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Saturday, May 13, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Q&A

To recover deleted photos, pick from grab bag of options

Special to The Seattle Times

Q: Is there a way to retrieve accidentally deleted pictures on an SD card? Does it require a special software program?

— John Vachal

A. Yes, there is a way. And, yes, it does require software.

Actually, there are quite a few utilities on the market that can do the trick. Most cost between $25 and $40. But most of these utilities also offer free trial downloads so that you can make sure they're going to work for you. You can, of course, search the Internet for recover deleted SD files and you'll find a grab bag of options. Or you might want to check out the following sites: www.cardrecovery.com, www.imagerecovery.com,www.photosrecovery.com.

I haven't found any good freeware or shareware utilities for this, but if any readers have any favorites I'll be sure to pass them along.

Q: Is there any way to insert picture files into an e-mail so that the recipient does not receive the huge preview that appears at the bottom of the message? Can this preview either be eliminated or made smaller, say 4 x 5 inches or even smaller? I found a program (PIXresizer) that reduces it without degrading the quality, but it is still quite large and reducing it further would degrade the file being attached. Is there an e-mail program that is better? I've tried Incredimail, Outlook Express and Comcast Webmail, and all have this problem.

— Brenda Cook, Seattle

A: Unfortunately, you don't have much control over how a recipient's e-mail program will display your content and attachments. As for the size and quality of the images, there's no getting around that, as you reduce the size of the image file, you're also going to lose quality. You can, of course, reduce the displayed size of the image without reducing its file size and without losing data or resolution, which seems to be what you've done with PIXresizer. But most e-mail clients display images embedded in the body of text at their real resolution.

If you want to send a message with sized graphics in the body of the message, my suggestion would be create your message in your word processor or other authoring program and then send it as an attachment rather than in the main body of the message. That way the formatting won't be lost or changed. Of course, the recipient will have to have the same application — or a compatible one that supports that file format — to open the file without losing your formatting.

Q: I have Outlook Express 6 running under Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4). I have office and home e-mail through two different providers. I would like to send out e-mail from my office, with the reply showing my home e-mail.

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— Rick Hudson, Seattle

A: That's one of those things you can do if you upgrade to the more powerful and more customizable Outlook from Outlook Express. In Outlook you can specify which accounts will be used to send mail and you can specify different return addresses for each account.

Q: I have a computer running Windows Millennium. My problem is with opening some newspaper Web sites. Some sites I can open with no problem. But other sites give me an error message saying "won't open" when I try to go to them.

— Ron Fisher, Kalispell, Mont.

A: If you're able to get some Web pages but not others, and if you're not running a program that blocks certain Web sites, the fault is generally going to be with the site you're trying to visit and not with your computer. I'd contact the Webmaster of sites you're not able to call up.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by e-mail to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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