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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life

April 2008


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 2008

Getting Crafty with a Computer

As many people enjoy craftwork, I have been thinking about different ways to help by using a computer creatively. So here are a few tips.

1. Computer lettering: Crafters who are good with card-making or scrapbooking often feel their writing lets them down. Instead of handwriting, or using expensive peel-offs or stamps, why not type out your text on a computer and use that?

a. For large letters, click on the WordArt toolbar button word-art button and choose an outlined style.

Word-Art 1

(Word Art 1)


b. Select a bold font such as Arial Black and type your words. Pick a large font such as 80.

word-art 2
(WordArt 2)


c. Print out the words using the "mirror image" option.
d. Roughly cut round them and stick them onto the back of patterned paper.
e. Use a craft knife on a cutting mat to cut out the centres and then scissors to cut the rest of the letters out carefully.
f. Turn them over – now attractively patterned - and stick them to your card.

2. Greetings

a. Pick one of the many styles of font that look good on cards such as

Harlow Solid        Lucida       Comic Sans
b. Use the Text Colour option to colour your words gold, red, silver etc and make sure the font is the appropriate size, depending on the item you will be using them with.
c. Print them onto good quality paper.
d. Cut round them with decorative edge scissors or square with a paper-cutter so that you have a neat edge.
e. Layer this paper onto coloured paper or card if you want a border, and then stick the whole greetings onto your card.


3. Images

If you haven't yet used the Web as a wonderful source of pictures, you really need to start doing so. There are various things you can do with them such as trace, cut-up or copy them as well as find patterns for cross-stitch, knitting etc that will not infringe any copyright –just so long as you don't print images off exactly as they are and sell them on cards!

a. To find any picture, go to a search engine such as Google and click on the Images link.
b. Type keywords into the box and press Search. A range of pictures will be displayed below the box and you can scroll down to look at them.

google image search

c. When you find the perfect picture, click it to open it as a small image on its own at the top of the screen.
d. There will be 2 links displayed next to it – to click for a "full size" version, or to go to the web page displaying the image. (If you wait, this page should open below the image anyway.)


right-click menu

i. After clicking for the full size, or at any time, you can right click the image and select one of two options – to Copy it straight away or Save Picture As an image file (jpeg or gif) onto your computer.
ii. Once copied, paste into Word or an image editing program so that you can manipulate or print it out in the normal way. (Open a saved image file into Paint, Paint Shop Pro etc and then use and print.)
iii. If you wait for the web page to load, you may find other, similar pictures there that might also be of interest. For any of them, right click and follow the same technique to copy and use directly or save for another time.
iv. To restrict the range of images you will be shown, you can click the Advanced Image Search link next to the keywords box. This will allow you to choose particular types of image such as black and white, jpeg only etc.

e. For pattern charts, either search images or carry out a normal web page search.

Google Images pattern charts



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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