Forwards: How to Copy & Paste


I am grateful for the many forwards that have passed through my mailbox. The Internet provides us with a fantastic method of free and easy transmission of information. However, forwarding text as inline text is problematic due to the buildup of "greater than" symbols (>) as the message continues to be forwarded. Paragraph and sentence structures become jumbled, and the ability for the reader to receive the message is decreased.

There are two things you can do to avoid this buildup of irritating and destructive "greater than" symbols. The first thing you can do is forward the message as an attachment rather than as inline text. Methods for this will vary depending on the email system used. The second method, however, is universal for all PCs and has special advantages (this won't work in quite the same way on Macs). Here's what you do:
  1. Use the mouse to highlight all of the text you wish to forward. You can do this by placing the cursor at the top of the text, holding down the button and dragging it to the bottom of the passage to be copied. When the entire selection has been highlighted, release the mouse button.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key (just below either shift key) and press C. This will copy the selected text to Windows's clipboard (don't worry that you don't see anything happen, it's an invisible process).
  3. Switch to the letter you wish to send or create a new document. Make sure that the cursor is flashing in the area in which text is to be place. hold down the Ctrl key and press V. This will paste the contents of the clipboard into the new letter or document.
  4. Note that this process is not an exclusive one merely for email and text. You can copy and paste just about anything from one Windows program to another.
This process will create a clean copy of the text to be forwarded without a buildup of irritating extraneous symbols and without forcing your readers to open attachments after they have already opened your emails. If everyone would do this rather than simply using the forward command, the lifespans of our emails will be increased, and we will be able to forward more information for longer periods of time in a manner that will be easier for all concerned to read and appreciate.


Alan Wescoat