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Planning Retirement Online

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


August 2010



Q: I am trying to compile my own personal recipe book by copying across into Word recipes I find on the Web. Each time I do this, I find the spacing is all wrong and I cannot change it back to normal typing. How can I sort it out?

A: It is probably because the one or more of the paragraph spacing options has been set to a fixed amount and you will need to go into your Format menu to change the settings back to normal.

If you go to Format – Paragraph and look at the boxes labelled Spacing – Before and After, you will see a setting such as Auto. This means that a space will have been set in front of each paragraph that cannot be altered from within the document. What you want in these boxes is zero so that you can return to single line spacing or set whatever spacing you want.

Click in each box and replace the entry with 0 and then click OK.

web spacing


Now when you return to your document you will either see normal single line spacing or will be able to set it quickly yourself.

To do this – select all the text, hold Ctrl and press the number 1.




Q: I find the glare from a white page when word processing very irritating. Is there a way to change it to a more restful colour?

A: If you open your Control Panel and click Display, you can change the look of any item. Click the Appearance tab, first making sure you are not in Windows Classic style (the option under Windows and buttons).

Click the Advanced button and scroll through the Item list to select Window. Here you can change the background (Color 1) or text (Color 2) appearance.

To change the white page to a light grey, for example, click the drop down arrow in the Color 1 box and select from the boxes or click Other to give a wider range of colours from which to choose. Click OK to return to the Appearance window and check that you like the look of your new page in the preview at the top.

If you do, click OK to accept the new colour. After a few seconds, you will find your white pages have now changed to grey.

window colour



Q: My task bar has disappeared and just pops up occasionally without any warning. How can I get it back to normal?

A: What has probably happened is that you have selected the Auto-hide option by mistake. This means the task bar will not show unless you move your mouse pointer over it. It is still there, and this option gives you more screen space, but if you want it visible all the time you need to change the task bar properties.

Right click the task bar and select Properties. Under Appearance, take off the tick in the Auto-hide checkbox and then click OK. It should now return to normal.




Q: I have just about mastered organising a mailing list for my emails but how do I edit this if I want to add someone or their email address changes?

A: You will need to go into your Address Book (or Contacts folder) and open the mailing list (which may be called a distribution list.) by double clicking it in the list of addresses. When you do this, you will see all the names of the people listed.

edit mailing list

To delete an entry, simply select it and press the Remove button.

To edit one – select it and click Properties. A window or boxes will appear containing all their details and you can now click and change the entry.

To add a new email – either select their names from your Address book or click New Contact and type in all the details. You could also just click in the Name and E-mail boxes to add someone to this mailing list but not your full Address book.


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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