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Planning Retirement Online

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


November 2009



Q: I sometimes find I am missing the common toolbar buttons e.g. for saving or centre alignment. How can I get them back?

A: You can display as many toolbars as you like when you work, and can add or hide them at any time. If the basic Formatting or Standard toolbars (that includes buttons for printing and saving) are missing, go to View – Toolbars or right click in a space at the end of any toolbar. On the list that is displayed, click next to any toolbar name to add it, or click off a tick to remove it. When you return to your work, all selected toolbars should now be visible.

toolbarsIf you are unlucky, you may find a toolbar has arrived on top of another one. In this case, try gently to move the top toolbar with your mouse to reveal the one underneath. The pointer should show a 4-way arrow at the left edge of a toolbar to allow you to move it. In some programs such as Office 2007, you may first need to unlock the toolbars before they can be moved – this option is available when you right click.

If a toolbar appears as a box on the screen, drag the blue title bar up or down to just outside your main working area, let go and it should drop into place.



For even more control, select Toolbars - Customize. You can now click the Commands tab and browse through the toolbars in the left window to view the associated buttons. For any extra commands you want to have available, use your mouse to click and drag the button out of the box onto a convenient toolbar. Its new position will be shown by a black vertical line.





Q: I run a club and use my computer to prepare financial spreadsheets. I often need to show subtotals for different groups. Is there a facility in spreadsheet packages that can do this for me?

A: Although a package such as Excel is not a dedicated database application, it has many useful functions when working with data, including working out subtotals. To do this, select all the data and then open the Data – Subtotals menu command. There is no need to group the records first.

As an example, if your data was organised under the following headings:

Date of Joining
Number in Family

You will need to answer 3 questions:

  • How do you want each subtotal calculated? For example, if you were totalling each category’s details, you would pick “each change of CATEGORY”. If you were looking at joining dates, you would select “each change of DATE OF JOINING”.
  • What type of subtotal do you want? Are you looking for an Average, Maximum, Count or Sum etc?
  • In which column do you want the subtotals to appear? For example, is it the Sum of each SUBSCRIPTION, or the Count of each NUMBER IN FAMILY?

Having made these decisions, click OK and you will find subtotals and a grand total added to your data.

You can view all the details, or click a level of display from small boxes showing under the Cell Name box on the far left of the spreadsheet: level 2 shows subtotals and grand total only, and level 3 only the grand total.

To return to the original spreadsheet, select Remove All from the Subtotals menu option.




Q: I have a new scanner and can scan in pictures, but don’t know how to get them into a publication or send them via e-mail. Can you advise?

A: For copying a scanned picture into Publisher or another DTP application, select the open picture in the scanner window on screen - there may be a menu option or you can use a selecting objects arrow pointer - and then click Copy (or go to Edit - Copy). Many image editors will have different selection tools available from a toolbar or Tools menu, so you can draw round particular parts of the picture and only copy those across.

Open your publication, click Paste and then treat the picture that appears like any other object e.g. resize or move it around the page.

Scanners often create images as TIFF files, but you can save them in any form. I would suggest for emailing, it is best to save them as JPEG files, so simply use the File - Save As menu option to save your picture in this form. To email, locate the saved picture using Explorer or from the desktop by opening the correct folder and right-click. One option is usually Send To….and you need to pick Mail Recipient. Wait a couple of seconds and you should see an open New Message window with your picture file already attached. Complete the message and send it as normal.



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.

Don't forget to visit the general laterlife features section called laterlife interest


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