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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 40

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



April  2004   

Q:  Is it worth buying image editing software?

A:   With a combination of word processing and painting packages, you can produce quite attractive pictures and change the look of your home photos. However, they are very limited when compared to the amazing effects offered by packages such as PhotoShop, Painter Classic or Paint Shop Pro. For serious digital camera or publication buffs, purchasing one of these applications is going to be necessary at some stage. If you are planning to buy a new camera, you may even find one that comes with software as part of the deal. 

Here are some of the effects you can apply to your digital or scanned photos with this type of software:

  • Remove red-eye

  • Layer text on top of images

  • Organise pictures so that several can be printed on one page

  • Turn images into watercolours, charcoal sketches, stained glass etc.

  • Surround images with picture frames in different styles and widths

  • Sharpen or blur different parts, and change contrast and colours for any element

  • Transfer colour from one area to another (called cloning) to disguise objects e.g. paint sky or grass over an unwanted building or person

  • Remove scratches from old photos

  • Run animations – create a number of very slightly different images and then flick rapidly through them (rather like making a cartoon).

Q:  I am worried about copyright, but want to increase the range of pictures I can include in my Christmas and Easter cards.  What can I use from the World Wide Web and how can I add them to my cards?

A:  Many images that you find when browsing on the Web will say something to the effect that copyright may be infringed if you use them. However, one group of pictures is usually quite free to use. This is labelled “Clipart” but is far more extensive than the range of pictures you may have found using Microsoft Clipart Gallery. If you put this word into your search engine query box as well as the theme for your pictures, you should be offered a number of Websites providing pictures for free. 

Having found a picture you want to use, you have 2 options: copy it directly or save it onto your computer and use it later.

To copy: right-click the picture and select Copy. Open your publication, right click the page and select Paste. The picture will appear and you can move it into position. This is the best option if you will only want to use the picture once.

To save for repeated uses: right-click the picture and select Save Picture As. This will open a Save As window. I would recommend changing the picture name (this is often in code and meaningless) but leave the file type e.g. JPG or GIF as it is. (Most publishing or word processing software nowadays can deal with all types of picture, and these web images are compressed and so smaller files than the Bitmap (bmp) images used by Microsoft Paint.) As with any save, select a suitable folder location for the image and then click Save.

To use the picture in your card: open the Insert menu and select Picture from File.  Locate the picture, click Insert and it will appear on your page.



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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