I have been using Thunderbird 3.1.6 for a while now, having updated when 3.0 came out, and again whenever notified that there is a new update. (There have been some vulnerabilities batched.). Tíbird is finally out of beta!

It did take some getting used to. I think it refreshes (loads the message you clicked on) a little more slowly than 2.x did. But I like the interface.

Not that it didnít take some getting used to. What is different is the tab behavior. You can have a number of messages, and the Inbox too, all open at once, the one you last clicked on in the foreground, and you can switch back and forth. Or you can choose to open another message in its own window.

I like that feature now. But Iíd hate to tell you how many times I clicked on the X in the upper right corner of the application window, to close a message, instead of clicking on the X on that messageís tab.

Now that I have quit closing the app by accident, I think Mozilla Thunderbird is a great little e-mail program. As with any e-mail program, I do not let it show a preview pane. Previewing a message is tantamount to opening it, in situations where there is bad code that would run on opening.

Speaking of e-mail, a pet peeve of mine is IncrediMail. It is a pestilence. For the privilege of having an array of cutesy, animated emoticons, you get to send an ad for IncrediMail at the bottom of every e-mail you send.

Like all our correspondents and going to be impressed that we fell for this scheme? And they are going to be fascinated by these juvenile, not especially clever cartoons? And they canít express themselves without oversized cartoon faces grimacing to show various emotions? If someone made such faces at you in an f2f encounter, youíd call the professionals to see about getting him evaluated at a secure mental health facility.

But it isnít just that IncrediMail is silly and vapid and boring and childish and in the way and a bandwidth suck. It also messes with Thunderbird! If I try to reply to a message sent with IncrediMail, I canít place a cursor in the message body. Or if I can, the cursor soon disappears.

If you experience this problem, you can use these workarounds:

First, go up to View and follow Message body as - -> and choose Simple HTML, or text. Only then should you click on the Reply link (or do Ctrl r).

Once you have a Reply message blank, if you cannot place a cursor in the message body, leave that blank open and hit Reply another time. Use the second Reply blank. Your cursor should behave normally.

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People call me with problems with software they are using. Sometimes these are people whom I have trained, sometimes they are people who are doing something using a common program, and they got stuck with some operation.

Often the application with which they are having difficulties is Word. Itís not that Word is so hard to use, for most word processing tasks. But it has such a huge variety of features, there are more possibilities for getting tangled up than there would be in, say, Notepad.

Fortunately there are a number of sources of help with Word. Iím not saying that I donít want you to call me. But what if Iím not available at the time? And you have to do a mailing, and the Mail Merge ribbon is tied in a knot? Maybe this is the very lesson they said you would get later at that ed council classóbut then they never did get to that?

Sometimes Help is as close as good old F1. That will take you to context-sensitive help in many a situation. Microsoft knows dang well that your quandary has been confronted by many a Word user. When you installed Office, Help should have been installed too. If it wasnít, go back and do it.

Also, thereís a free forum called Microsoft Answers. Go to the site, search Find Answer by entering a question, and there probably will be an answer waiting because your question is one that has been asked before.

But if perchance your question has not been asked before, go ahead and ask it. You do that by clicking on Ask a Question (scroll to the bottom to find it), and typing in your question.

To search and ask at Microsoft Answers, you need to be signed in. And to be able to sign in, you need to have a Microsoft Live ID. If you donít have a Microsoft Live ID, well, itís time you did. Itís free, you know.

You may know some other sources of Word help that you like using. Share here, please.