> I notice when I do the cut-and-paste, that my computer invariably moves
> the character plus a space on either side which I then have to eliminate.
> It occurred to me this morning that that must be what is showing up as
> asterisks when the message gets sent out. Is there any way of doing a
> different cut-and-paste operation that would eliminate that?
I don’t know whether this will help, but I recommend to my students to
“practice safe select”. Instead of using the mouse to select some text
for copying (which as you noticed can easily pick up garbage on either
side), it is sometimes better to go to the start of the text, hold down
the shift key, and use the arrow keys to move to the end of the text.
That should select everything in between. At least, that is how things
work in most programs in Windows and Linux. I am not so familiar with the
Mac. Worth a try!