Three quick fixes

Using a computer can be frustrating. This week, I’ll show you three annoying things you can fix for yourself and your friends.

  • Make the text in Outlook a readable size.
  • Kill off those wrong email addresses in Outlook.
  • And stop those chat-like Facebook posts.

Fix: Text in Outlook messages is too small (or GIAGANTIC)

Weird problem. A customer showed me that her Outlook 2016 messages that she was trying to write had text so small it was impossible to see. You could just barely see a tiny cursor flashing in the New Email box.

But when we tried typing something and sending it, although it looked tiny to us, the recipient of the message saw the text normal size.

What happened?

A Windows “feature” had been unintentionally activated! If you are in a text box in any number of programs, not just Outlook, and you press the CTRL key at the same time you scroll with your mouse, it changes the text size. Scroll up/forward to enlarge the text and down/backwards to shrink it.

But … all you’re doing is changing how it looks to you. No matter how small or large it looks, your font size stays the same, and that’s why everything looks normal to the recipient of your email.

So, if your text looks too small or large in the messages you’re composing, hold CTRL and use the mouse scroll button to change the size.

If you receive a message with text that’s too small, in Outlook 2016 and 2013, use the slider bar at the bottom right of the program to change the display. 100 per cent is normal. Slide to the right to make things seem larger.

Fix: The wrong email address keeps popping up in Outlook

While we’re talking about Outlook, have you even misspelled an email address? Did you ever have a friend change his or her email address?

You change the information in you Outlook Address Book, and it’s fine there, but every time you start to type a new email to this person, the old information pops up in the To: field.

I hate it when that happens.

We can easily fix that, but first we need to understand that what Outlook remembers when you start typing in that field has nothing at all to do with your Contacts. This is the Autocomplete list, which is simply Outlook remembering what you’ve typed in before.

Your Contact list/Address Book is something completely different.

So, while it’s good to update the information in your Address Book/Contacts, it’s a separate procedure to clear the bad info from the Autocomplete List.

Here’s how:

  • Open Outlook
  • Click on New Email
  • Start typing the name or email address you want to remove
  • Look at the suggestions below the To: field. Keep typing until you see the one you want to remove
  • BEFORE the address gets into the To: field, hover over the name and click on the X to the right of it. (Alternately, use the arrow keys to select it and the DEL key to delete it)

That’s it. The misspelled or out-of-date address is gone for good from Autocomplete.

Here’s a video that shows you how.

Fix: Some Facebook posts look like chat windows

Facebook is either testing or maybe just plain rolling out a new feature that causes some but, confusingly not all your friends’ regular posts to open in a new window as if you’re using Facebook Chat.

Some people want this, but the rest of us just want to know how to make this stop. Even more confusingly, the toggle for this is in the Chat settings, even though this is not Chat.

If you want to turn that not-Chat Chat-like thing off:

  • Move your cursor to the bottom right corner of the Facebook window
  • Click on the gear icon to open Chat settings
  • Click on Turn Off Post Tabs

That’s it. If you want to turn that back on again, repeat the first two steps, and then select Turn On Post Tabs.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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