Q:. I use Microsoft Outlook as my e-mail program and I have several distribution lists, which make it easier to send e-mails to large numbers...

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Q:. I use Microsoft Outlook as my e-mail program and I have several distribution lists, which make it easier to send e-mails to large numbers of people.

I want to send some of my distribution lists to others so that they can use the same list. Is there a way I can send the list, not as a simple listing but as an Outlook distribution list that another user can load into Outlook?

— David Ketchum, Whidbey Island

A: OK, I have to admit David answered his own question before I could get around to it. But it’s something other users may want to know, so I’m passing along the solution anyway.

As with many Windows operations, there is more than one way to accomplish the job. But one method that works identically in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007 is as follows: In Outlook, open an e-message that you’re going to send to whomever you want to have on your distribution list. Next, go to the Contact list and find the distribution list you want to send. With your mouse, simply drag it into the body of the e-mail, and Outlook will make it an attachment to the message. The attached file can be loaded into the recipient’s Outlook.

Q: Over a year ago you had a column that precisely addressed a problem I was having in Windows XP Professional that required a registry edit.

Your solution fixed my problem but since then I can’t use the right-click search option in Windows Explorer. The error message is “This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Create an association in the Folder Options control panel.” I have looked and looked in the Help section and on other computers for this mysterious file association. What is it?

— Tim Rounds

A: The file association is a simple listing that Windows uses to match file extensions with applications. You use it, for example, to tell Windows whether you’d rather open .AVI files with Windows MediaPlayer or another movie player. In Windows XP, to make a file association, call up Windows Explorer and click on the Tools menu. Select Folder Options and then click on the File Types tab. You’ll then see a dialog box that lets you select file extensions and match them up with applications.

Q: I am using Windows XP Home Edition and I accidentally deleted the Windows icon in the Quick Launch bar. I have searched and searched trying to find out how to re-establish that very handy button, with no luck. Hope you can help steer me in the right direction.

— Dave Grimes, Snohomish

A: I’m not sure what you mean by the Windows icon, but you can add any application to the Quick Launch bar using simple drag-and-drop.

Just locate the application using either the Start Button menu or Windows Explorer, click on it and drag it to the Quick Launch bar. You should be in business.

Q: I have always had shortcuts to key Web sites on my desktop screen. Recently when I double click on any of the shortcuts, a window appears stating “Windows cannot find http://www.westsideschool.org/. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again. To search for a file, click the Start button, and then click Search.” Obviously, the Web address differs depending on the shortcut clicked. A split second after that window appears, the desired Web site actually opens up. I have tried deleting the shortcuts and creating new ones; that doesn’t help. If I open the browser from the Start menu, it opens normally.

— David Bergler

A: You don’t mention what version of Windows you’re using, a fact that could definitely make troubleshooting easier.

I haven’t found cases where you first get an error message and then the Web site is loaded after all. It’s possible there is a problem with certain entries in the Windows registry. You can try the fixes specified in the following Microsoft support document: support.microsoft.com/kb/936881/en-us.

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.