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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life

April 2010


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 2010



Q: I used to download photos from my digital camera by plugging in the cable but there is a problem with it and I cannot access any pictures. What is the answer?

A: There are two different ways to access your photos – via the camera or via the memory card on which the pictures are stored. If the cable is no longer working, you will need to buy a small card reader (if you can, buy one that reads various types of memory cards, in case you ever change your camera) that plugs into the USB port. Now all you need do is pop out the memory card from the camera and place it in the holder. You can use any image editing program such as PhotoShop or Paint Shop Pro to read the card and download the pictures.



Q: I know I should sort out my messages and use rules to file them tidily, but I am afraid of missing a new email if I start sending them directly to different folders. How will I know if a message has arrived in a folder? I use Outlook Express.

A: Each time a message arrives, a blue number will appear in brackets next to the folder. This will happen whether your folder is the Inbox or a new one you have created.

The one way you will not be able to cope with emails is if your Inbox is packed with messages, some read, some unread and all in a jumble. So the solution is:

1. Create as many folders as you can for both incoming and sent messages. I personally use a system where the incoming folder has a main name e.g. Holiday and the sent folder has the name Holiday out.
2. Move every message from the Inbox and Sent items folders into an appropriate folder. You will now have EMPTY Inbox and Sent items folders.
3. Open every new folder and, for any message that has not yet been marked as read (with the bold emphasis removed), read it and either action, leave or delete it from its folder. There will therefore be no messages showing as unread.
4. Set up all necessary rules to move messages automatically into appropriate folders – you will still get quite a few messages into the Inbox which you will have to file manually.
5. When a new message comes in that obeys a rule, you will see the blue numbering appear next to the newly created folder name and can open the folder and read the message in the usual way.


Q: I recently tried to open an Excel spreadsheet got a message to say that it was only available as Read-Only and being used by someone else. What had happened?

A: If you double click a file such as a spreadsheet or word processed document to open it, you may manage to do this twice. Your software then thinks you are opening the same file for a second time. As you cannot edit two copies of the same document at the same time, the second one will only allow you to read it.


The quickest way to sort this out is to cancel the error message and close the box. This should leave the first, and only, document ready to work on normally.




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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