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Transferring Outlook Express Folders; Editing Scanned Documents

Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page F07

I would like to transfer my Outlook Express folders to a new computer. Where are these files?

They're buried several layers deep in a folder normally hidden from view, and if you transfer them on a recordable CD they will be marked "read-only" and you'll have to reset them. Sound like fun?

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A somewhat simpler option: Go to Outlook Express's File menu and select "Export . . ." to dump your messages and address books. Choose "Microsoft Exchange Address Book" and "Microsoft Outlook" as your export formats.

Then save your account settings (naturally, this requires a trip to a different part of OE): Go to the Tools menu, select Accounts, click the Mail tab and click the "Export . . ." button.

Once all those files are on the new computer, open OE and use the same commands to import them.

Another option is a free program called Outlook Express Freebie Backup (www.oehelp.com/oebackup), which can save all of your messages and settings and reload them on a new PC. It's drawn good reviews in Microsoft's Outlook Express newsgroup, but I couldn't get it to work (its horrendous interface may have been a factor).

When I scan a document with my HP PSC 2175 printer-scanner-copier, I can't bring up the scanned document for any editing.

Hewlett-Packard's Web site says the PSC 2175 does include an optical character recognition (OCR) program called Readiris, which can translate the scanned image of a page into text you can edit.

But as a tech-support article explains, you need to opt out of the default scanning mode in HP's software. Instead, select a scan type of "Editable Text" or "Editable Text with Graphics," whichever best matches the document. This is not exactly intuitive -- which explains both why this reader was confused and why I keep ranting about user interfaces.

-- Rob Pegoraro

Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or rob@twp.com.


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