Attaching recently used files in Outlook 2016

One of my favorite new features of Outlook 2016 is the “Recent Items” drop-down that appears when you click the “Attach File” icon on the Message tab or the Insert tab in a new message window.  The drop-down lists approximately a dozen of your most recently opened and saved files, which makes it easy to attach documents that you’ve been working on within the past day or two without having to browse for them. Moreover, the list isn’t limited to Microsoft file formats (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). As an example, my current “Recent Items” list includes Word documents, unsurprisingly, but also WordPerfect files, PDFs, and images (.png files).

After you attach a file, the icon / placeholder for the attachment appears in the message screen along with a drop-down arrow that provides access to more options.[1]  If you opened the file from a local computer drive (as opposed to a shared location), the drop-down menu includes options to remove the attachment, to print it, to open it, to save it (presumably with a different name and/or in a different folder), or to copy it.

However, if you opened the file from a shared location such as a network, OneDrive, or SharePoint, the drop-down menu includes three additional options:  “Open file location” (i.e., go to the folder where the file is stored), “Attach as copy” (as opposed to attaching the file as a link, which is the standard option that people use when it’s important that everyone view / work on the most recent version of a document), and “Change Permissions.”  The “Change Permissions” option in turn provides two choices:  “Anyone can edit” and “Anyone can view” (the latter is the equivalent of “Read-Only”).

The bottom of the Recent Items drop-down features a “Browse Web Locations” icon.  If you use OneDrive, SharePoint, or similar cloud-based services, those choices will appear when you hover over the icon.  You might see a list of recently opened folders and/or documents there, as well.

The icon at the very bottom of the Recent Items drop-down, labeled “Browse This PC…,” is a useful option of last resort for attaching one or more documents you haven’t used recently enough for them to appear in the Recent Items list.

From my experiments, I don’t think it’s possible to attach multiple documents at once from the Recent Items list.  Nevertheless, it’s a quick and easy way to attach one or more recently used or saved documents to an e-mail message. _______________________________________________________________

[1]  Another way to open the Recent Items menu is by right-clicking the icon for any document you’ve attached.

March 9, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Discount code for $10.00 off my Word 2016 book

When I first published my new book, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016, Amazon imposed a 10% discount off the regular price of $41.95 – resulting in a final price of $37.76.  Within the last couple of days, Amazon removed the discount (with no notice to me).   In case the sudden change in price discouraged people from buying the book, I thought I would offer a $10.00 discount (i.e., more than 20% off the regular price) – at least through the end of March.  That brings the price down to $31.95!

In order to use the code (which I’ll provide momentarily), you’ll need to buy the book directly from CreateSpace, Amazon’s publishing unit, rather than from  The CreateSpace page for the book is located here: Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016 on CreateSpace

To apply the discount, first click the “Add to Cart” button.  Then enter the code in the box marked “Apply Discount,” click the “Apply Discount” button, and then click “Check Out.”  But before you check out, calculate the total cost – including the shipping fees – to determine whether it’s a better deal than buying the book through, where you sometimes can make purchases without paying shipping fees.  (I have no control over the shipping fees that CreateSpace and Amazon charge.)  If you’re buying more than one copy of the book, it’s probably more economical through CreateSpace.  Still, run the math just to make sure.

Here’s the discount code:  FXSVRGP6

I don’t believe it’s case-sensitive, but I’m not 100% certain.  If you copy the code from this post and paste it into the “Apply Discount” box, it should work fine.

Again, I’ll probably make the discount available at least through the end of March.

Thanks in advance for your support!

March 8, 2016 at 9:57 am 1 comment

Restoring the pleading paper if it disappears when you use “Different First Page” (Word)

In order to “suppress” the page number on the caption page of a pleading, people commonly open the footer editing screen and apply the “Different First Page” option from the Header & Footer Tools tab.  That option makes it easy to create a footer (or header) on the first page that is substantively different from the footer (or header) in the rest of the document – in this case, one that lacks a page number code.

However, choosing the “Different First Page” option can cause the pleading lines and numbers to disappear. That is because the coding for the pleading paper is contained in the paragraph mark within the header, which gets wiped out (replaced with a different paragraph mark that doesn’t contain such coding) when “Different First Page” is enabled.

If that happens to you, immediately click “Undo” (or press Ctrl Z, the keyboard shortcut for Undo) and then do as follows:

  1. Go into the header editing screen on the first page of your document by either double-clicking in the white space near the top of the page or right-clicking, then choosing “Edit Header.”
  2. Display the non-printing characters (Show / Hide) by clicking the Paragraph icon in the Paragraph group on the Home tab or by pressing Ctrl Shift * [asterisk].
  3. Select and copy the first paragraph mark (pilcrow) in the header. That paragraph mark contains the formatting codes for the header, including the graphics (pleading lines and numbering).  If you have difficulty grabbing the paragraph mark with your mouse, press Ctrl A to select the entire header, then press Ctrl C to copy.
  4. Next, click to check (enable) the “Different First Page” option.
  5. Don’t panic if the pleading paper disappears. Instead, simply paste the paragraph mark back into the header. Be sure to use a standard paste – using Ctrl V or “Keep Source Formatting” – rather than “Paste and Keep Text Only.” Although I generally advise people to use “Paste and Keep Text Only” in order to avoid bringing unwanted formatting into your document, in this situation you want to retain the formatting of the pleading paper (the vertical lines and line numbers). Pasting the paragraph mark should restore the pleading paper, at least on that page. If there is another paragraph mark in the header, delete it.
  6. Scroll through the rest of the pleading to see if the pleading paper disappeared anywhere else when you applied the “Different First Page” option. If so, go into the header at the top of any page that doesn’t have pleading paper and paste the paragraph mark.

When you’ve finished, you can proceed to “suppress” the page number on the first page of your pleading – by deleting the page number code – and use a separate footer that displays the page number in the remainder of the document.


Adapted from my book, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016 (click the link to go to the book’s page on Amazon).

March 2, 2016 at 10:41 pm 1 comment

Microsoft KB article re: POP3 issues after Office 2016 update

As I mentioned in an earlier post, many POP3 mail users have reported some issues with Outlook after the latest Office 2016 automatic update, which was applied a few days ago (around February 23-24).  Microsoft has posted a new Knowledge Base (KB) article addressing these issues.  You can find the KB article by clicking this link: Email is deleted from server or duplicated in Outlook 2016 when downloaded using POP3

In addition to the issue I discussed previously, which involved the repeated downloading of previously downloaded mail messages, some POP3 users have also experienced an even more serious problem:  After mail has been downloaded, it is deleted from the server, regardless of whether users have configured Outlook to keep mail on the server for a specific number of days, such as 14 days.  (This option is useful for people who receive mail on multiple devices – as most of us do nowadays.)

The first part of the KB article addresses the problem of mail being deleted from the server after downloading.  The second part of the KB article addresses the problem of duplicate e-mail messages being downloaded over and over, and in particular explains how to roll back to the previous automatic update.

For those of you who would like to roll back to an earlier update, you might find it somewhat easier to follow the steps outlined in this post by Outlook MVP Robert Sparnaaij:  Uninstall Office 365 Click-To-Run Updates  What makes Robert’s post especially user-friendly is that you can copy and paste the sample text (which seems to work better than if you type it yourself at the C: prompt).  Also see my earlier post, POP3 Mail Users Report Problems in Outlook After Office 2016 Update, for more information and instructions.


February 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm 1 comment

Thanks for making my book a “Hot new release” on Amazon!

Many thanks to everyone who has bought my new Word 2016 book (Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016).  Because of you, the book has been listed as a “Hot New Release” on Amazon – in several different categories (including Microsoft Word Guides and Word Processing) – over the past few days.

A quick note for anyone who is interested in buying multiple copies:  I can provide you with a code for a substantial discount on bulk purchases.  Just drop me an e-mail message.  I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with more information.

Again, I very much appreciate your support!

February 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm

POP3 Mail Users Report Problems in Outlook After Office 2016 Update (FIXED)

NOTE:  Around March 7, Microsoft released an updated build of Office 2016, build no. 6568.2036, that fixed the issues described in this post.  To apply this build, or a later one (if available at the time you read this update), click the File tab in Outlook or any other Office 2016 program, then click “Office Account” or “Account.”  Navigate to “Office Updates” at the right side of the screen.  If the version shown is earlier than 6568.2036 – i.e., a lower number – click “Update Options” and then either click “Update Now” (if shown) or click “Enable Updates” and then click “Update Now.”  Be aware that (1) you might have to allow the duplicate messages to download one final time; and (2) the update might take a while.  Also, the update will be applied to all of the Office 2016 programs.

* * * * *
Some Outlook 2016 users who have POP3 mail accounts – including me – are reporting an issue involving multiple (i.e., repetitive) downloads of previously downloaded e-mail messages after the latest Office 2016 update. This issue appears to affect only users who have chosen to leave messages on the server, rather than deleting the messages from the server after downloading them.

The update, which occurred automatically sometime over the past three or four days, applied build (version) number 6568.2025.  (This is the version number that is displayed at the right side of the screen under Office Updates when you click File, Account or File, Office Account.)

I noticed the problem yesterday.  Whenever Outlook automatically checked for new messages (or when I manually clicked “Send / Receive”), it downloaded not only new messages, but also hundreds of messages that had already been downloaded.  (Oddly, the issue affected only one of the two POP3 accounts that I use with Outlook 2016.)  And it did so repeatedly.  Fortunately, I could delete the duplicate messages by clicking “Unread,” selecting all with Ctrl A, and pressing the Delete key (which did not affect any of the “Read” messages already in my Inbox).

That temporary fix wasn’t particularly satisfactory, since duplicate messages continued to download throughout the day and evening.

A preliminary search on the Internet revealed only a few exchanges in which users complained about the problem.  A Microsoft MVP (an expert user who is not an employee of Microsoft) eventually wrote to say he could confirm the issue and would report it to Microsoft.

Today, I found additional help in the form of a couple of web sites that provide instructions for rolling back to a previous build / version of Office 2016.[1]  It took a while – I got error messages at first – but with the help of those two sites, I was able to roll back to the previous Office 2016 update, which applied build 6366.2068.  When I first launched Outlook, the program downloaded a huge batch of duplicate messages (more than 400!), which I promptly deleted. But since then, Outlook has worked normally. That is to say, automatic and manual downloads produce only new messages, not duplicates of messages that have already downloaded.

If you have experienced the issue with duplicate e-mail messages after the latest Office 2016 update, you can try to roll back to an earlier update.  CAUTION:  I would recommend doing so only if you are a fairly advanced user – someone who is comfortable configuring your own computer.[2]  Also, I would recommend closing out of Office 2016 while performing the steps.  You do need to be connected to the Internet, however, so that Microsoft can download and apply the previous update.

Before attempting this procedure, you must disable future updates.  From within any Office 2016 program, click File, Account (or File, Office Account) and then navigate to the Updates section, click the “Update Options” button, and choose “Disable Updates.”  NOTE: if you disable updates, you will have to check for and download the next one, due sometime in late March or early April, manually (by enabling updates again from the same screen in your Office 2016 program).

After you disable updates, you will open a DOS command prompt (as an Administrator) to apply the previous update.  In both Windows 8 and Windows 10, the simplest way to open a DOS command prompt as an Administrator is by right-clicking the Start button at the left side of the Windows Taskbar and choosing “Command Prompt (Admin).”

Next, you’ll enter a text string with commands for downloading the previous Office 2016 update.  To simplify the process, I’m just providing links to the two sites that I found helpful. The one I’ve listed immediately below offers relatively straightforward steps that worked well for me.

These instructions are based on information contained in this MS Outlook Info site run by Outlook “MVP” Robert Sparnaaij:  Uninstall Office… Click-to-Run Updates

After I opened a DOS command prompt in a separate window, I simply copied the example text from the MS Outlook Info page and pasted it into the command prompt.  In particular, I began by copying (and pasting) the text under “Office Repair,” Step 3, #1 (below “Office 2016”). Then, leaving the cursor in the same position within the command prompt, I copied (and pasted) the text under Step 4, second example (second bullet).

After pasting the entire text string, I pressed the Enter key, and a Microsoft window appeared with a message about downloading an update.  I let it run.  Afterwards, I opened Word and Outlook and checked the build number (File, Account in Word / File, Office Account in Outlook).  Lo and behold, the build number had reverted to 6366.2068.

Be sure to read the instructions carefully – more than once – before you begin.  And as always, proceed with caution.

As a reference, I also recommend this post by the venerable Diane Poremsky of Slipstick Systems:  Uninstall Updates in Office ‘Click to Run’ (and also see Diane’s February 26 post about the POP issues related to the Office 2016 update, Outlook 2016: POP Problems After Last Update).

Good luck!


[1]  Many thanks to both of the site administrators (Robert Sparnaaij and Diane Poremsky) for providing such helpful information and instructions!

[2]  Also be aware that these steps are designed for click-to-run versions of Office 2016.  Most people have click-to-run versions, but it’s possible that the rollback procedure won’t work if you happen to have a version of Office 2016 that doesn’t fall into that category.




February 25, 2016 at 12:30 pm 3 comments

Tiplet: Deleting an extra page (Word)

Over the past few years, my clients have frequently reported difficulty deleting an extra page that appears at the end of a document – typically a pleading.  Sometimes the problem involves a table (whether an actual columnar table containing data or a single-cell table used for a signature block) that falls at the end of what should be the last page.  The most obvious solution, removing the extra page by positioning the cursor after the table and pressing Delete or Backspace, doesn’t work as expected.

There are a couple of possible solutions, depending on the exact situation.  Although highly counterintuitive, this one usually works:

With your cursor at the very top of the additional page, open the Paragraph dialog by either right-clicking and choosing “Paragraph” or clicking the dialog launcher (the small gray square with an arrow on the diagonal) at the bottom of the Paragraph group on the Home tab.  When the Paragraph dialog opens, locate the Spacing section (about halfway down the Indents and Spacing tab), then click the “Line and Spacing” drop-down and select “Exactly.”  Next, under “At” – and this is the critical step – set the number of points (by using the spinner arrows or simply typing the number in the box) to 1 (one) pt.  Yes, one!

Keep in mind that points measure the height of the characters; that there are 72 points in a vertical inch; and that 12 points, while not the same as true single spacing, is approximately one line.  Setting the line spacing of that extra page (really just an extra empty paragraph that has spilled onto the next page) to 1 point usually shrinks the empty paragraph sufficiently to pull it up to the previous page.

This less-than-obvious remedy has helped many of my clients resolve an extremely vexing issue.  I hope it helps you, too!


February 24, 2016 at 11:37 am 1 comment

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