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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:

Want to make the text a bit larger?

pinch is shown on the left, stretching on the right Using a smartphone, iPad or tablet you can stretch what is on the screen - place two fingers next to each other on the screen and slowly slide them apart. You can move both fingers at the same time or just one. Sliding sideways is usually best. To reverse this effect and pinch, place two fingers on the screen and slide them slowly together.

Using a laptop with a touchpad, you can use stretch and pinch as described above, but with your fingers on the touchpad.

the plus key the ctrl key or control key Using a desktop or laptop computer, you can make the text on this page bigger using ctrl-plus (or command-plus on a Mac): hold down the ctrl (or cmd) key and while it is pressed, type + which is near the zero key.

These useful techniques should work for all web sites - see my accessibility page.
Learning from a computer screen not working for you?
the print button as it appears in IE7 the print button as it appears in Apple Safari 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.

Are you an absolute beginner with computers?

Training your Mouse ( or Touch Pad)
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 there by tapping (sometimes called clicking) 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 within the Digital Unite web site:
computer keyboard diagram showing the important areas, clck on it to visit Digital Unite and learn more
Or you can Learn to touch type, using BBC Schools' Dance Mat Typing Level 1.

It is well worth practising with mouse and keyboard for a while; you cannot do any harm and it will give you confidence.

Using the web

The Internet is a network (think of it as a road network) with different things travelling along it to and from your computer. As well as email and tele-conferencing, there are web pages. Individual web pages are displayed by your browser, like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari or Firefox. If you know the exact address of a web site, like, you can go straight there by typing that in, or you can search for suitable web pages using Google, Bing, or Duckduckgo. The best guide to doing this safely is on the Digital Unite web site, specifically the page Searching the Internet.

)In case you are interested, Digital Unite's web site address is and that parrticular page's web address is

Make your computer easier to use

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.

Web sites particularly useful for beginners

Digital Unite - Technology Guides
Digital Unite Digital Unite provide a wide range of basic technology guides which you can print. Topics include smartphones and tablets (the basics), WhatsApp and Skype for keeping in touch, shopping online, and various UK government services.
The Common Craft Show
Common Craft This offers a series of short, explanatory videos in easy-to-follow plain english 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.
Learn My Way
Learn My Way Take lessons in how to use the Internet with free courses at Learn My Way. There are courses on using a computer, browsing the web, sending an email and finding work online.
Janet Elizabeth's U3A documents for beginners
U3A logo Janet Elizabeth's logo' You might also like to try the pages of useful documents and videos I prepared for my Beginners' Computing U3A group. The latest set was for Windows 10 in 2016-17.
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.

Specifically Windows 10

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

Janet's Elizabeth's JE sign Janet Elizabeth
April 2020