When a list is sent a mail message from many of today's current mail packages
that are included with browsers such as Netscape Communicator or Microsoft
Explorer Interenet Browser they often will send mail out in at least two
forms, straight text and HTML code.  HTML code is what your browser
(Communicator or Explorer to mention the two most common) use to display
special formats, such as special colors of texts, links etc plus special
fonts and sizes and graphics.  When this is received at listserves all the
code is usually attached, takes up an awful lot of room and can mess up
peoples displays while reading their mail.  If they read the list via digest
it can mean that the display will change from your one message and remain
that way for the rest of the entire digest.  This can be very distracting
and difficult for many readers, therefore it is a courtesy that listowners
often request their subscribers to shut off the HTML coding when sending to
a listserve.  This document tells you how to do that for Netscape Communicator
on both a Mac and a PC.  Earlier versions of these packages will be set
differently but you usually will find a similar setting somewhere in options
under the Mail and News sub-menus.

Unfortunatly this is not something that is easy to switch on and off from
each post, thus if you shut it off for list mail and then you want to send
one to someone with the coding you will have to go in and reverse this.
Frankly, unless you send graphics, such as pictures or drawings to people,
you are better off sending straight text anyway, as browsers and mailers
differ and the code one generates may not do what you want with another
one.  Therefore it is usually best to leave it to send text only usually
and change to HTML only when you plan on sending to someone you know uses
a browser or email package that can interpret the coding your browser sends.

NETSCAPE Communicator on a PC or a MAC (No difference)

Go to the Edit menu and choose "preferences", this is the bottom choice in
this pull-down menu under "EDIT". 

This will open a window that has smaller window within it on the left.
You will see a table such as:
      + Appearance
      + Navigator
      + Mail & Groups
      + Composer
      + Offline
      + Advanced

Move your cursor over the "+" in front of "Mail & Groups".  That should open
a sub-menu with the following table:
      |-Mail Server
      |-Groups Server

Click on "Messages" and the right side of the window will change.  At the
top it will now say "Messages .... Choose settings for outgoing messages"
and directly under that will be a block that is entitled "Messages
Properties".  There are two checkboxes and one fill-in block.  The first
checkbox is one that can make the change.  This box says "By default,
send HTML messages."  If you uncheck it it will not send out HTML coding
automatically, there are also more options though that can help with this
if you have some people you wish to send coding to and some you don't.

Click the button marked "More Options".  This opens a new window with 3
blocks of choices. The third block is the one that gives you even finer
control of coding.  It is titled "When sending HTML messages to recipients
who are not listed as being able to receive HTML messages:" and then it
gives you 4 choices:

  Always ask me what to do (good choice this will ask you everytime you go
     to send a message if you want to include the coding)
  Always convert the message into plain text
     (may lose some formatting)  (This chioce would cancel the coding on those
     that you intend to send coding to and send only text out to everyone)
  Always send the message in HTML anyway.
     (may be unreadable to some recipients) (poor choice because if they
     can read it it's going to include all the coding also and it will make
     it much more difficult for people who read by text to read it.)
  Always send the message in plain text and HTML
     (may take a lot of disk space for some recipients) (Another poor choice
     and unfortunatly what the default is and what is usually checked when
     you first install this software, this is why when you send to the list
     it appears once in clear text and then kind of attached below it with
     all the coding and your text mixed together.  To someone who can read
     text only it is quite hard to read and annoying when you finally read
     all the text and find out it is just the same thing that was above.)

There is also another box there that reads "Automatically quote original
message when replying. Most listowners would also request that you not
have this checked so that you don't include alot of unwanted text which
takes up alot of space in the archives of a list.  When you go to reply
you will have a button that says "Quote" also in case you need to quote
the previous article.

After selecting the chioce you wish to make click the "OK" button.  Click
"OK" all the way down until the Options Window disappears.

That's all folks!

Ray Kopp
Syracuse, New York
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