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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

April 2013

Turning off overtyping; regional keyboard settings; keyboard malfunctions; accessible keyboard options

This month I am going to cover a few keyboard questions.

Q: I recently started typing a document and found my text was being replaced when I tried to make any changes. Why did this happen and what can I do to get back to normal?

A: There are two typing modes you can use – Inserting or Replacing/Overtyping. Normal typing involves clicking in a word and inserting extra text, using the Delete or Backspace buttons to delete any unwanted letters. If you have pressed the Insert button on your keyboard by mistake, you will have moved to Overtyping and this will replace everything you type. To get back to normal, simply press this key again.
(Depending on your software, you may see the letters OVR in the status bar at the bottom of the page when you have moved into overtyping mode by accident. You can also return to normal by double clicking these letters.)

Q: I can no longer type @ or £. Instead I get other symbols that I don't want. How can I get these back?

A: What has happened is that you have somehow set your keyboard to US specifications and it can affect not only symbols but also some date formats. The settings are on Control Panel – Regional and Language Options. You need to make sure that on each of the tabs (Regional Options, Languages and Advanced), you have English (United Kingdom) selected in the various boxes. On the Languages tab, you may find you have to first ADD the UK setting and you can then remove the USA one. Click Apply and OK and things should be fine.

Q: My keyboard has stopped working, so I can't type anything into a web page search box. What is the answer?

A: Sometimes, there is a glitch and the computer no longer recognises the keyboard. The quickest fix is to turn off your computer and then check there are no loose cables. If it all looks OK, switch on again and the problem very often has fixed itself.

Q: I have had an accident which makes using the normal keyboard very difficult. Is there an on-screen version I could try?

If you go to Start – All Programs – Accessories you can click Accessibility and one of the options is an on-screen keyboard. You may find you can use that more comfortably.

For anyone who suffers from Repetitive Strain Injury or has any sort of problem using normal keyboards, there are now a huge variety of different designs aimed at people with particular problems. There are designs for people who only have the use of one hand; high contrast versions to help those with poor eyesight; integrated touch pads and keyboards, flexible folding plastic versions; and ergonomic keyboards such as those that are split that should be more comfortable to use. They can range in price from around £10 - £100, so do some research into the appropriate type before saving money and buying second-hand on an auction site like eBay.

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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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