Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Pictures are Gone

Do you use Outlook Express to read your email? Does your screen reader keep saying, "Some pictures have been blocked...Click here to download pictures?" Do you see a large, red "X" where your pictures should be? Do you want this to stop?

All right, enough with the questions. The problem is that you are using Windows XP with Service Pack Two. Microsoft thought it would be cool to block pictures from being displayed, in case you get some pictures that might not be nice for children. This created a little problem for those who use screen readers, because screen readers seem to focus on that famous bar, which appears under the "Subject" line. If you want your screen reader to stop reading this message, or if you want to see the pictures that people email to you, follow these steps.

  1. Open your Outlook Express.
  2. Click on Tools, or hit ALT+T.
  3. Use your arrow keys and find "Options" and press enter on it, or click it with your mouse.
  4. Look for, or use Control+Tab to get to the "Security" tab.
  5. Hit the Tab key until you get to "Download Images".
  6. uncheck the box marked "Block images and other external content..."
  7. Tab to, or click on the "OK" button.

Now your pictures should appear without any problem, and your screen reader won't keep saying the same line about bblocked pictures for every message you open. Be aware that unchecking this box will allow those rather nasty pictures to display, so be aware of children when checking your email.

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