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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 61

January 2006                                                                 

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


January 2006

Q: Can you explain the difference between AutoCorrect, AutoFormat etc. and how you can control them.

A: Most people don't realise that many of the rules and settings we all take for granted when we type a document are applied by the computer and can be changed. They can all be found from the Tools – AutoCorrect Options menu. If you go to this window, you will see the rules and suggestions and can click them on or off to suit your own preferences. Sometimes you can stop an auto correction completing by using your backspace, but often you need to take off the tick to make the new setting stick.

Here are the most common options:

On the AutoCorrect tab you will see that there are Capital letter rules: for starting each new line with an initial capital, ignoring two capitals typed in a word and capitalizing the first letter of the month or day. There is also a long list of common keystrokes that will be replaced automatically. Examples include a c in brackets becoming the Copyright symbol ?, or a colon and close brackets becoming a smiley face. J

On the AutoFormat tab you can automate bulleted lists, change 1/2 to ? and display ordinals as superscript e.g. 1st , 2nd rather than as 1st or 2nd etc.

On the Smart Tag tab you can display or remove the little yellow flag that shows the computer will complete a date or e-mail entry for you once you start typing.

The AutoText tab shows saved blocks of text that you might want to use such as your signature on letters, postal address, common greetings etc. These can either be added to a document by clicking them on the tab or you can type an abbreviation when you are in the document (saved when creating an entry) and then press the function key F3.



Q: Can you send a file attached to an e-mail without first creating a message?

A: Yes, you can. There are, in fact, three different methods for sending files by e-mail.

1. Having typed a document or created a picture, spreadsheet or Powerpoint presentation, open the File menu and, depending on the program you are using, select Send or Send toMail Recipient. This will open a message window, and you will see your file already attached to a blank message. Complete all the boxes and click Send. You must make sure you don't close the file before the message is sent. Depending on your system, you will have to open your e-mail program and either click the Send button or just wait for the message to be sent automatically, as it will have been stored in you Outbox.

2. Open My Documents or the folder in which the file is stored and right-click the closed filename with your mouse. One option you will be offered is Send to – Mail Recipient and you can repeat the action described above.

3. The common way is to start a message, click the Attach button or go to Insert - File Attachment and then locate the file within your computer filing system. When you select the target file and press Enter or click the Attach button, you will return to your message where you will see the file has been attached.





Q: We have just bought a new printer but can still use the old one. How do I make sure the new one is automatically selected when I press the Print button?


A: You need to make the new printer the default. Do this by opening the Printers (and Faxes) box from your Start menu – either via the Settings or Control Panel option. When it opens, you will see a list of printer names or little pictures of all your printers, and one will have a tick next to it showing it is the default. Simply right-click the new printer and select Set as Default Printer. When you print from now on, this will be the printer selected automatically.


  Set as default printer


Select an alternative printer  

In your document, if you decide you want to use another printer for a particular print job, open the File menu and select Print. In the dialog box, click in the Name: box and choose an alternative from the list.



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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