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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 44

August 2004

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

August  2004   

Last month, I explained that there are various freeware programs available to download that will enable you to create web pages. One that used to be free with Internet Explorer and is still easy to find on the web is FrontPage Express. This month, I will introduce you to the basics of creating your first web page.

Having installed this program, you will see a blank grey page when you open it up. Decide what information you want to display and start typing this out as unformatted text.

Here is how to add various effects:

1. Change text formats and alignments

Different browsers view web pages slightly differently, and so rather than set exact font styles and sizes, it is common to apply a generic format and allow the browsers to interpret them. If you think of the text as being at different levels, you need to apply a top level format to your main heading and then use lower level formats for subheadings and main text. Do this by selecting the text and then choosing the appropriate heading from the Style box.



Use normal word processing formatting buttons if you want to underline or italicise text as well as set a heading level, and centre any headings using the alignment buttons. There is also a Text Colour button available and Increase and Decrease Font Size buttons that allow you to change text size in steps.

2. Background colour

For a more exciting page, apply a colour to the background. Open the Format menu or right-click the page and select Page Properties. On the Background tab, drop down and select a background colour and, if necessary, change the text to show against this.

You will see that clickable text on the page has standardised colours, depending on whether the text has been clicked or not, but you can change these if you prefer.

If you have a picture you want as your background, click the Background Image box and browse for the picture file. However, be careful your page does not become too ‘busy’.


3. Horizontal lines

These can be added to divide up your page. Click where you want the line and find this option from the Insert menu.

When it appears, change its appearance by right-clicking and selecting Horizontal Line Properties. You can decide whether to have a solid line, how thick it should be and what percentage of the page you want it to fill.

4. Pictures

Add a picture previously saved as a jpg or gif file to any part of the page. Go to Insert – Image and browse for your picture. When it appears, it is often far too large to work with. Right-click and select Image Properties – Appearance. You can now reduce the size to 25% or 50% of the page by first clicking in the Specify Size box and can then adjust the size manually by dragging out a corner sizing box.

Add a border by increasing the measure in the border thickness box and re-position the picture on the page from the Properties box or by using normal toolbar buttons.


Saving Your Page

Clicking the Save toolbar button or going to File – Save will display the normal Save As box. The page title is important as it will be displayed when visitors view it on the web, so type a sensible entry. Now click the As File button to save the page into a folder on your computer. It is a good idea to create a new folder especially for your FrontPage Express files. As you will be publishing the text, images, backgrounds etc. together onto the web eventually, keep ALL related files in this folder so that none are left behind.


If you want homework – why not create several pages and store them all in your new folder. Next month, I will explain how to embed hyperlinks into a web page and link several pages together

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

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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