use the JE box - Janet's Elizabeth's JE symbol- to visit my home page

Janet Elizabeth's computer help

Helpful tips for using computers

Janet Elizabeth hopes these pages will help you to learn and gain confidence in using computers
Welcome to Elizabeth's Computer Help for beginners. This web page contains help and information for people who are just starting to learn to use computers.

Tap on the blue writing to find out more about: You might also like to try my Documents for U3A: Beginners' Computing.

Want to make the text a bit bigger?

the plus key the ctrl key or control key You can make the text on this page bigger using ctrl plus (cmd-plus on a Mac). This helpful technique should work for all web sites - full details are at the beginning of my accessibility page.
You don't like learning from a computer screen?
the print button as it appears in IE7 If you don't like reading from a computer screen, you can print web pages. Look in the coloured panel above this page for a Print icon looking like the one on the right. Tap there to start printing ...

.. or ask someone to print the pages for you. Then you can read them calmly from the "print-out" on paper.
Using the links on Janet Elizabeth's JE web pages
Janet Elizabeth's JE symbol Images, icons or pictures, like the JE symbol shown on the right will open a new web page when you tap on them. The new page will open in a new "tab" or in a new window when you tap; the old page (this page) stays open but hidden. To see this page again, tap the tab headed Janet Elizabeth... or close your new window by tapping on the X cross at the top of it.

Text links, for example this link to my computing activities, will open the new web page when you tap on them too. the old page (this page) is overwritten by the new page in the same window. To see this old page again, tap on your browser's "Back button", which is a left-pointing of arrow, at the top on the left.

Why not try this now on the image and blue text above?

If you are an absolute beginner with computers

Training your Mouse (or Touchpad)
As with most skills, the best way to learn is to play a game. With a game, you should find that as you start to concentrate on the game itself you stop worrying about your hand movements. There is a wide range of mouse-training games online at Palm Beach County Library's Mousing Around Games web page. Choose a game by tapping on its picture (or the corresponding blue clickie). Read the instructions carefully before you begin a game. If you don't like it, return to the games page and choose a different game (as it's american, checkers means draughts).
Finding your Keys
There is an excellent introduction to computer keyboards in the UK government's Go ON NI (NI Direct) web site, which is where this keyboard diagram comes from: computer keyboard diagram showing the important areas, clck on it to visit Go On Ni and learn more
If you want to learn to touch type, try BBC Schools' Dance Mat Typing Level 1.

When you have finished practising with mouse and keyboard, I hope you will be feeling more confident, and ready to find out more.
Some short guides suitable for printing
DU - Digital UniteIf you find it helps to have explanations on paper (known as "hard-copy"), you might like to try digitalunite. Digital Unite was created for older people.

Start by tapping here on then on a topic of your choice, for example Computer Basics. You can tap on the icon next to it if you find that easier.

Keep choosing topics until instead of topics you see a few descriptive paragraphs.

To print the guides, do not use the standard printing icon straight away but scroll down to the print icon below the text and tap there before printing in the "usual" way.

Understanding web pages

To be re-written since old resources have disappeared.

Make your computer easier to use

My Computer My Way Accessibility is not just for older people or disabled people - everyone can benefit from having a screen that is easier to read from and a computer that is easier to handle.

The best place to learn how to train your computer, whether Windows or Mac, is to use AbilityNet's excellent advice at My computer my way.

You can try my own JE page as well, Janet Elizabeth's page about making your computer easier to use: Training your computer.

Finding out about Windows 8

If you have a computer running Windows 8.1, the best help is available in Microsoft's own tutorials. Tap on the blue underlined text below to try some.
  • Try the video in the Windows 8.1 tutorial it's just below the orange strip. Tap on the Play button (the triangule in a circle) to watch the video. Tap again if you want to P it and again to Resume from where you stopped it.
  • Getting around your PC gives a very useful, tabulated list of the gestures, like swipe, that you can use to control your computer.
  • Not one of Microsoft's but one of mine - Getting to know your Windows 8.1 computer.

Web sites particularly useful for beginners

Learn the Net Learn the Net
Learn the Net is an online guide to the internet and the world wide web.
Common Craft The Common Craft Show
This offers a series of short, explanatory videos in plain language by Lee and Sachi LeFever, including To see the full list, visit and tap on "Browse Videos". Then choose the one you want. To start a video, tap on the button that looks like a "Play" button on a normal video or DVD player.
Age UK - Work and Learning - Technology and Internet
Age UK Getting online in later life opens up a world of cost savings, says Age UK, and for many the internet can provide an invaluable way to stay in touch with friends and family around the world.

Age UK's Work and Learning section has helpful web pages about technology and the Internet. Their Making the most of the internet contains instructions for using email, joining facebook or twitter, sharing your photographs on flickr, or using skype to talk to friends and family over the internet - whether they're down the road on the other side of the world.

For information about me, tap on the grey link to read about Janet Elizabeth's computing activities and experience.
Or visit Janet Elizabeth's home page
or the recently-added page of useful documents and videos I prepared for my Beginners' Computing U3A group.

Janet's Elizabeth's JE sign Janet Elizabeth
September 2015