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You can do IT in later life - 27

You can do IT is a regular feature of laterlife.com 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 laterlife.com 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 jackie@laterlife.com

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 jackie@laterlife.com


Via laterlife.com 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 jackie@laterlife.com

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 jackie@laterlife.com


You can do IT - Edition 27

 

Q:  I have started using e-mail and often write the same message to six different people. I have been adding their names in the Copy to: box but it is very time-consuming.  How could I group their addresses so that I can send a message once that will go to all of them? 

A:  All the main e-mail systems allow you to create a group address, either by selecting names from your address list or adding them just to the group. Here is a step-by-step method for creating such an address in Outlook Express:

  1. Open your Address Book and click the button or File menu option New - New Group (rather than New Contact).

  2. Decide on a name for the group and type it into the name box e.g. Tennis Club, or Nephews and Nieces.

  3. If you already have e-mail addresses for anyone in the group, click the Select Members button, select each name from the list that will appear and click Select.  When you have added them all, click OK to return to the Group window.

  4. If you want to add a group member to your Address Book, click New Contact, complete the details and click OK to return to the Group window. The new contact will be added automatically to the group list.

  5. If you want someone on the group mailing list but not in your personal address list, enter their name and e-mail address in the spaces at the bottom of the window.

  6. When your mailing list is complete, click OK. You will see your group name listed in your Address Book, where it may be emphasised or show a different icon. Select it as normal when creating a new message so that it appears in the To: box. When you send the message, everyone on the list will receive a copy.

  

Q:  Is there a way to place text on the page e.g. that says Confidential or Sample Only, so that people cannot photocopy a document without permission?

A:  A simple answer to this question involves three steps: setting up a pale text object, sending it behind the normal text on the page and then, if the file is on disk, protecting it so that no-one can remove your text object on screen.

  1. Having typed your document, click the WordArt button on the drawing toolbar and then select a simple outline style of font. Replace the selected text with your own e.g. Confidential and then click OK. 

  2. When it appears on your page, click the Rotate button on the WordArt toolbar so you can drag one of the green circles round and angle the text across the page, and then stretch it by dragging the pointer over a corner white box (sizing handle) so that it fills the main part of your document.

  3. Click the Format button, or the WordArt option on the Format menu, and choose a paler Line colour from the drop-down box on the Colors and Lines tab. 

  4. Back in your document, select Draw - Text Wrapping and select Behind Text so that the object is underneath the text on the page.
    .

  5. Finally, for files on disk, open the file via the Desktop or Windows Explorer, right-click its name and select Properties. Click in the box to set the Attributes to Read-only.

  6. If you want to create similar documents with pictures behind the text, you can use the Picture toolbar button labelled Image Control to select a Watermark option.

  7. For repeated use of any document, save it as a template: When saving, select Save As type: Document Template and save it into your Template folder. Use it in future by going to File - New and selecting the new template you created.

 

Q:  What are the most useful keyboard shortcuts that avoid using the mouse?  I have arthritis and sometimes it can be very hard to use it comfortably.

A:  There are hundreds of alternative methods for carrying out tasks on the computer - some universal and others limited to particular programs. Here are my top 10 favourites mainly but not exclusively applicable in Word, but you should experiment in any package you are using to discover more:

  1. Selecting text or cells: hold down Shift and then click one of the arrow/cursor keys in the appropriate direction.

  2. Create a chart in Excel by selecting the cells and then pressing the function key F11.

  3. Hold Control and then click the letter B for bold, U for underline or I for italic (do it again to reverse the formatting).

  4. Return to the first cell in Excel or start of a document: hold Control and press the key labelled Home. (Only in Word - go to the end of your text by holding Ctrl and pressing End.)

  5. Copy selected items using Ctrl and pressing C, and cut them using Ctrl plus X. Paste items using Control plus V.

  6. Undo your last action by holding Control and pressing Z. (i.e. the same as clicking the Undo button.)

  7. Managing files:  Control plus O allows you to search for a saved file, plus S saves, plus P prints and plus N starts a new one.

  8. Change text alignment: Control plus R - right, plus E centres and plus L returns to left aligned.

  9. Select the whole document: Ctrl plus A.

  10. Change case: if you leave on your Caps Lock button, reverse the effect for selected text by holding Shift and pressing function key F3.


View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


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For a wealth of books on the web and IT generally, visit Amazon and under the books section select Computers and Internet.

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