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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 56

August 2005                                                                      

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.  

Jackie has also written several books - you can find more details about these by clicking here. 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, 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. Why not email her

August 2005

So many people want to take digital pictures nowadays that I thought I would use this month’s column to run through the steps you can take to get your pictures onto your computer and then make a few changes.



1. Attach the camera to your computer by cable or, if you have a card reader, take out the small memory card inside the camera on which your pictures are stored and place it in the reader.
2. Open the software you are going to use. This may be a simple image editing package such as Fine Pix Viewer that comes with the camera, or an advanced program such as Paint Shop Pro (the example I am using) or PhotoShop. (You can download a trial version for free from the JASC website if you want to see what it can do.)
3. Usually they all work in the same way – on the File menu is a Browse option that will open the folders on your computer in a separate panel.
4. You must now find the drive/folder in which your pictures are stored. As you probably already use the A: drive (for floppy disks), C: drive (your main hard disk), and D: drive (for CDs) you may find your camera is shown as an E: drive or, if you use this for CD-Writing, the F: drive. It will probably be labelled “Removable Disk.



5. The pictures may be inside sub folders that you first need to open. Click the + sign next to the folder to display these.
6. The pictures will appear on the right as thumbnails (small images) labelled temporarily e.g. D0001 or image1 etc.


7. Double click any one to view it more clearly and, if it is one you want to keep, save it straight away somewhere convenient. You can then find and open it again from that location when you want to work with it.
8. Any pictures that you don’t want to keep should be deleted. This frees up the space on your camera’s memory card for your next photo session. Select the unwanted thumbnail picture and press your Delete key or right-click and select Delete.
9. To edit your pictures: double-click a thumbnail or find a saved image in the normal way from File – Open. It will open on screen in its own window. To give yourself room, close any windows behind it.


10. Effects: to apply some of the built in effects, open the Effects menu and select an option. For part of your image, select it first by drawing round with one of the selection tools – square or freeform.




11. You can sharpen or blur the image, apply artistic effects and even turn it into something unrecognisable. To improve the general appearance, select Enhance Photo and change the colour or brightness from the Automatic options.
12. For most effects, you are offered a “before” and “after” view and can alter the settings before accepting the changes.


13. If you click the Proof button  Proof you can see the effect on your actual picture before accepting it and returning to the main image view.
14. Save the changed picture at any time – perhaps with a different name so that you can always start again with the original – and print as normal or add to a document or publication when ready to do so using Copy and Paste..


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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