Updated: Feb 18, 2011

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Windows Live Mail. Quote, or no quote?

Microsoft has never bothered to make a proper newsreader for Usenet. They've been offering their e-mail client Outlook Express for the purpose for ages. It works reasonably well, aided by little utilities like OE-QuoteFix.

But now we have Windows 7, we have no more Outlook Express. Instead, we have Windows Live Mail, and we have trouble with it. It is a not too bad newsreader, apparently, but it is a terrible newswriter! It is completely and blissfully unaware of all the common Usenet practices, like bottom posting, cutting off quoted signatures, indenting with quote character, inserting signatures... As if Microsoft is purposely killing Usenet! Yet, all of it doesn't prevent people from using it to post Usenet messages with it.
It shouldn't bother me, as I don't use Windows Live Mail, but it does. I have to struggle to read and folow terribly formatted messages.

Solution, QuoteFix!

Unfortunately, OE-QuoteFix that used to save us in the past doesn't work with Windows Live Mail.
So, to help myself by helping others, I have created a simple script to address the issue. Let's call it WLM QuoteFix. To use it, you have to...

If it looks a bit too complicated, just download and run this compiled version. It is fully functional, but obviously cannot be customized.

Let's try to reply to a newsgroup post, and this time format it properly. Select any newsgroup post, click Reply to group, a new message composing window opens. Don't change anything yet and don't move the text cursor! The script expects the raw replying message to be just like that to work properly. While the window is active, call he script by pressing the keys Windows+9 (hold the Windows logo key then press numeric key 9 in the top row, not on the numeric keypad). The message text will be selected, copied to clipboard, processed and pasted back replacing the original text.
That's all! The message is now properly quoted, the original poster's signature has been cut, our inserted, cursor properly placed for bottom posting.
Now you can (and should) cut unnecessary lines from the quoted text and do other things to respect well-established rules called netiquette.

If writing a new Usenet message, the script will just insert your signature. After entering the subject, place the text cursor in message writing area and call the script.

What next?

The script isn't limited to Windows Live Mail, nor is it limited to processing quoted text only.
Remove the line containing the command IfWinNotActive and the one just following it and the script will happily process any text in any program. Be careful not to quotefix a few MB of text in MS Word!
The script contains a few examples of what can be done with very little effort. It cuts ugly NOD32 signatures, and it inserts AutoHotkey version into signature.
Entering a randomly selected signature from a file of prepared signatures should be a breeze (hint: store your signatures in an *.ini file, it can be read with a single script line).

Copyright & Disclaimer

The script has been tested (not extensively, as I don't use WLM regularly) with Windows Live Mail 2011 version 15.4.3508.1109, installed by usual procedure, running on Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit, in cooperation with AutoHotkey version
The script sometimes misfires. The (effective) measures have been taken (see the script source) to prevent it, but it still does, very rarely. Nothing bad will happen, just call the script again and this time it should work.
I am placing these instructions and accompanying script in public domain in hope that it will be distributed and used for a good cause.
Use at your own risk! Author denies any responsibility for any damage that may be caused by obeying these instructions and using the code.


In the case something doesn't work and you have questions, a dedicated support page has been set up.
All other kinds of comments are welcome at the bottom of this page.



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Bob Hobden (Runnymede, UK) says...
This sorted out the problem I had with Newsgroups using Windows Live M<ail on Win 7. Microsoft are not interested in Newsgroups it seems so their reader does not conform to the rules. Unfortunately it does not seem to work now I have upgraded to Win 10.
3rd August 2015 6:58pm
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Chris (Northampton, UK) says...
Unfortunately stops working under Windows 8 because the Windows key changes screen and no longer works as a qualifier key.
28th January 2013 10:07pm
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Arne H. Wilstrup (Denmark) says...
Det her er da det værste program jeg nogensinde har prøvet.
Dels er det vanskelige at sætte op, dels er det
skrevet på engelsk. Jeg vil have at mine programmer i det store og hele skal
være på dansk, også selvom jeg ikke har større vanskeligheder ved at læse
engelsk som cand.mag. i faget.

Arne H. Wilstrup Cand.pæd., stud.mag.

Admin: I\'m glad you like it. ;-) This script is not meant to be the best or the prettiest, it is just expected to do it\'s job and it does. Regarding the language, if you don\'t like English, there is also a version in Croatian. :-) Fell free to translate this page to Danish. I will publish it here and give you all the credit.
29th July 2012 4:08pm
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Peter Heide (Copenhagen, Denmark) says...
Well , What can I say. It works perfect. Thank you VERY much !Thumbs up
10th May 2012 7:47pm
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Chris (Northampton, UK) says...
Fantastic script, thank you so much.
I don\'t know if they are technically possible, but two possible improvemts would be (1) preventing WLM spell-checking the quoted messages and (2) saving and restoring the clipboard to its state before the script was run: I find I copy an interesting URL to post to a newsgroup, run the script, Ctrl-V and ... whoops, my URL has gone and been replaced by the quoted text. Thanks again!
21st February 2012 8:18pm
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Frank (Denmark) says...
Thanks \"Thumbs

(Well, I just wanted to keep it simple and say thanks, so you will know that people appreciate your work, but apparently that comment was too short, so this was added to make it a bit longer \"Tongue\")

Admin: :-)
10th November 2011 8:56pm
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Fabrizio (Roma, Italy) says...
Great !

THANKS you ! thanks you

19th July 2011 10:31am
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ronl2k (US) says...
Can you make a compiled version for those of us who don\'t use a signature?

Can you make the compiled script start when WLM starts?

9th June 2011 1:51pm
Malte Runz says...
Thank you, thank you, thank you! Been looking for something like this ever since I got WLM.
Now if you could just tell me how to insert space after the >. (qchar=>space does not work)
Admin: I have modified the script to initiate the quote character using expression syntax. Now you can simply specify "> ". Enjoy!
13th March 2011 7:31pm
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