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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 24

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

This month a departure from the usual Q&A format. Instead Jackie provides a workshop on:


This month, I want to show you how to set up a conversion chart that you can refer to every time you need to convert measurements e.g. from metres to inches, miles to kilometres or pounds to gms etc.  

Even if you are very new to spreadsheet packages such as Excel, follow the pictures and you will find it is very easy, and the finished spreadsheet will be extremely useful when saved onto your computer. 

1.  Open a new file in Excel, and set out the following text and numbers in the various squares - referred to as cells.  To make the heading stand out, select cell A1 and click the Bold button on the toolbar.  If you want to carry out further conversions,  (e.g. pints back into litres or hours into days) simply add the extra units in columns A and C and type in 1 in column B. 


2.  In column D you now need to enter the correct formulae to make the conversions. For example, 1 litre equals 1.76 pints. To enter the formula correctly, click in cell D2 and enter:

= (which will start the calculation)

B2 (the name of the cell containing the number of litres to be converted)

* (to multiply)

1.76 (the number to multiply by)

The completed formula is shown below: 


When you press Enter or click the mouse, the cell will show 1.76 as the result of the calculation.  

3.  Now enter the correct formulae for the other conversions.  These are shown below and you will see that each formula refers to a cell in the appropriate row in column B.  The symbol for dividing (e.g. metres to feet) is /:


4. Save your spreadsheet with a suitable name, as you would normally save any file. 

5. To use the conversion chart, simply enter the number of litres, metres, pounds etc. you want to convert in the appropriate cell in column B. The answer in column D should update automatically as the calculation is performed. To check any underlying formula, click the cell and look in the window above - known as the Formula Bar. 







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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