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You can do IT in later life - 48

December 2004 

Getting the most from your computerYou 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.  

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.

 


 

Amazon book - Basic Computer Skills Made Simple: XP Version  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

 

 

 


 

 

December 2004    

As Christmas will soon be upon us, here are three activities with a festive flavour.

You will need to have appropriate pictures on your computer for this, so here is how to find some Christmas clipart from the Web. 

Go to a website such as:

http://www.kidsdomain.com/
holiday/xmas/clip1.html 

http://christmas-clipart.net/

 or

http://www.holiday-clipart.com/
christmas/christmas_clip01.html

and look through the pictures on offer. 

When you find one you like, use your right mouse button to click on it and select Save Picture As.

 

  When you find one you like, use your right mouse button to click on it and select Save Picture As.

Now save it into My Pictures, or make a Christmas folder for it.  Make sure you re-name the picture if necessary, so that you can find it again easily. Keep repeating this until you have a good stock of pictures to use.

Sending a Christmassy E-mail

Many people use Outlook Express, so the advice relates to this system but you may well find similar facilities if you use AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo etc.

  • Click the arrow next to the Create Message button and choose to Select Stationery.

  • When the window opens, you can preview the styles already available, but will need to create your own if you want to use your Christmas clipart.  Start the wizard by clicking Create New.

  • Click Next until you open the Setup window. Click the Picture box and then Browse to search for the group of pictures you saved earlier. Click one to add it to your e-mail.


Click the Picture box and then Browse to search for the group of pictures you saved earlier.  

 

  • The filename will now appear in the Picture box, and you can click in the Color box to select a background colour for the parts of the e-mail not covered by the picture if you do not want them white.  Experiment with position and tiling effects until you are happy with the overall effect.


 
 Experiment with position and tiling effects until you are happy with the overall effect. 

 

  • Complete the steps to set Font and margins and then name your new stationery.  It will now appear listed in the main window.  Select it and click OK and use it for all your holiday e-mails.


  It will now appear listed in the main window.  Select it and click OK and use it for all your holiday e-mails.
 

 

Creating cut-outs to hang on the tree


If you have a colour printer, or someone in the family who is good at colouring, you can make some hanging Christmas decorations for the tree using a word processing package such as Word together with your clipart pictures.

  • Open Word and go to Insert – Picture – From File.  Look for your clipart folder, choose a picture to insert and click OK.

  • Increase its size if you need to by dragging out a corner black box (sizing handle).

  • It should be selected – it will show a thin black border – but if not, click it once.

  • Use any method for copying e.g. open the Edit menu and select Copy, and then click just next to the picture to take off the selection.  Select Paste and an identical image will appear alongside.

  • You are now going to flip the second picture horizontally so that it faces in the opposite direction.  Do this if you have an XP machine by simply selecting the option from the Draw menu. 

  • For older versions, you must copy the selected picture into an image editing application such as Paint.  Once there, open the Image menu and select Flip/Rotate – Flip Horizontal.

  • Immediately, select Edit – Copy, return to your document and select Paste.  You will now have two mirror images of the picture.


 
  You will now have two mirror images of the picture.

  • Print them out and cut round them carefully, keeping them joined at the point where they touch.  Now fold over and stick, add some thread and hang them on the tree.
     
     

Labels for your parcels


Finally, you may like to print out a batch of labels for your Christmas parcels that have your address or With Love From Granny on them.  Sticky label paper is available from all good stationers.

  • Open Word and go to Tools – (Letters and Mailing for XP) – Envelopes and Labels and select the Label tab.

  • Check that you will be printing out a page of labels rather than a single label and then click Options to set up the label size.  Change the manufacturer from the Label Products list, find the correct code or click New Label to create your own customised label size.  Then click OK.


 Label tab

 

  • Back in the main window, type the text you want if all the labels should be the same. 


 Back in the main window, type the text you want if all the labels should be the same.
 

  • Click New Document to see them on the page.  If necessary, open the Table menu and select the option to view the gridlines.

  • Now change the font, size etc. of the text and, as an extra, add a Christmas clipart picture to the first label by going to Insert – Picture from File.

  • Select the picture, click Copy and then click on the page and click Paste.  Drag the picture into the label space (it will appear next to the original picture) and keep clicking Paste to add more pictures to the page until each label has one.


  Drag the picture into the label space (it will appear next to the original picture) and keep clicking Paste to add more pictures to the page until each label has one.

 

  • Save the labels to print this year and have them available in the future.

  • For different labels in each square, do not type anything into the Label window but click New Document as soon as you have set the correct label size.  You can now type each label into the empty square on the page.
     

View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers

 


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