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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in laterlife 


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, why not email her 

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.

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

November 2012 

Storing Files Online - Cloud Storage; Totalling in MS Word Tables

Q: I want to keep important files and music backed up but it is difficult as I have to keep buying CDs to save to and my CD writer is not very efficient. Is there a way now to store things online? My internet provider does not offer free web space.

A: One new development is Google's Drive that allows you to store files online (otherwise known as "cloud" storage). Once you have a Google account (which is very easy to set up) you can download the programme that creates a folder on your computer. Whatever you put into that folder will ALSO be stored online and can be accessed via Google's website. As it is so straightforward, you can copy any important documents into the Google Drive folder whenever you create or update them and know they will be safe online if anything happens to your own computer copy.

You can set your computer to synchronise the folders and so update the online Drive folder automatically, or sign in to Google Drive and click the Upload button to add your PC's folder contents. The contents of the folder on the Web will be listed in the window so you just double click to view them online. You will find that your Office-type files here are all converted to a new Google format, but you can download them in other formats if you need to create a new version, for example if your original becomes lost or corrupted.

Google DriveTo download the Drive software that creates the folder on your computer, go to and click the Documents tab (which will be amended to say Drive). Sign in and there will be a download button to click. Once installed, you will see a Google Drive link on your desktop.

Double click to open it and then drag any files you want to keep copies of into the folder.

Amazon have their own version of this service known as Amazon Cloud Drive and you can find out more and download the software via the linked text above.

Once installed, you will be asked to sign in to your Amazon account and then follow the steps to upload the files you want to keep.

Amazon Cloud Drive Sign-In

To find your files online, go to and sign in. You will see that they also have a music storage and player system known as Cloud Player.

Amazon Cloud Drive Interface

Q: I need to send out regular invoices and prefer to use a Word table. How do I get this to produce totals?

A: When you set up your table, make sure you use a new cell for every numerical entry and just use figures on their own. The table can then be treated rather like a simplified spreadsheet program as it will calculate totals by adding all the entries in the cells above the Total cell.

In this example, I have set up a simple table of figures.

Item Price(£) Date

To find the total price, click in the empty Total cell and select Table – Formula.

In the menu that opens, you will see the term =SUM(ABOVE) entered automatically, although you can change this to other Excel-style functions.

Click OK and a shaded total will appear in your cell.

Item Price(£) Date
Gems 85 02/10/12
Watches 150 11/09/12
Cufflinks 62.99 14/11/12
TOTAL 297.99  

If you change or add entries, update the total any time by right-clicking the shaded entry and selecting Update Field. Note that the figures will NOT necessarily update automatically, so always check any final invoices carefully before you send them off!

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The above article is part of the features section of called laterlife interest. laterlife interest contains a variety of articles of interest for visitors to written by a number of experienced and new journalists.

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