Q: I have been receiving warnings on several social media sites, and now my credit union, that Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 will no longer be used by these sites starting around January 2020 and to use other web browser such as Edge or Chrome.
I have a Dell XPS desktop with Windows 10 (Edge is installed) and I use Thunderbird for my email client.
How would I take Internet Explorer 11 off and set it up for Edge as the default web browser? Is there a way to transfer my saved favorites to Edge?
— Chris Lodahl, North Bend
A: I have to agree that there are a number of security reasons to stay away from Internet Explorer. In part that’s because of the widespread use of Internet Explorer, which makes it a prime target for those looking to exploit vulnerabilities in the browser.
In addition, in my experience Microsoft hasn’t been as quick to provide security updates for Internet Explorer as other browser makers. Finally, I don’t find it to be as fast as some other browsers. (The browser I find to be the fastest is Opera. On the downside, I’ve found that not all websites are tailored to be fully compatible with Opera, probably because its user base is relatively small.)
In fact, Microsoft itself has been pushing users toward its newer browser — Microsoft Edge. And yes, Microsoft has made it very simple to import your favorites from Internet Explorer 11 — as well as from Chrome or Firefox — to Edge.
After loading Edge, click on the three dots in the upper-right corner. In the menu that pops up, click on Settings. At the very top of the next window that opens you’ll find a button that allows you to set Edge as your default browser. Scroll down a little farther and you’ll see an “Import or Export” button that will allow you to bring over favorites.
If you want to uninstall Internet Explorer, go to the Windows Control Panel and click on Programs and Features. Next click on “Turn Windows features on or off,” which you’ll find in the left-hand panel of the window that opens. Scroll down until you see Internet Explorer and uncheck the box next to it.
Q: I had Microsoft Word installed with the original Hewlett-Packard desktop that I purchased in 2012, and I used it for 7½ years without charge until the tower finally quit working in December. When the installer finally came to transfer my data to a new computer on New Year’s Eve, he told me that Microsoft Word was no longer available, and installed WordPad instead.
With WordPad, there is no way to eliminate line spacing so that a decent business letter can be prepared. I purchased one year of technical support when I bought my new computer, and a tech support rep told me that the only way to get a word-processing function that would allow me to eliminate line spacing would be to purchase one, the cheapest of which would cost $70 per year.
I try to keep a positive attitude about technology, but this seems like just one more example of paying more to get less. I would go back to typing business letters on my 1948 Remington Rand standard typewriter if only I could find a ribbon for it! There must be a better way.
— David McClelland
A: Yes, there is a better way. According to Microsoft, if you hold down the Ctrl key and then press the 1 key you’ll put WordPad into single-space mode. You can find other keyboard shortcut commands here.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll want to check the paragraph formatting. Highlight your paragraphs, then right-click. Next select the paragraph icon. Finally, make sure line spacing is set to 1 and that the box next to “Add 10pt space after paragraphs” is unchecked.
And if you’re looking for a more powerful, free word-processing program you may want to check out this LifeWire article.