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Planning Retirement Online

You can do IT in later life - 8

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. Getting the most from your computer.jpg (5543 bytes)

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

Creating templates

Q:  Is there a way to create standard documents that can be used over and over again? 

A:   If you want to keep using the same basic layout e.g. for a letter, it can save time if you first create and save it as a template.  The template can contain all the repeated items e.g. your address, a logo, your letter ending etc. and should be formatted in your chosen font.  Whenever you are ready to write a new letter, open up the template, add the contents and date and treat it as any normal document.  Your template will remain unaltered and can be used over and over again.  To create a template, you can customise one that is already available. Templates can be found by going to the File – New menu and clicking an appropriate tab e.g. Letters & Faxes, Memos etc.  Select one nearest to your preferred style, click Create New Template and then make any changes to the format and text.   Save it by clicking the Save button, choose an appropriate template folder location from those that appear (or create a new folder) and change the filename (temporarily Template 1). You may prefer to start with a blank document and, when you are ready to save it, click Save and make sure you select Save As Type:  Document Template.  This will direct you to the Template folders where you can save it into an appropriate location. To use any of the available templates, including those you have created, find them from the File – New menu and leave the default setting as Create New Document.


Q:  I would like to exchange views with people sharing my interest in Nelson.  How would I go about finding anyone on the Internet to write to?

 A:  Although I have no specialist knowledge of this area, I am sure there are others who have and they might well have formed a newsgroup you could join. Newsgroups are made up of people sharing a common interest who use e-mail as their means of communication (using what is known as Usenet).  Messages are called articles and they are posted to everyone who subscribes to the group.  You can read messages and respond either to the author or to everyone in the group as and when you feel like it. To start off, use your browser or e-mail system to locate a news server – the computer storing newsgroup messages.  If you use Outlook Express, click on Tools – Newsgroups or use the shortcut in the main opening folder to download a list of all the newsgroups on your ISP’s news server.  Then use the keyword search box to try to locate groups with a similar interest e.g. in naval history.  Select any named group and click the Go to button to read some of the messages – this will help you decide if you want to subscribe.  (Subscribing is free and doesn’t commit you to anything.  If you change your mind, just click the Unsubscribe button.)  Double-click the newsgroup name or click the Subscribe button to add a labelled folder to your Outlook Express system.  Whenever you click Send and Receive the latest messages will be downloaded and stored here for you to browse.  


 Using Address Book

Q:  How do I use the Address Book feature in my e-mail system?

A:  Whenever anyone sends you an e-mail, a quick way to add them to your Address Book is to right click their name in the From: column and select “Add sender to Address Book”.  Otherwise, you will need to open the Address Book from the main window and click New – New Contact.  Fill in the first and last name (this will automatically form the name displayed in your To: box unless you change this manually) together with their full e-mail address.  When you click Apply and OK their details will be stored in your book. To use addresses when creating new messages, click the book symbol next to the To: box.  Select names in the list that is displayed and click To:, C.c.: or B.c.c: to insert the addresses into the correct boxes.  Then click OK to return to your message.


View previous editions of YoucandoIT for more useful Questions and Answers


Click on a book or magazine image above or below to see full details.

Aimed at first-time Internet users, the guide, co-written by TV personality Carol Vorderman and Internet expert Rob Young, offers a thorough and non-intimidating introduction to the Internet.

HTML 4 features clear and concise instructions   with well-captioned illustrations and screenshots that show both the source code and the resulting effect on the Web page

  Specifically written for UK Web users, this book will give you everything you'll need to know to put the Internet to work for you



Written from a UK perspective, the Guardian Guide to the Internet covers all the stock ground, including browser operation, FTP, Usenet, IRC and putting together a simple Web page

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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