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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 52

April 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



Make your own Calendar

You may think it’s a funny time of year to start thinking about Christmas, but this is a good month to take pictures and so I want to explain how you can put together a calendar. You will need a DTP package such as Publisher as it will already have built-in calendar templates. For this project, you will need to be familiar with the basic functions of your software such as removing unwanted boxes and formatting your text etc.

1. Go outside with your digital camera, start taking pictures and save them all into a suitable folder on your computer. (If you follow this column and start the calendar with 2 or 3 pictures, you can slowly add more to complete pages over the rest of the year.)

2. Open your DTP program, browse through the catalogue of publication styles and pick Calendars. From the range of styles, pick the one you like.

3. Double-click to open the publication. If necessary, change orientation e.g. to portrait from the menu.


4. Change the date range to next year’s dates by clicking the button and selecting from the drop down arrows in the various boxes.



5. Minimise the DTP program and then open any picture you have saved into software such as PhotoShop or Paint Shop Pro, or your usual image editing package. If necessary, use the cropping tool to cut off sections you don’t want: draw round the part you want to keep and then double-click inside this area. You can also change contrast or brightness via the Effects – Enhance Photo menu.

6. When you are happy with any selected image, click Edit – Copy (or the Copy button). A copy of the picture is now in the computer’s memory.

7. Return to your DTP application. At the bottom of the screen you will see each page as a numbered tab. Click any of these to open that particular month’s page. Delete the image on screen and then select Edit – Paste. Your own picture will appear and you can drag the borders in or out to set its size.

8. To make sure all the pictures in your Calendar look the same, select the picture and then open the Format menu, click Picture and look on the Size tab. You will see its measurements and can make sure all the other pictures are the same size.

9. Work through the Calendar pages, adding appropriate pictures for each month, and then format the text as you like and remove any unwanted boxes or shapes. If you want one object visible on all your pages, add it when in the View – Master Page view but make sure it is not obscured by other objects. Return to your page by taking off the tick next to the page view on the menu.

10. As soon as you can, save the Calendar with a suitable name.

11. When all 12 pages are complete, use a colour printer and appropriate photographic paper to print out all your pages and then staple or tie them together.


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


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