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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 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 - see 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.

Are you an absolute beginner with computers?

Training your Mouse, Touchpad or screen
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 in the Digital Unite web site: computer keyboard diagram showing the important areas, clck on it to visit Digital Unite 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 Unite Digital Unite was created for older people. They provide a range of printable Technology Guides so you can have explanations on paper (known as "hard-copy").

Start by tapping 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.

Web sites particularly useful for beginners

Digital Unite - Technology Guides
Digital Unite Digital Unite provide a wide range of technology guides you can print, covering a whole host of digital topics including smartphones and tablets, digital photography, social networking, shopping online ...
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 Learn 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 Documents for beginners 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

  • One of the things you will want to do early on is De-clutter your computer screen (Tap on the blue underlined text below to try it.)
  • If you have a tablet or a computer with touch screen, see U3A document on using touch gestures to drive Windows 10. These are things like swipe, that you can use to control your computer.
  • Microsoft provide a list of touchpad gestures for Windows 10
  • Or you can try Microsoft's help on 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
September 2017