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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 3


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

Column problems

Q: When using columns in Word, how do you make sure the right text starts at the top of the second or third column? I press the space bar several times, but then have to re-set everything if I change the content of the document.

A: What you need to do is insert a column break. Rather like a page break, when you want text to begin on a new page no matter what changes you make to earlier text, this ensures that the next entry is always positioned at the top of the next column. Click the cursor in the position for the new column to start and select Insert - Break- Column Break.

Overflowing email

Q: I really enjoy using Outlook Express e-mail, but now have lots of messages in my Inbox. What should I do with them?

A: It sounds like you need to do some filing! Firstly, decide what named folders you want to store your messages in, such as Health, Family, Club X etc. Then click the Inbox in the left-hand pane and go to File - Folder - New Folder. A new folder will appear that you can name, and it will be visible if you click the + sign next to the Inbox folder. Make several different folders in this way. (If any readers don't use Outlook Express, use the Help menu to find out the method for creating folders in your system.)

Now open the Inbox and drag any relevant files across from the right pane into the appropriate new folder. (An alternative method is to right click the message, select Move to ..... and choose the correct folder from the list.)

Finally, be tough and delete all those messages you really don't need to keep. Either select them and press Delete, or drag them into the Deleted Items box. If you make a mistake or change your mind, open the folder and drag them out into another one.

Inconsistent web printing

Q: How do I make sure pages print out properly from the Web? It seems rather inconsistent.

A: You are quite right about inconsistency. Sometimes there is no problem at all. You click the Print button and then OK and you get what you want. However, here are a few tricks if it isn't working well:

1. Sometimes pages aren't 'acknowledged' and come out blank. If this has happened, select a few words of text on the page and try again. This makes sure the printer picks up the page.

2. If the page is divided into sections known as frames, it can cause problems. In this case, you could try printing a picture of the screen - toolbars and all - by pressing the Print Screen key at the top of your keyboard and then pasting the image into an application like Paint or Word before printing as normal.

3. Finally, if you want the text rather than the look of the page, you can click and drag across the text before clicking copy and then paste the contents into Word. Or save the page as a text file on your computer by clicking File - Save As and selecting Text file in the Save as type box. Then open it and print as normal if you want a copy on paper.

Overtyping annoyance

Q: When trying to add some text, why does typing sometimes start replacing words rather than push them along the line? It's terribly annoying.

A: What often happens is you press the Insert button on your keyboard by mistake which changes settings from Insert mode to Overtype mode. There are two ways to get back to normal: Either press the key again, (the quickest and only method if using e-mail), or double click the letters OVR that, in Word, will appear along the bottom of your screen in the Status 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.

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


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

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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