Email Bag

Assistance For a Special Needs Child. Are there any readers who might have suggestions for the following request?

From: "Richard P. Godfrey"

My niece has a severely handicapped child. They recently exposed him to an interactive program at their local library which involved something like the "text aloud" article combined with his oral responses (something like a programmed learning process). He is currently using a special keyboard that he uses with his feet because of manual dexterity and strength issues with his hands. I would be very interested in communicating with any member who has information that might be applicable: specifically, inputting commands and/or data orally.

Thank you.

Readers Send Suggestions to Convert Mailboxes
From: Eb Guenther
Subject: Re: EMail question - July 03 Issue

In answer to a HAL-PC member's question about converting mailboxes and or messages to text files, and which different email might do this for him/her.

Assuming, when you say "folder", you mean "mailbox" (a collection of messages), rather than "directory" (a collection of files):

If you MUST have text files for some other reason (I cannot imagine why), Eudora (a free version is available at, or you can purchase an ad-free version from the same source) allows you to save groups of selected messages into text files with the "save as" function of the file menu. Eudora lets you import Outlook Express mailboxes when you first install it.

However, extracting messages to text files removes the advantages email clients provide, such as sorting by subject, and other fields. Your solution is to ADD functionality to your email client, by using an external mail manager. Such a program can give you additional search, sorting, and organizing capabilities.

One such mail manager is Mailbag Assistant ( from Fookes Software. This works with most popular email clients, including Outlook Express (and Eudora, Netscape, etc). It lets you sort and filter emails by mailbox, by subjects, by author, etc, even across mailboxes. But more importantly, it gives you a scripting engine that works like a search engine for your messages.

I would suggest organizing your messages as much as possible, before trying a mail manager. For example, you may want to organize your many messages by topics (threads). That will let you access messages in consecutive order, within a thread, as well as searching them for keywords outside of threads.

Good Luck.

Other answers:

From: Jack Freedman

Subject: One answer for email question in July Magazine about saving many email messages group as one text file.

What this person wants to do is done in Netscape Mail/Communicator versions 4.7x and prior; don't know about more current versions since I still use 4.7x. All mail folders are saved as 2 files; the messages are like Inbox or FromJoe with no extension and a corresponding .snm file. The non-extension file is a text file that is easily viewable with Notepad or WordPad and can easily be renamed to FromJoe.txt and saved in a separate folder.

This is a key feature to me in using Netscape mail over Outlook Express to save messages as text files. Also, there is a freeware mail program named Foxmail (available at and some other sites) that may also keep mail folder messages stored as text files. I once tested this feature in Foxmail some years ago and think it did the same as Netscape mail, but may have saved mail messages as individual text files in a mail folder as opposed to how Netscape mail saved all in a mail folder combined as one large text file.

I did some newsgroup searching for an answer to this question and did find one method described below, but can't say whether this actually will work. Hope this is helpful.

Subject: Re: Save all email in folder to text file(s)
From Newsgroup:

Select all the messages, then click on Message | Combine and Decode. When that process is finished, you'll have all the emails in one big message. Now File | Save As a *txt file (or just copy and paste contents into Notepad).

If you want each message to be stored individually, you'll have to select one, open it, File | Save As, and repeat that for each message. Or, you can drag all the messages to a folder, and one by one you can simply change the file extensions to *.txt. I don't know of a way to change them all at once.

From: Richard P. Godfrey
Subject: EMail question

As I read the member's plight it sounded similar to a project I recently completed. My son served in the Gulf on board a ship, the Saipan, whose commander posted current news of the ship's activities roughly weekly on the ship's web site. Of course, this was welcome and more detailed information than provided by CNN! I "cut and pasted" these to a folder in "my documents". Once "folderized" it was easy to organize and consolidate them into a printable booklet which I suspect my son will treasure in future years. Not too worried about "proprietary" issues but in today's atmosphere maybe I should! Not too sure if what I did applies to his problem; is he really trying to file and maintain 30,000 messages!? Boggles the mind- how could you read that many, much less sort and file!?