Monthly Archives: June 2012

Add (or remove) shading on a text box

In Word, if you use a text box for a special bit of text, you can add some nice effects like shading.

After adding the text box, click in it so it is selected, and then right click with the mouse.  From the list that opens, choose ‘Format Shape’.  A new window will open, and there are lots of effects to try.  Chose ‘Shadow’ then click on the small arrow to the right of ‘Presets’, and choose what sort of shading you would like.  Then ‘Close’ the window.

If you change your mind, click in the box again, right click with the mouse,  do ‘Format Shape’, choose ‘Shadow’, click to the right of ‘Presets’ again and choose ‘No Shadow’ then ‘Close’.

To add a table in Word

If you want to add a table to a Word document, it’s a good idea to know roughly how many rows and columns you think you need.

Click on the Insert tab, and then click on the picture of a table; move the mouse over the squares that appear in the pop-out until you have the size of table you want – for example 2 x 3, or 5 x 5.

As you fill in the table, you can use the Tab key to move to the next cell in the table.  When you get to the last row, if you Tab again, a new row will be created.

If you realise you need more columns, click in the table somewhere, then hover the mouse over the top of the column next to where you want to insert the extra column.  When the cursor changes to a bold down arrow, click and the whole column is selected.  Now do a right click with the mouse – a new window opens,  chose Insert, and then pick the option you want.


To upload photos from your camera

The simplest way to upload photos from your camera is to connect the camera to the computer using the cable that comes with the camera.  One end will go into a small socket on the camera, plug the other end in to one of the USB sockets on the computer.  When you connect it, a new window will open – chose the option that says “Import pictures and videos”.  You may then be prompted to enter a name – so choose a meaningful name for this group of photos.  (If you are not prompted for a name, the computer will save the photos under today’s date.)  The photos will then be uploaded, and you will be able to view them.

To close down a program that has “hung”

From time to time, something on your PC may “hang” – it’s been sitting there for ages, nothing is happening, and you just want to stop the program or get a response somehow.  Try holding down the CTRL and ALT keys with your left hand, then press the delete key with your right hand.  This should open the Task Manager in a new window.  The Applications tab will show you a list of all the applications (programs) that are currently running.  Click on the one that has hung, and then click End Task.  Windows will then shut down the program.  You may get a warning that you could lose data by ending the task – you might – but it is probably still better to shut the program down if it’s been hung for a while.

Sometimes it can take a minute or two.


e-mailing photos

In Windows 7, there is a different way to e-mail photos, which is very useful.

First, find and select the photo(s) you want to send.  Looking along the options at the top of the folder or library window, chose “E-mail”.  A new window will open, allowing you to choose different picture sizes – medium is usually OK, but if you are sending a lot of photos, you may want to choose small; click Attach.  Now your mail window opens, allowing you to fill out the address, subject, and put some text in the message.  Now click Send.  Job done.

The advantage of this method is being able to choose the picture size – effectively cutting down on the size of the e-mail you are going to send.

You can send photos by attaching them to an e-mail in the normal way (create the e-mail first, and then click on Attach File (the paper clip symbol) , browse to the photo, select it, click Insert).  This method sends the photo at its original size – which may be very big!  And if you want to send several photos, you may find that the e-mail won’t go, because you have exceeded your allowed e-mail size.

Add a tag to a photo

There are a few ways to tag photos:

View your photos in the Pictures library.  When you click (once) on a photo, you will see the information about that photo displayed at the bottom of the window. Click in to the Tags field and type the tags you want.  They can be anything.  Separate the tags with semi colons (;) .

The tags are stored in the photo properties, so another way to add tags is to right click on the photo, click Properties, then click on the Details tab, click in to Tags and type them in (again, separate tags with semi colons).  A short cut to the Properties window is to hold down the Alt key and press Enter.



If you have a newer version of Windows you may have come across Libraries; we have Windows 7 and we have them.  For me, the penny has only just dropped as to what they are for!

Libraries are like folders in lots of ways; you can view your files in the same way, you can arrange them by name, or date, or author.   So what is the difference? And what is the point?  A folder is the location where your files are stored; if you move files to other folders you are changing the location where the files are stored.  A library gathers files from several different locations; a library doesn’t actually store your files, it monitors the folders that do, and lets you arrange the files in various ways.  For instance, I keep the bulk of my photos on an external hard disk; I only keep the most up to date photos on my main PC.  If I wanted to look through my photos to find something, I would need to look on my main PC and then also look on the external hard drive.  If I add both those places to my photos library, I can look at all my photos; I can sort them all; and the really brilliant thing which makes libraries worth while for me, is that if I have tagged all my photos, I can sort the photos within the library by tag.  So, if I want to find a photo from one of our holidays in France, I arrange my photo library by tags and then I can easily browse all the photos with the tag “France”.   Try it!