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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


March 2010

Q: I want to add Word Count to my toolbar as I use it all the time. How can I do this?

A: You can add any toolbar button to your onscreen display, whether or not you add it to the "correct" toolbar. So, for example, you could add a "Format Painter" button to the Drawing toolbar, or "Thesaurus" button to the Formatting toolbar.

To add a new toolbar button:

Customize1. Right click any empty part of a toolbar e.g. in the space after the last button and select Customize.

2. Scroll through the Categories to find the toolbar normally housing the button you want. For example, Word Count is available from the Tools category. When you click the category, all available buttons will be listed.


3. Click the button name in the right hand Commands window. It will turn light blue.

4. Resting your mouse on the selected button, click and then drag it upwards towards your normal onscreen toolbars. It will show as a vertical black bar and the pointer will display a cross in a box.

5. Position the pointer between two suitable buttons and then let go.

drag onto toolbar

6. The new button will drop into place.

7. To remove an unwanted button, first select the Customize option and then drag the button off the toolbar.



Q: I like to format my documents in a specific way. Can I save the formatting to apply in future?


new styleA: A mix of font and paragraph settings is known as a style and you can use built-in styles or create your own. To create a new style, follow these steps:

1. Format a piece of text exactly as you want.

2. Click into the text to pick up the formatting.

3. Open the Format menu and select Styles and Formatting.

4. When the task pane opens, click the New Style button.

5. In the window, you will see details of the style you have set. At this stage, you can make changes to any of the settings.


new style 2



6. Enter a name for the style into the top Name box and then click OK.

7. This new style will now be listed with others in the Style box. You can find it from the drop-down list next to the font box, or if you open the Styles and Formatting task pane.





new style 3



8. At any time, edit the style or remove it from the list by selecting it and right clicking or click once and then select from the drop down arrow. Click Modify to change font or paragraph formats.




modify style





9. Whenever you want to apply the style, select the text and then click the name of your style in the Style box.









Q: What is a quick way to turn an Excel spreadsheet into a database table?


A: I find it easiest to import into a database such as Access.

import 11. Go to the File menu and select Get External Data – Import.
2. Search your folders for the spreadsheet and select it in the window. Make sure you are searching for ALL or Excel filetypes.
3. Check that the appropriate worksheet has been selected and then click Next.
4. Now make sure the heading row with all the categories has been identified as this will give you your field names. If your spreadsheet had an overall title in Row 1, delete it first as this will just confuse the process.




final import


5. Click Next and select a new table to add the data to.
6. Decide whether to set data types now or later, and if you want to set a primary key.
7. Finally, name the new table and then finish. You may find an ID field has been added that you can either leave or delete.





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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