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You can do IT in later life - 55

July 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 three 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 - Everyday Computer Activities. A Step-by-step Guide for Older Home Users  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

July 2005

Q: I recently applied for a part-time job and was asked to download the application form. It was a PDF file. Can you explain what these are and how to use them?

A: PDF files are “portable document” files created so that the layout and contents cannot be edited or changed by mistake but which will always be viewable and print in their original format. They are often used for manuals, timetables, complicated forms and other documents published on the Web.

To open one on your computer, you will need the software provided by Adobe known as Acrobat Reader which can be installed free from their website:

Once the Reader is installed, any PDF file you download from the Web will automatically open and you will then see the document in a window showing the following main toolbar buttons:


PDF toolbar buttons


To view a document in more detail, increase the percentage showing in the box or click the button showing a plus sign.

The page you are on will show at the bottom of your screen as page X of Y. In a long document, skip to a specific page by selecting the numbers and then typing the number of the page you want to go to over the selection before pressing Enter.


PDF page indicator

If you download a PDF file from which you want to copy some text, click the button showing a T and then drag your mouse across the area you want to capture. Now select Edit – Copy or right-click and select Copy from the menu. You can then paste this into a word processed document and it will behave exactly like normal text.

If you want to copy across part of the document such as a diagram, first click the image selector toolbar button and then draw a box round the selected area. When you copy this across, your selection will show a border and behave like a picture.

Downloading a PDF file: If you click the link to a document on a Web page, it will open in your browser window but will NOT be saved onto your computer. This means that it will be lost when you close Internet Explorer or Netscape etc.

If you know you want to save a PDF file such as a form or manual, right-click the link and select Save Target As. You will be offered the folders on your computer and can select a destination into which the file will be saved.

It will be easy to spot whenever you look through your files as it will show the recognisable red icon: Adobe icon


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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