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You can do IT in later life


You can do IT is a regular feature of aimed at trying to help laterlife visitors make the most of Information Technology on or off the web. 

Jackie Sherman who runs the You can do IT Question & Answer section is an IT trainer and author. Jackie has spent her career in education and specialises in teaching IT to adults. Her courses for adults include such topics as MS Office, the Internet, e-mail and basic web page authoring.  

Jackie has also written several books - you can find more details about these by clicking here. Jackie has also been running a course specifically for over 50s.

Via Jackie aims to particularly help those new to IT and the web to build up knowledge and confidence, so no question is too basic. At the same time she will cover Q&As for the more experienced user. 

So if you would like to ask a question of Jackie, or if you have discovered something which may be of interest to others in making the most of the web, then she would love to hear about that too. Why not email her

April 2009


Q:  I want to write poetry, and some lines do not necessarily start with a capital letter.  When I use Word, how do I stop my machine capitalizing the first word every time I press Enter?

A:  Word carries out certain functions automatically – this process is known as AutoCorrect and sometimes you won't want it to obey the grammatical rules that have been set.  Turn off the rule governing capital letters (and any others you don't like) as follows: 

  1. Open the Tools menu.
  2. Select AutoCorrect Options.
  3. In the main window that opens, take off the tick in the box labelled:  Capitalize first letter of sentences.
  4. Check the other boxes, in case you want to turn off other rules and then click OK to confirm the new settings.

Auto Correct



Q:  My computer seems to have slowed down since I bought it a year ago.  Is there anything I should be doing to keep it working efficiently? 

A:  routine maintenance is boring but necessary if you want to keep a computer at peak performance.  There are various utilities – special programs – available that you should run at least monthly.  These can be found in one of two ways:

  • Open the Start menu, rest on All Programs and click AccessoriesSystem Tools


  • Open My Computer, right click the hard drive (labelled Local Disk C :) and select Properties.  Click the Tools tab.

Some of the programs to run include:

Disk cleanup – this checks for temporary files you don't need and you can choose which ones to remove.  In particular, your Recycle Bin and Internet temporary folder will be full of unwanted data so always click to remove these.

Disk defragmenter – As you work, files get broken up and moved around leaving gaps on the hard disk.  When trying to work with them in future, it takes time for the computer to locate them again. Defragmentation moves them back together to fill unnecessary gaps. 

Scan disk – this looks for and corrects errors on the hard disk.  Run it by clicking the Check Now button on the Properties/Tools tab.

Scan disc



Q:  How do you move a picture round in a document?  When I copy one from the Web it won't move when I drag it even though I can move drawn shapes easily.

A:  Pictures are designed rather differently to shapes as you will see when you click them.   Shapes have white boxes or circles round the edges as well as a green circle for rotating, whereas pictures have black boxes.

To be able to drag pictures around, you must change their properties so that you see white circles.  You can do this by setting a "wrap" option.  This allows you to set the way text wraps round the picture on the page but also means you can drag it around.

To set a text wrap

  1. Click the picture to select it
  2. Click the Draw button at the bottom of the screen (if necessary, first display the Drawing toolbar by right clicking at the end of any toolbar and selecting the name )
  3. Click the Text Wrapping button and choose a style such as Tight.
  4. When you click it, the black sizing boxes will change to white.
Text wrap

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View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

For a wealth of books on the web and IT generally, visit Amazon and under the books section select Computers and Internet.

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