Business Columns & Blogs

Composing text, plain and simple

Q: Is possible to bold or italicize text in Outlook for Android?

A: Microsoft released its Outlook for Android email app in 2015 with a focus on managing your inbox and scheduling your day. While the app can display formatting in messages you receive, you can compose messages on your device only in plain text — which means no bold, italic, underline or other typographical styling.

If you press and hold your finger on text in a message you are writing, you get the options to copy and a few other common commands. If you would like to suggest that Microsoft add more commands, you can send the company a request from within the Outlook app.

On an Android device, open Outlook, tap the gear-shaped Settings icon on the main screen and select Help & Feedback. On the Help & Feedback screen, tap “Suggest a feature” and enter your comments. If you have other questions about using Outlook for Android, you can find a link to a set of frequently asked questions on the app’s main Help & Feedback screen. Microsoft also has a guide to setting up and using the app on its site.

While text formatting in new messages may still be limited, Microsoft announced this month that it had released a new set of add-in tools for the app. The add-ins — shortcuts to other programs that you can integrate with Outlook for Android to save a few steps — are available for several apps, including Evernote, Microsoft Translator, Smartsheet and Trello. To see what is available, tap the Settings icon on the main Outlook screen and choose Add-Ins.

The Outlook app is built into Windows 10 phones and is available as a download for iOS devices.

Deleting your tweets from search engines

Q: Why do deleted tweets sometimes still show up on the web when you search?

A: Search engines that constantly index the pages on the web can scoop up your Twitter posts as you make them. If you delete the tweet, though, it may still be cached away and therefore available to show up in search results — until the site goes indexing again and updates itself with a fresh copy of your Twitter profile and posts.

How long it takes for the search engine to go out and index your page again can vary, so if the deleted tweet is still appearing in search results and making you uncomfortable, try contacting the search company and requesting that the material be manually removed. The Bing and Yahoo sites have posted information on how to remove certain pages.

Twitter’s help guide provides its own instructions for making the same request to Google. To do so, find the Twitter post that is still turning up in Google search results and copy its URL before moving on to Paste in the URL and click the red Request Removal button on the page. Twitter warns that you may be asked to log into your Google Account (if you have one) or create a Google Account (if you do not have one) to complete the process.

If someone is searching for you online, your Twitter handle and a selection of recent public tweets often appear in the results. If you find this sort of thing invasive, you can try dodging the indexing webcrawler by changing your Twitter posts from public to protected in your account settings, but future followers will have to ask for your permission to see your posts. Changing your profile name or Twitter user name is another way to modify your identity for search engines.