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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


January 2010


Q: Can you help me sort out my documents. I want to be able to find important ones quickly and I am afraid I have just saved them all into My Documents, so the list is very long.

A: From the wording of your question, you clearly realise that filing documents into different folders rather than saving them all into My Documents would be a good idea, but if you haven't done this yet you can still sort your files in different ways.

So, for example, you can view them alphabetically by name, group similar file types together, or order them by date (Modified). You can even order by size if you want to find a very large file.

To re-order files:

a. Open the folder containing the files e.g. from My Computer or the Start menu.
b. Open the View menu and click Arrange Icons by….
c. Select the appropriate option such as Name, Type or Modified.
d. All the files will be re-ordered and you can now work through them more easily.
e. If you want them in reverse order (e.g. the oldest rather than the latest first) just click the same option again.

If this sorting shows that some files have been badly named – for example, lots starting with the, now is the time to rename them.

1. Right click any file
2. Select Rename
3. Type over the old name to replace it
4. Click the mouse to take off the selection and complete the process.

Rename files

Q: I have a number of people I want to send the same email to. How do I put all their names into the To: box quickly?

A: The answer is to set up a group mailing list – sometimes referred to as a Distribution List. This is named and, when you select the name from your address book, everyone in the group is added to the message in one go.

To create a mailing list in Outlook Express:

a. Open your email system.
b. Open the Address Book.
c. Instead of clicking the New button to add a new address, click the little arrow next to the button and select New Group or Distribution List.
d. Name the group – e.g. Knitting circle.
e. Now click the Select Members button to add any addresses from your address book. Add each one in turn until they have all been added.
f. For any new members of the group not in your address book, click the New Contact button to add their details to your address book as well. You can also just type their name and email address into the boxes at the bottom of the window to keep their details limited to the group.
g. Once completed, you will see your group name in black in the address book list. To write to everyone, just select this name when you are writing the message.

Group mailing

Q: How do I apply the same formatting to different parts of a long document? After choosing the right text and setting it out as I want it for one paragraph, I have to repeat this each time I move through the pages.

A: There is a very handy little button in word processing known as the Format Painter which displays a small paintbrush. This literally paints formatting onto any text or paragraph you apply it to. To use it, first format the text as you want it to appear and make sure you click into this text. Then click the Format Painter button once to turn it on. Now, when you move the pointer across the document you will see it has a paintbrush shape. When you drag the paintbrush across new text, it will take on the formatting you selected earlier.

If you want to repeat this painting through several pages, double click the Format Painter button the first time and it will stay "on". Click it at the end of the process to turn it off again.

Format painter


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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