list. The computer's first choice was Photoshop, which is my first choice, too. I highlighted Photoshop, clicked "OK" then "Close" and was done.

There's also a shortcut for one-time viewing. Just save the file to your desktop and right-click on it. Choose "Open with" and pick the program you want to use. It's quick, but to create a permanent association, you'll have to do it the longer way.

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>Q: How can I change the line spacing between sentences when trying to prepare a letter? Everything is one-and-a-half lines apart.

-- P.V., Cary, N.C.

A: In Microsoft Word, highlight the text and go to "Format," then "Paragraph." The third section is for spacing. Click on the drop-down menu that currently reads "1.5 lines," and choose single or double, whichever you prefer.

There are "Before" and "After" boxes to the left of the line spacing that measure the amount of space between paragraphs. If you wanted to single-space your letter but have an extra space or half space between paragraphs, that's where you'd go to set it automatically.

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