Rediware Software's
E-mail Parser
© copyright 2002 Rediware Software and Services


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introduction and purpose     running E-mail Parser     automatic mode     manual mode
other features     uninstalling E-mail Parser     additional notes     credits
contacting Rediware Software

Introduction and purpose
(E-mail Parser is sometimes referred to as EP in this text)

     Rediware Software's E-mail Parser is an instant tool you will want to use when forwarding e-mail, but the e-mail is loaded with other people's addresses and ">"s. E-mail Parser does a pretty good job of reformatting the text to extract the mail message itself. EP's simplicity is what makes it worth using.
     The simple steps, briefly stated are:
     1. Use the 'forward' button on your e-mail application (like you normally do) to set up your e-mail application to send to others mail you have received.
     2. In the e-mail message window, highlight (select) the entire e-mail text to be sent. (or edit/select all from menu)
     3. Cut (or copy) the highlighted text using standard Windows cut/copy/paste methods. (or edit/cut from menu)
     4. click the E-mail Parser icon (which when configured to, will have an icon in the quick-launch toolbar)
     5. Using standard Windows cut/copy/paste methods, paste the reformatted text back into your e-mail message area. (or edit/paste from menu)
     That's it! E-mail Parser will take the copied or cut text from the clipboard, reformat it, and place the reformatted text back onto the clipboard instantly, ready for you to paste back into your e-mail message. EP runs unattended, and closes automatically. You need not do anything with it.

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Running E-mail Parser

     E-mail Parser has been tested on Windows 98 only. E-mail Parser should, without a problem, run comfortably on Windows 95. However, the checkbox to create a shortcut on the quick-launch tool bar will not work because Windows 95 doesn't have a quick-launch tool bar.

         This help file was written with the intent of being run with Microsoft Internet Explorer. It has operates successfully with IE 5.0.  Other internet browsers should display this file properly also. When help is clicked in E-mail Parser, your default browser will load this file.

     Before I get into the detail of everything, you should know that EP has two modes, automatic and manual. After you see what EP can do for you, you will usually run it in automatic mode, which is the default. The manual mode exists so you can play with it, make minor adjustments, or set a few options.

     Every screenshot you see in this documentation (of EP) is visible in manual mode only. Automatic mode works invisibly. I will describe the automatic mode, and explain how the manual mode differs afterwards.

     EP always begins running in automatic mode. To get EP in manual mode (to set the icon in the quick launch toolbar, run EP from your Start/Programs program group. EP will sit on the taskbar, minimized, and close in about 10 seconds. Within these 10 seconds, click the parser icon on the taskbar to maximize it. EP will then not close automatically, and you can check the checkbox to put a parser icon on the quick-launch toolbar.

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automatic mode

      If you are not familiar with standard Windows copy and paste functions, you may wish to find resources to learn about these functions. This documentation assumes you are familiar with cut, copy, and paste functions and how to implement them.  

     When text is highlighted with the mouse in an application (selected), clicking the right mouse button button brings up a pop-up menu, which has the option to cut or copy on it. Applications also usually have (under the edit menu option) a 'select all' option to highlight (select) all the text, and an option to cut or copy the selected text. When text is copied (or cut) it is stored on via a Windows utility called the clipboard. EP makes use of this clipboard to manipulate the data.

     EP was designed to unclutter cluttered e-mails. You know the kind; they've been forwarded so many times, they've go all kinds of stuff in it that was never part of the original e-mail. The 'proper' thing to do is to copy the e-mail to a word processor, such as WordPad. Then proceed to delete all those >s and erase all those names and addresses. When you are finished, you need to copy and paste the finished product into your new e-mail, ready for sending off to others. This is what you do, right? Probably not usually, as it becomes tedious, and the e-mail usually gets sent the way it came to you. You can always blame the person who sent it to you, right?

The first step is to open up a cluttered e-mail. You'll read it, and decide to pass it on to some of your friends. You click the forward button to ready the e-mail for forwarding. When the forward window appears, it is time to select all, and cut or copy all of the text. I've elected to use 'cut' in this screenshot.

     As soon as cut or copy has been selected, your selected text is contained on the clipboard. Now EP can go to work. If you are familiar with the cut vs. copy functions, you can use whatever you feel comfortable with. If you are not sure, I recommend cut, as it is easier.

     If EP is in your Windows Quick Launch bar, you can just click it. EP will kick into automatic mode, do it's stuff, and close. It will be finished as fast as you can do the clicking. You can now (if you've used cut) right-click in the message area of the e-mail you are sending and select paste. If all went well, paste will show as one of the options and your newly formatted message will appear in the body of the e-mail window, ready for some minor adjustments, additions, or sending. If you've used 'copy' make sure your mouse pointer is within the highlighted area when you select paste.

isolating text to keep when the e-mail is beyond parsing

     Sometimes an e-mail message is extremely messy because it has been forwarded in several different formats (such as MIME format). It is impossible for EP to know what is junk and what is the actual message, besides the junk that EP is programmed to recognize. EP therefore recognizes a special series of characters that you can embed into the e-mail to let EP know to toss everything except the text between these characters.
     If your e-mail message is not being parsed thoroughly, before cutting (or copying) your to-be-forwarded e-mail, enter three number signs ( ### ) at the beginning of the text you want to keep, and three number signs ( ### ) at the end of the text you want to keep. When you click the EP icon, the first step EP will take is to isolate everything between the two sets of ###s, and discard the rest. EP will then proceed to parse the text that was kept.
     Usually you won't have to do this, but I have run across e-mails that make this option useful. If you need it, use it.

     That's all there is to the automatic mode!

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playing in manual mode

     Manual mode does the same thing as automatic mode, but you get to see what goes on, you get to decide what steps to take when, and you can do editing before sending the text back to the clipboard.

     When EP runs, it always runs in automatic mode. EP immediately runs invisibly from the task bar. After it has done it's work it will stay on the taskbar for about 10 seconds before closing. This is to give you time to click it, which will bring the application up on the screen and prevent it from closing automatically. Here is what EP looks like on the screen. Note that this screenshot contains one or more additional features that may not show on the screenshots below show. This is the only one that is guaranteed to be updated to the time of release.

     To fully appreciate EP, let's run EP first. You won't find it in your quick-launch toolbar yet, so run it from your Start/Programs/ menu. EP will jump down to the taskbar. Click it to bring it up onto the screen so that you see the window above. (you will have about 10 seconds before EP auto-closes to bring it up)

     Open up a messy e-mail you have received lately. Using the instructions previously discussed, cut or copy it to the clipboard.

     With EP, click the 'paste from clipboard' button. Here's my results:

    Pretty messy looking! I just want to send the basic message to my friends, not this garbage!
     Click the 'parse the clipboard' button to clean up this message. Here is my result from the message above.

     Now this looks pretty good! When you are in manual mode, you can repeatedly click the 'paste' and 'parse' buttons to go back and forth from the before and after views, IF you run EP before you cut or copy text. If you have copied text from your e-mail application before running EP, by the time you get EP up on the screen, the reformatted text is already on the clipboard and the paste and parse texts will be identical. If this is the case, you can always retrieve the original text by clicking the 'view orig' button (this button only shown on the first screenshot). This button will always retrieve the original text. If you wanted to, you could copy this original text back to the clipboard, resulting in no changes. You can go into this textbox and edit/add/delete/whatever anything you want to before sending it back. (in this example I just might want to combine some stranded words with the line before it) If no adjustments are needed, or you are finished, click the 'copy to clipboard' button. You can then click the 'quit' button, or if you minimize it back to your taskbar, it will close automatically in about 10 seconds.
     Whenever the 'copy to clipboard' button is clicked, whatever text is in the textbox that you see, will be copied to the clipboard. This means that you can make whatever changes you want in this textbox, and the changes will be saved with the 'copy' button.

     Go back to your e-mail window and select Edit/paste, or right-click and select paste. If you text is still highlighted and you right-click to select paste, make sure you right-click while the mouse is within the highlighted area, or you will end up adding the newly formatted text rather than replacing it. It's usually to use cut than copy for this reason.

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     the rest of the features

     We've covered the 'paste', 'parse' ,copy' and 'view orig' buttons.
     The 'clear' button clears the textbox. You may find a use for this somewhere along the line.
     The 'help' button brings up this help file.
     The 'quit' button quits the application.
     The 'empty clipboard' button clears the clipboard. After clearing the clipboard, the 'paste from clipboard' will yield a blank textbox.
     The checkbox labeled 'quick launch' enables you to put an icon for EP on your quick-launch toolbar so that you can get to it easily while in your e-mail application. You do not need to dig through your program menus to activate it. To remove the icon from the quick-launch, simply clear the check box. When EP loads, the check or lack of it will indicate if the icon does exist in the quick-launch tool bar.

     Remember, EP loads and runs invisibly, so if you wish to make changes (icon in the quick-launch) or to see the help file, or see how EP really works, you need to click the EP icon on the taskbar within 10 seconds of running EP, before it closes on it's own.

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uninstalling E-mail Parser

    To uninstall E-mail Parser, use EP first to remove the icon in the quick-launch toolbar, if it exists. Then go to your control panel and use the Add/Remove utility. Select EmailParser for removal.

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ADDITIONAL NOTES:

     Rediware Software and the author make no guarantees that E-mail Parser will suit your needs or expectations. Rediware Software and the author are not responsible for any system incompatibilities or file or system corruption due to the installing, usage, or uninstalling of E-mail Parser. E-mail Parser has been tested on Windows 98 without incident, and none is expected. However this disclaimer must be in place should a software conflict arise. Note that the installation software and dynamic link libraries are written by Microsoft and are independent of E-mail Parser. I welcome e-mail on any glitches or bugs that you may encounter. When reporting any bugs, please attempt to recreate the glitch in a step by step fashion so that you can relay to me the exact steps that caused the problem. When installing E-mail Parser, the installation software will detect if you have older versions of DLL files and ask you if you wish to install the updated versions. It is recommended that you do so. The versions contained in E-mail Parser are the latest available at the time of release and are official Microsoft-released libraries.  

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CREDITS and RIGHTS:

     E-mail Parser is a Rediware Software and Services release, and Rediware Software and the author retain all rights to the E-mail Parser application and coding.

    E-mail Parser may not be redistributed by anyone through any means, unless given explicit permission by Rediware Software. When this permission is granted, E-mail Parser may be redistributed as long as the entire program package is in it's original distribution form, unmodified, including all files, rights, and notices, including this help file.

     © Rediware Software and Services, released 2002

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Contacting Rediware Software:

     You may contact Rediware Software via e-mail:  Rediware

     Visit our website for other software available for free or low-fee:  Rediware Software and Services

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