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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 15

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. Getting the most from your computer.jpg (5543 bytes)

Jackie has also written the two books shown here - you can find more details about these by clicking on the cover images above. 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

Q:  A friend has sent me some photos on a floppy disk and wants the disk back.  How can I keep copies and use them in my presentations or documents?

A:  Image files, or any other types of file, can be copied into any folder on your computer very simply. Use Windows Explorer or follow the instructions below to carry out the process on the desktop. You can then either copy and paste them into your work or insert them automatically. 

To copy a file across from a floppy disk:  Open My Computer on your desktop and then open the 3 Floppy (A) icon.  This will display all the files contained on the disk.  To place a copy of any file  in My Documents directly, right-click the file and choose the option Send to - My Documents.

To place a file copy in a subfolder or somewhere other than the My Documents folder, select the file with one mouse click and then click the Copy button (or right-click and select Copy from the menu).  If  you double-click and it opens by mistake, just close it again to return to the desktop.  Now open the destination folder.  Either click the Up button to go up through your folders pathway, or open any subfolders showing in the window until you locate the appropriate destination for the file.  Click Paste and a copy of the file will appear in the opened folder.

(Windows ME users - you have the Copy to Folder option if you right-click the file.)

To insert images or text files into a document:  After clicking in place on a slide or in a document, go to  Insert - File (or Picture from File) and browse through your folders until you find the file.  Select it and click Insert or press Enter and It will appear in your work.


Q:  I have several CD-ROMs but can’t seem to understand the instructions for using them.  They disappear after I finish installation, and I don’t know where to find them.  Can you help, please?

A:  Having just run a class on CD-ROMs, I am amazed at how very different they can be, and how confusing for new computer users. So here are a few general tips that should help if things don’t go smoothly:

1.      In general, it is a good idea to install the CD-ROM on your computer, rather than try to run the program directly from disk, as this saves time spent searching for pictures or menus.  It will take up some space but, if you don’t use them very often, you can uninstall them easily.  You will, however, nearly always need the disk in your CD-ROM drive when running the program as some files will only be available from the disk.

2.      Some will install automatically, but in most cases you have to find the Set-up program.  This may either be found after selecting My Computer, double-clicking the name of the CD-ROM in the D:\drive and double-clicking Set-up, or going to Start - Run and browsing through the files on the D:\ drive to find and select Setup.exe.

3.      It is safest to leave the settings as they are (known as the default) when going through the installation process, as this means the files will be placed in a named folder on your hard disk and the most common type of installation will be selected for you.  You may also be told to install another program to help things run smoothly e.g. QuickTime, so just click Next or OK when asked.

4.      After installation is complete, you may need to restart your computer.  This is normal and there may be a button to press to do this automatically.

To run the program: 

5.      Sometimes, a window will open on screen containing icons (little pictures) of the program and other files such as Help or Uninstall.  Double-click the main program icon to start it up.

6.      If you are back on the desktop with nothing showing, go to Start - Programs and scroll down the list.  Your new CD-ROM program may be in a folder labelled with the company name (e.g. Dorling Kindersley or EA Sports) so rest the mouse on it to display its contents and then click the program name to start it up.

To remove programs you rarely use:

7.      Go to Start - Settings - Control Panel - Add or Remove Programs.  Scroll down until you see the name of your CD-ROM, select it and click Add/Remove.  Alternatively,  you may find Uninstall in the program listings and can click this to remove the files. 
Both methods are preferable to trying to find the files and pressing Delete as you are sure to miss files or may even remove shared files needed by other programs.  

Q:  I like to play games or use educational CD-ROMs and want a quick way to launch them.  How is this done?

A:  You can make a shortcut to any programs or files within your computer and keep these to hand on the desktop.  The simplest method is to right-click an empty part of the desktop and select New - Shortcut from the menu.  You must now browse through the programs (or look for All files to find an actual file) until you find the one you want, click Next and rename it if necessary and then click OK.  An icon for the program will now appear on the desktop.

An alternative is to find the application file in Windows Explorer and right-click and select Send to....Desktop (create shortcut).



Jackie Sherman`s new book:

Basic Computer Skills Made Simple' provides all necessary computer skills an individual may need and presents them in a straightforward and intelligent way. It demystifies computers and is ideal for those wishing to develop their skills and confidence in the subject whilst working at their own pace.
By using the text the reader will be able to produce a wide range of word-processed documents, prepare illustrated slides to aid talks, store and search for information systematically, and gain confidence handling simple numbers or charts. They will also learn how to connect to the Internet, surf the Web, and send and receive emails.



      Written from a UK perspective, the Guardian Guide to the Internet covers all the stock ground, including browser operation, FTP, Usenet, IRC and putting together a simple Web page



      This book will help you when you've got the machine into your home and you need to know what to do next. Starting with the process of unpacking the box and plugging in all the cables, this book shows you what to do with your new machine.


      Aimed at first-time Internet users, the guide, co-written by TV personality Carol Vorderman and Internet expert Rob Young, offers a thorough and non-intimidating introduction to the Internet.




HTML 4 features clear and concise instructions   with well-captioned illustrations and screenshots that show both the source code and the resulting effect on the Web page



Specifically written for UK Web users, this book will give you everything you'll need to know to put the Internet to work for you




View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


Click on a book or magazine image above or below to see full details.




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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