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How can I get rid of the ">" sign in e-mail messages?

Posted By : Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on March 6, 2000


I use Netscape 4.7 and get a lot of forwarded E-mail. Each time mail is forwarded, another '>' greater than sign is added at the first of each line. Is there a way to eliminate these annoyances?



This question was answered on March 6, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

The intent of the “>” sign in an e-mail message is to signify the difference between the original message and any addendums or to notify the recipient that the message was forwarded The unfortunate side effect of this feature is that a message can be completely inundated with these symbols, which can make it very hard to read The first step in fighting this nonsense is education Encourage the sender to cut and paste the relevant portion of the message into a new message instead of forwarding it on in its entirety (To cut and paste a portion of a message, click and hold at the top left portion of the section, then drag to the bottom right portion to highlight or select the text Right-click and select “Copy” to paste a copy of the selected text to the Clipboard Create a new message, right-click in the body of the message and click on “Paste” to paste a copy of the selected text into the message.) This is also a great way to eliminate the huge number of e-mail addresses that will generally appear at the top of the message from the previous senders Outlook Express is one of the few programs that will allow you to keep the original message in the reply/forward but remove the symbols To do this, click on Tools, then Options, and then click on the Send tab at the top Next, click on the “Plain Text Settings” button to reveal the “Indent using the > symbol” option Remove the checkmark and your replied and forwarded messages will no longer insert this character Netscape and AOL mail only give you the option to exclude the original message.

But, in reality, since you cannot change the habits of other users, the real trick is to have a program that will “scrape” those little symbols out so that you can forward a coherent message Several listeners of my radio show made me aware of a program called “Clip Cache” that does just that It is an elaborate Clipboard program that allows you to remove the “>” character and the associated spaces so that the message is cleaned up In addition, it will expand the number of items that your clipboard can hold and edit from the 1 that Windows allows to an unlimited number AND will hold them indefinitely! To see a demo of this program go to: <a href="" target="_blank"><font color="#003399"></font></a> You can download a trial version of it if by scrolling to the bottom of the page The program costs $19.95 to keep and register for certain updates If you get a lot of these types of messages (and who doesn’t!) it may be the best $20 that a Cybernaut could ever spend!

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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on March 6, 2000


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