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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

May 2013

Jackie's Top 10 web-browsing tips

This month I am offering my top 10 browsing tips to make searching the Web a more enjoyable experience.

1. Enlarge the screen
Sometimes it is hard to read all the details on a web page. As well as increasing the text size, you can also zoom in or move to full screen mode. Options are available on the View menu, but there are other, quicker ways to do things. If you look along the top of your keyboard, you will see a range of function keys labelled F1 – F12 that are shortcuts to useful actions. One is F11 and if you press this when browsing, you will increase your screen to full size. Press it again to return to normal.

To zoom in step by step, hold Ctrl and press the + symbol (reverse with the – symbol).

2. Find specific words or phrases
If you hold Ctrl and press the letter F key (NOT a function key!), you will open a Find box. Mine appears in the bottom left of my screen, but yours could appear somewhere else. Type your words into this and press Enter and the first entry of that word will be highlighted on the page. (The option is also available from the Edit menu.)

3. Watch videos
You will often find that videos don't play. Usually, it is because software such as Flash is missing and – if you are lucky – you will be offered the chance to download and install the latest version when you try to play a video. If you don't get that option, you can go to the Tools menu. In Firefox, for example, you click Add-ons and can then search for and install Flash here.

As Flash can slow down your browsing, turn it off until you need it. For Firefox or Chrome, download the appropriate version of Flashblock.

4. Fill in on-line forms
In case you hadn't discovered it, the Tab key (two arrows) is the one to use. This hops from box to box, making entries much faster.

5. Remove Temp files
After browsing for a while, hundreds of temporary files will have been downloaded. These are useful during a Web browsing session as they help the performance of your software but they also take up a great deal of space on the hard disk. Remove them quickly by going to My Computer – Windows – Temp and selecting and deleting the contents of the folder (NOT the folder itself.)

6. Speed up opening new windows
It is common to want to view content in a variety of windows, but if you open a new Tab (a page inside the opened browser window) it is quicker than starting up a new version of your browser each time. You know if you have new browser windows open as you will see the icons along the bottom of your screen in the status bar. Close any redundant ones and, next time, right click a link and select "Open Link in new Tab" rather than new window.

7. Choose a faster browser
There are a variety of browsers available, including internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome and more. It is said that Chrome is the quickest, so if you find your browser quite slow, download a different one and give it a try instead. You can have several on your computer at the same time but, once you like using one, uninstall any others if you are limited on disk space.

8. Select text and navigate on a Web page
Normally, you would drag your mouse across the screen if you wanted to select text on a web page to copy and paste elsewhere, and would navigate by using the scroll bars or Page Up and Down. If you prefer, you can turn on Caret Browsing. This allows you to place a cursor on the screen and then hold Shift and press an Arrow key to select the text using your keyboard as well as move around the page using your Arrow keys. To turn it on, press the function key F7 and click Yes when the dialogue box appears. Change back any time by pressing the key again.

Caret Browsing

9. Technical terms
If you find a word on a page you don't understand, highlight it and then right click. One menu option that will appear is "Search Google UK for…." and if you click it you can search for a useful definition.

'Search Google For...' box

10. Use the memory
When you click into the Location box and start typing the main name for a website address such as a shop or company name, the computer will automatically offer suggestions based on searches you have made before. They will be words starting with the same letters of the alphabet. If it offers the place you want to go, select it. If not, just keep typing.

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