Q: An editor of mine in Europe has sent me an updated version of my work. But the e-mail file has HTML in its name. How do I convert it to a Word document on my PC?

Jeffery Wilson, Anchorage, Alaska


A: You have encountered a second type of e-mail, one that uses HTML (hypertext markup language) — the technology used to design web pages. It’s a little more complicated to transfer HTML mail content to Word than it is to move ordinary e-mail content.

Most people use plain text e-mail, from which it’s easy to copy and paste text and even photos into a Word file.

HTML e-mail is used by people such as advertisers, and others who want special formatting in their pages, such as colors, graphics or columns. This special formatting can’t be copied and pasted to a Word document — much of it would be lost in the transition. Instead, it’s necessary to convert an HTML file to the DOC or DOCX formats that Word uses.

There are free document-conversion websites that will do that for you. If you upload an HTML file, you will get back a DOC or DOCX file (see tinyurl.com/yd8bflad or tinyurl.com/y9m2m69l).

But you may want to do the conversion yourself using only Word (see tinyurl.com/y8tche38). This do-it-yourself method makes sure that any photos in the HTML e-mail will be correctly moved to the Word document. What’s the issue? A photo in an HTML e-mail may not be contained in the e-mail at all; instead the e-mail may contain a link to a source file where the photo resides. But using a technique called “embedding” (described on the website above), you can put the actual photo into your Word file.


Q: When I try to listen to songs on my PC, I get a pop-up message that says iTunes has detected a problem with my “audio configuration.” As a result, iTunes doesn’t work. While I know that people often solve iTunes problems by reinstalling the program, I’m nervous that I’ll lose the thousands of songs I keep in my iTunes library. What should I do?

Kathy Magrew, Maple Grove


A: If you are using iTunes version 12.8, that could be the source of the problem. (To find out what iTunes version you have, click “help” and choose “about iTunes.”)

If you have version 12.8, the easiest solution is to download the newest iTunes version, 12.9, and see if that eliminates the problem.

Otherwise, you can try a workaround suggested by other users of iTunes 12.8. In the belief that the problem was related to iTunes searching for a set of external speakers, they plugged external speakers or headphones into the computer. That apparently satisfied the program’s search for speakers and caused it to work properly. What’s more, they found it was only necessary to do that once; afterward iTunes would start up normally without connecting speakers or earphones.

If neither method works, try uninstalling QuickTime, an iTunes companion program, then reinstalling it. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall iTunes.

What about your thousands of songs? Reinstalling iTunes shouldn’t affect them. But, to be safe, you should first back up your music to an external hard drive (see tinyurl.com/y8ddxrge).


E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com. Include name, city and telephone number.