Solve The Email Blind Copy Danger


In the May 2004 Technology Q&A column (page 43), I invited readers to suggest a solution when using the blind copy ( Bcc ) function to protect the identity of all addresses in an e-mail. A problem sometimes arises when recipients reply to your e-mail by clicking on Reply to All , rather than just on Reply . When this happens all the Bcc recipients get that reply—and everyone’s names and addresses as well. One reader tested the Bcc function and said he could not duplicate it; as a result, I, too, tried to duplicate it and I also was unable to. My conclusion is that the problem is not consistent. But I also concluded that, if the message is in any way sensitive or you don’t want to disclose the names of all who received the initial e-mail, it would be imprudent to use Bcc .

However, many readers (too many to mention individually) suggested this simple work-around which is foolproof: Begin in the usual way by entering the addresses in Bcc , but before you send the e-mail, open the Message Options function ( Options , Message Options ) and place a check next to Have Replies sent to: and enter a reply address (preferably yours). Then, when any recipient clicks on Reply to All , only that e-mail address will appear in the To: area and only you will get that reply message.

Thanks to all who sent in solutions to this problem.


Q. I often add several graphics to Word documents and Excel spreadsheets to enhance their visual impact. But what drives me bananas is that just as I’m about finished the graphics sometimes move on the page—so now they no longer are lined up correctly. Is there some way to get them to stay still?

A. You’re right; graphics have a way of unexpectedly shifting around. But it’s not hard to get them to sit still. Both Word and Excel have a feature called Group in their graphics tools that can freeze the relative positions of graphics.

After you’ve placed your graphics in a document or spreadsheet, engage Group by opening the Drawing tool ( View , Toolbar , Draw ). Then select all the graphics you want frozen by holding down the Shift key while clicking on each image. Then click on Draw , which appears in the lower left-hand corner of your screen, and then on Group . If the word Group is dimmed out, that means you have failed to properly select the graphics you want to freeze.

You still can move the grouped graphics, but now they all will move together, maintaining their relative positions to each other. Later, if you want to ungroup them, click on them and select Ungroup from the Draw menu.

Q. I usually add many comments to cells in my spreadsheets. It’s an effective way to document what’s going on in a complex file. I run into problems, however, when I try to find some specific comment because there are so many. Is there some facility that makes finding them more effective?

A. It’s not well-known, but the Find tool can handle the job quite well. All you have to do is dig a little deeper than Find’s opening screen. To launch Find , press Ctrl+F, which displays the Find and Replace dialog box. You may have to click on the Options button to evoke more of the searching options. Then, in the Find what box, enter the words you’re searching for and click on the arrow next to Look in until the Comments choice appears and click on Find Next .

Once you locate the target cell or cells, you must close the dialog box before you can display the comment.

Browser navigation: Although you can surf Web pages with your mouse by clicking on the Forward and Back buttons, you also can give your mouse a rest and accomplish the same actions on the keyboard. To move back, hold down the Alt key and press the left arrow key; to go forward, press the right arrow key.

Excel: Once you’ve worked hard to create a formula in Excel, wouldn’t it be nice if you could save it in a convenient workbook? Unfortunately, Excel lacks that ability. But you can copy formulas into a text file and then store the file on your desktop for instant reference.

Internet Explorer: Instead of using your mouse to move your cursor to the address bar to enter a URL, press Alt+D.

Windows: To quickly minimize several open files, click on the Show Desktop on the desktop toolbar or press the Windows key+D. Likewise, the fastest and easiest way to get to your desktop is to click on the Desktop icon, which looks like this:

If the icon is not in your taskbar, you can put it there by right-clicking on an empty space in the taskbar and then clicking on Toolbars and placing a check next to Quick Launch .

Word: To return immediately to the place in your text where you ended up during your last editing session, press Shift+F5 after you open the document.


STANLEY ZAROWIN, a former JofA senior editor, is now a contributing editor to the magazine. His e-mail address is .

Do you have technology questions for this column? Or, after reading an answer, do you have a better solution? Send them to contributing editor Stanley Zarowin via e-mail at or regular mail at the Journal of Accountancy, 201 Plaza Three, Harborside Financial Center, Jersey City, NJ 07311-3881.

Because of the volume of mail, we regret we cannot individually answer submitted questions. However, if a reader’s question has broad interest, we will answer it in a forthcoming Technology Q&A column.

On occasion you may find you cannot implement a function I describe in this column. More often than not it’s because not all functions work in every operating system or application. I try to test everything in the 2000 and XP editions of Windows and Office. It’s virtually impossible to test them in all editions and it’s equally difficult to find out which editions are incompatible with a function. I apologize for the inconvenience.


Where to find June’s flipbook issue

The Journal of Accountancy is now completely digital. 





Better decision-making with data analytics

Data analytics has become a hot topic, but many organizations have not yet managed to understand its potential, let alone put it to work. This report will take a deep-dive on how to best introduce or enhance the use of data in decision-making.