Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 50

February 2005   

Getting the most from your computerYou 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.

Amazon book - Basic Computer Skills Made Simple: XP Version  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





Many of us like to dabble in creative writing, and so this month I am going to give you my five top computing tips for when you are ready to submit articles, stories and poems to magazines.

Word Count: Most publishers need to have an exact length of article or story, so use the option on the Tools menu to count your words. You can either count the words for the full document, or select a block of text and count that.

If you often need to do this, add the Word Count button to your toolbar so that it is always available:

1. Right-click an empty part of any toolbar and select Customize.
2. In the window that opens, click the Commands tab.
3. Find the Tools menu in the left pane and scroll down the labels in the right-hand pane until you find the Word Count entry.
4. Click it, hold down the mouse button and drag the entry up to any toolbar. A black line will show its position. When it is in place, let go the mouse.

Double Space: Most manuscripts need to be submitted in double spacing. To change your line spacing quickly, select the text and then hold the Ctrl key with one hand as you click the number 2 key. Return to single line spacing with Ctrl plus 1, or 1? line spacing with Ctrl plus 5.

Styles: Any long article probably has a title, main headings, sub-headings and then body text. If you want to apply consistent formatting throughout the work, you can do this with the use of ready-made styles.

Next to the Font box on your formatting toolbar you will see another box which has the word Normal showing in it. This is the Style box. Click the arrow in this box and you will see a list of styles such as Heading 1, Heading 2 etc. These are combinations of font types, sizes and alignments that you can apply in one go – simply select any text and then click the appropriate style.

  Style Box  

If you want parts of your document to have a new, unique style e.g. Times New Roman size 10, bold and centred, you can create your own style.

First make these changes to some normal text using your toolbar. Now click the word Normal in the style box so that it is blue, then type a name for your new style e.g. Size10 to replace Normal in the box. Press the Enter key and your new style will be added to those already there.

  New Style  

Headers and Footers: It is a very good idea to have your own name, as well as page numbers or story title , on every sheet you submit in case they become separated. Do this by adding a header (entry at the top) or footer (entry at the bottom). Once you have set it up, the same entry appears on all extra pages that you type.

1. Open the View menu and select the option.
2. For a header, type your details in the box or select a page number (showing #) or date (showing red numbers) from the toolbar that will appear.
3. Click the Switch Between button to move to the footer box for more entries, or close the toolbar.
4. If you want to make changes, double-click the header or footer entry – it will appear pale grey – and edit as normal.


Replace a name:
When you want to make the same change throughout your story – perhaps because you have spelt a name wrong - you can do this by using the Edit – Replace function.

Click the Replace option on the Edit menu and type the mis-spelt word in the find what: box. Type the replacement word in the replace with: box and click the Find Next button. The first entry should be highlighted and you can make the amendment by clicking the Replace button. Work through your story finding and replacing all the entries or take the shortcut, if you are sure it will be OK, by clicking Replace All.


View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


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


Back to laterlife today

Site map and site search



Advertise on