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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life

October 2007


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



October 2007



Making searching easier


Q: When using a search engine, I find it very annoying to keep losing sight of the search list or a useful website when I am following up something on the Web. Is there a way to keep both the list and new pages open at the same time?



A: Fortunately with windows machines, it is easy to do this whenever you are on the Internet. As well as using it when searching, it is also a helpful technique when following threads in a forum. Simply right click the website or other link you want to view rather than click the left mouse button and select the option to Open in New Window. If you want to keep the new window available, click its Minimise button (the button in the top, right hand corner showing a line) so that it is parked on the taskbar. If you know you won't want to view it again, close it instead. The search list will remain open all the time so that you can quickly move down to another choice.


Smaller web page addresses



Q: I often have to send web page addresses (URLs) to people by email. If they are very long, usually because there are lots of forward slashes, they can sometimes break and are then not received properly. Is there a way to rework a URL to make it shorter?

A: The answer can be found at . If you enter the full URL of the long-winded web page (copy it from your address box by right-clicking and selecting Copy and paste it in by right clicking and selecting Paste to make sure it is accurately copied) they will create a short URL for it that will work. For example, the URL ""  became "".


Backing up emails



Q: I use Outlook Express and worry about my computer crashing and important emails being lost. Is there a way to copy them to a different location to keep them safe in case this happens?


A: You will need to locate and copy all the messages stored in Outlook Express into a backup folder and then, if the worst happens, import them back into OE when it is working again. Messages are kept in the Store Folder, so follow these steps to make a backup or to import them in the future:



1. Open Outlook Express
2. Go to Tools – Options and click Maintenance.
3. Click the button labelled Store Folder and you will see its location.
4. Right click the location, select Select All and then select Copy. This will place the full address of the folder in your computer's memory.


5. Now Go to Start – Run (or press the Windows button on your keyboard and then R).
6. Right click in the Run box and click Paste to add the Store Folder address. Then click OK.
7. A window will open showing all your message folders.
8. Go to Edit – Select All and then Edit – Copy to copy all the folders and their messages.
9. Create a new folder in which to store your backup emails, e.g. on a CD-ROM or USB stick and paste in the folders you have just copied. They will now all be safely backed up.
10. To restore the messages in the future, open Outlook Express.
11. Go to File – Import – Messages and select the version you have e.g. Outlook Express 6. Then click Next.
12. Make sure "…from store directory" is highlighted and then click OK and browse for your backup folder.
13. Select all the folders, or individual ones, and then Next/OK to import them back into your email program.

It is possible that the files will have become read-only during the original copying process, so if you see an error message during the importing saying the files cannot be found, open your backup folder, select all the messages and change their properties so they can be read. Now repeat the importing process and it should work.



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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