We use our computers every day of our lives for pleasure, home, and work. We use Skype to video chat with relatives and friends who are not close enough to visit, we shop on the web, research on the web and we check email. Mainstream computer users have learned to integrate them in their lives or they have grown up with this technology. Older people can find emotionally or physically difficult to use their computers. In most cases, this is not linked with their mental acumen. The new and modern technologies are becoming less user – friendly and more portable which is an antiquated technology for older people. If you are struggling to see what are you doing on your Windows operating system or you just want to make your keyboard and mouse easier to use, then you should check this list. All versions of Windows/Mac have a wide range of built-in “ease of access” settings that can help to all people who have some kind of physical impairment. Many people who use computers are having problems with their eyesight or their fingers are not fast enough to click on some Windows feature. Here are some tips that can help you to use your computer in an easier way:
Change your screen resolution: If you have a high screen resolution, then you can easily find things that take space on your desktop. Also, this will reduce the size of everything and the text can be hard to read. This means that you need to reduce the screen resolution. This is a quite easy solution. Here are some steps that can help you to change the screen resolution:
- You need to right->click onto a blank area of your desktop.
- Then, select Properties. The Display Properties Window will open.
- You need to switch to the Settings tab and then reduce the screen resolution to 800×600 or 1024×768 pixels.
- You will notice decreasing of the screen resolution and reduce of the sharpness if you use a flat screen. You need to find the perfect balance for you.
- Do not use the resolution that is recommended from some website if you can’t see very well.
You need to understand when too much is too much: In this modern era, we do not have enough free time. We want to finish our work as soon as possible. We want to make two or more tasks at the same time. Often, when we are surfing the net, then we are opening too many windows. In many cases, our computers start to work slowly and at this moment we should discover the real cause behind it. In the most cases, one app is the reason for the slowing of your computer. It will slow down the operating system too. You need to discover it as soon as possible and then close it as soon as possible. There are some tools that can find the real cause and they can terminate it such as MenuMetter for Mac and Rainmeter for Windows.
Create a user account: When people are using their computer for the first time, then they are asked if they want to make an account when they turn their computer on. You should create it because it will hold all of your downloaded files, pictures, documents and other files that you have created. If you are using your computer at public area, then you need to make a strong password. This is also recommended for your home computer.
Lock your computer in seconds: There are many people who want to find what you have on your computer and we know that in many cases we do not want to share our private files with them. This is a reason why we should lock our computer just in seconds. If you are Mac user, then you should click Command+Option+Eject. This will work if your computer has an optical drive and it does not have an optical drive, then you should click the Power button. If you are Windows user, then you should click Windows+L.
Adjust the contrast: If you have good contrast, then this will lead to enhanced readability. If this is your problem, then luck is on your side because Windows have some default solutions. Here is the way that you should lead if you want to adjust the contrast of your computer:
- You should open the Display Properties as we have explained previously. Select the Appearance tab.
- In the button “Windows and buttons”, you need to select Windows Classic style.
- You should select High Contrast and the color from the button Color scheme.
Change the size of your text: Size matters for many people who use PC. You should open the Display Properties. You can increase the Font size. In the Effects button, you can check the Use large icons option. In the Advanced button, you can click Items that you can edit. You can increase the text size in message boxes, the size of caption buttons or you can increase the font size in menus. Also, you can change the colors and font styles.
Use the keyboard more: Every single person that works on PC or just want to have a good time at net should learn some shortcuts. The two easiest and most used shortcuts are Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. The first one is to copy and the second is to paste. Also, you should learn the shortcuts in the most used programs such as Photoshop, Gmail, and Word. After few months you will finish your tasks very easy with the help of shortcuts.
If you are website programmer, then you can read what you should do in the next sentences: We know many people who design websites. But they should think about elderly people before they launch their products. Younger people in the most cases are using tablets, smartphones, iPhones, etc. Older people are using PC and laptop at most. Website designers should avoid making their text smaller than twelve points. We know that our vision is decreasing as we are aging. So, if you are a website designer, you should avoid adding many links in small space or to have a too small font for your text.
The scroll bar: This is one of the easiest ways for all beginners to start learning the computer skills. We can see the scroll bar on the right side of any app or browser. It can be in different tone or color. This part of the browser identifies where you are located on the screen. If your location (in the browser) is at the top of your web page, then the scroll bar will be located near the top right. And the opposite situation is happening if your location is at the bottom of your page. This means that it will be located in the bottom right.
Change the magnification level in your PC: In Windows, there is a tool that can let you magnify things that you cannot see despite all your settings.
- You need to click Start->All Programs->Accessories->Accessibility folder->Magnifier. In this folder, you can find the On-Screen Keyboard, the Narrator, and the Accessibility Wizard.
- You can increase the magnification level and change the presentation and tracking. Inverting colors can enhance readability and contrast. The magnification window can be moved around your screen and you can change the size of this screen.