Using Gmail

Author: Joel May, May, 2006
Latest Revision: November, 2010

Table of Contents

  1. What you can do with e-mail

    1. Send or receive a simple message
    2. Send or receive a fancy formatted message
    3. Send or receive a picture, document or program
    4. Send or receive a URL or a whole web page
    5. Reply to or forward a received message
    6. Send or receive Spam
    7. Send or receive Adware, Spyware and Viruses

  2. Types of e-mail programs
    1. Web-based
      1. Yahoo
      2. MSN
      3. Hotmail
      4. Gmail (the one we'll use in this course)
    2. The kind that comes with your computer, e.g.
      1. E-mail Clients (Outlook Express, Microsoft Mail)
      2. Vendor-provided services (AOL, Comcast, Verizon)
    3. The software-based kind you can buy or download for free, e.g.

    1. Open your browser
    2. In the address box type ""
    3. Click on "Sign Up for Gmail" in the lower right part of the screen
    4. Fill in the blanks with your first and last name and the email address you'd like to use
    5. Click on "Check Availability" to see if that address is available
    6. If it is not, choose another and check it out
    7. If it is, enter a password (eight characters minimum) then enter it again for verification
    8. If you are doing this at home, check the box labeled "Remember me on this computer"
    9. Read about the Web History feature and decide whether you want to activate it
    10. Choose a security question and provide an answer for it
    11. Leave the "Secondary Email" box blank
    12. Type the funny-looking letters in to the box below them
    13. Finally, click on "I accept. Create my Account"
    14. You now have a Gmail account

    1. Open your browser
    2. In the address box type ""
    3. If necessary, enter your user name and password

    1. Across the very top of the screen, on the right, there are ways to control and learn more about Gmail
    1. The name of the current email user account
    2. Google Apps
    3. Notifications
    4. Settings - control the way Gmail works (more on this later)
    5. Sign Out - leave Gmail
    • On the left is a Google search box in which you can search your email messages as well as the Web
    • The main part of the screen will display the contents of your Inbox
    1. Unread messages are displayed in bold-face
    2. Previously read messages are displayed in normal-face
    • Above and below the message box are a number of control buttons
    1. There are a number of ways to select messages for action: all, none, read, unread, starred (see below) and unstarred (You can also select messages individually by clicking on the check box at the beginning of the message label)
    2. Once a message or group of messages has been selected, you can use the following commands to act upon them (these will all be discussed later):
    1. The "Archive" button saves the messages that have been checked
    2. The "Report Spam" button sends the messages that have been checked to the Spam folder and "teaches" Gmail to treat such messages as spam in the future
    3. The "Delete" button deletes the messages that have been checker . . . Duh!
    4. Dropping down the "More Actions" list offers additional actual choices that will be discussed in detail later in the course: The available choices will vary depending upon the mailbox and the type of message.
    5. "Refresh" causes Gmail to find any new messages that are not yet displayed
    • On the left side of the screen, from the top down, you'll find:
    1. "Compose Mail" - use this to begin creation of a new out-going message
    2. The mailboxes:
    1. Inbox - where all incoming mail is displayed until you take some action with it
    2. Starred - where all mail you have starred (see V.F.2.d.ii)
    3. Chats - where all chat messages are stored if you use this function (see below)
    4. Sent Mail - where copies of every message you have sent are displayed until you take some action
    5. Drafts - where mail you have started to compose but have not yet sent is displayed
    6. All Mail - just like it says, everything that has not been deleted
    7. Spam - where email identified by either you or Gmail is displayed until deleted. Mail in the Spam mailbox is automatically deleted after 30 days.
    8. Trash - where all deleted mail is stored. Mail in the Trash mailbox is automatically deleted after 30 days.
    • "Contacts" - use this to access your address book
    • "Chat" - use this as an Instant Messaging feature
    • "Labels" - a powerful feature of Gmail which permits you to create subject labels for both in-coming and out-going messages. These labels simplify future searching
    • "Invite a Friend" - Google would like to you recuit additional Gmail users
    • Finally, below the message box there are five lines of information:
    1. The first is an ever-changing message about new and additional Gmail services or features. These change regularly
    2. Next is a line informing you of the amount of storage available for your email messages -- don't worry, you'll never run out of space
    3. The third line provides information on the usage of the email account. If someone is hacking your account, you can discover that fact here
    4. The fourth line gives you optional ways of viewing the Gmail screen
    5. Finally, the last line contains links to information on other facets of the Gmail service

    1. Run Gmail
    1. Open your browser
    2. In the address box type ""
    3. If necessary, enter your user name and password
    • Click on "Compose Mail"
    • Address the message in the TO: box
    1. Type in a single e-mail address
    2. Type in multiple e-mail addresses separated by commas
    3. Or use an address from your Contacts List (Address Book) – we’ll see how to do this later
    • Enter a subject in the SUBJECT: line
    • Type the Message in the large white space below

    1. Be sure to spell-check it first. Click on "Check Spelling" on the left side of the message box
    2. Click on the "Send" button either at the top or the bottom of the message

    1. Run Gmail
    1. Open your browser
    2. In the address box type ""
    3. If necessary, enter your user name and password
    • Your incoming messages will be automatically delivered to your Inbox Folder
    1. The contents of this folder are, by default, the ones you see when you start Gmail
    2. The messages in the folder that you have not yet read are displayed in bold face; those which you have already read are displayed in normal face
    • To open a message and read its contents, Left Click on it

    1. The only three things you could possibly want to do with a received message
    1. Throw it away without reading it
    2. Read it and then throw it away
    3. Read it and keep it
    • In real life, you’ll probably most often throw it away without reading it
    1. According to, 82% of all e-mail is Spam (electronic junk mail)
    2. Spam can usually (but not always) be identified by looking at the sender’s name or the subject of the e-mail
    3. Gmail has a built-in spam filter that can "learn" what you think is spam.
    1. It uses statistical probability theory approach to analyze the address, subject and content of messages you identify as spam
    2. It learns from experience
    3. It automatically places the in-coming messages it defines as spam in the Spam folder, by-passing the Inbox folder
    4. Messages are automatically permanently deleted after they have been in the Spam folder for 30 days, so it is a good idea to check the contents of that folder on a regular basis until you are confident that Gmail and you agree completely on what is spam and what is not
    5. If Gmail makes a mistake, and identifies a message as spam when it is not, you can remove the message from the Spam folder and place it back in the Inbox folder using the method described in section IX.F below
    • To throw a message away without reading it
    1. Click to put a check mark in front of the message
    2. If you want Gmail to treat future messages like this one as spam, click on the Report Spam button above the message box
    3. If you simply want to through it away without reading it, click on the Delete button above the message box
    • You can throw out multiple messages at the same time
    1. Click to put a check mark in front of each of the messages you want to throw away
    2. Proceed as in IX.B.4 above
    3. In either case, the spam is moved to the Spam folder and the deleted message(s) is/are moved to the Trash folder
    • If you make a mistake
    1. To bring messages erroneously defined as spam back to the Inbox
    1. Click on Spam on the left side of the message box to view the contents of the Spam folder
    2. Click to put a check mark in front of the message(s) you want to retrieve
    3. Click on the Not Spam button above the message box
    • To bring messages erroneously deleted back to the Inbox
    1. Click on Trash on the left side of the message box to view the contents of the Trash folder
    2. Click to put a check mark in front of the message(s) you want to retrieve
    3. Click on the Move to Inbox button above the message box
    • To permanently delete a message from your computer you must delete it from the Spam or Trash folder.
    1. To permanently delete individual messages
    1. Click to put a check mark in front of the messages you want to permanently delete
    2. Click on the Delete Forever button above the message box
    • To permanently delete all the messages in the folder
    1. Click on the "Delete all Spam Messages Now" or the "Empty Trash Now" link just above the list of messages
    2. NOTE: Messages are automatically permanently deleted after they have been in the Spam or Trash folder for 30 days
    • To Read a message and then throw it away
    1. Left-Click on the message to open and read it, then
    1. If the message is spam, click on the Report Spam button at the top of the message box. The message will be moved to the Spam folder and Gmail will add the information from the message (address, subject and content) to its definition of spam
    2. If the message is simply one that you don't want to keep, lick on the Delete button at the top of the message box. The message will be moved to the Trash folder where you can delete it permanently, wait 30 days and let it be deleted automatically, or retrieve it to the inbox (as described in section IX.B.7 & 8 above)
    • Finally, to read a message and then save it
    1. You’ll want to save it in a way that makes it easy for you to find it again
    2. Gmail makes it possible to retrieve any message you have not deleted by searching for the address of the sender, a word or words in the subject line, or an word or words in the body of the message
    3. Gmail also gives you enough storage space (currently more than 7GB) so that you're able to keep every piece of mail you ever receive
    4. Double-Left-Click on the message to open it and read it, then
    1. Click on the Archive button at the top of the message box
    2. The message is moved to the All Mail folder
    3. It can be retrieved at any time using the "Search Mail" box at the top of the Gmail screen
    1. Enter the keyword(s) you want to search for in the text box to the left of the Search Mail button
    2. These words may appear in the address line (To:, CC: or BCC:, the subject line, or the message itself
    3. Click on the Search Mail button
    4. All the messages matching the search criteria will be displayed
    • If you have exchanged a series of messages with others on a given subject using the same words in the subject line (what Gmail calls a conversation), the messages will be stored as a group and when you search for any one of them, the entire conversation will be displayed in the order in which it took place
    1. The message you have opened in this "Conversation View" will be displayed in full with the other message in the conversation stacked above it
    2. To see all the messages in a conversation, left-click on "Expand All"

    1. Once you've created a label, you can view all the messages with that label by searching, or by clicking the label name along the left side of any Gmail page.
    2. Messages can have as many different labels as you want
    3. To label a messagel:
    1. Select the message(s) you'd like to label by checking the box(es) next to the sender's name or by opening it for reading.
    2. If the label you want to use already exists, choose it from the More Actions ... drop-down menu
    3. If it is a new label, Select New label from the More Actions... drop-down menu.and enter the name of the new label in the text box. Then click OK.
    4. After you have labeled a message, you can archive it as described in IX.G.4 above
    • To edit a label name:
    1. Click Edit labels at the bottom of the Labels box.
    2. Click rename next to the label you want to edit.
    3. Enter the new label name, and click OK.
    4. All the messages categorized under your old label name will now be categorized under your new label.
    • To delete a label:
    1. Click Edit labels at the bottom of the Labels box.
    2. Click remove label next to the label you want to delete.
    3. Confirm that you'd like to remove the label by clicking OK.
    4. Deleting a label doesn't delete the messages previously categorized with that label.
    • To find labeled messages
    1. Click the label name on the left side of any Gmail page.
    2. The search method described in IX.G.4 above can be combined with the label search to greatly refine the process
    1. Suppose your extended family has been planning a picnic and all the email you have exchanged (received or sent) on the subject you've labeled "Picnic."
    2. Now you want find what you've told your brother Bill about the picnic
    1. Enter his name in the search box
    2. Click on the label "Picnic" on the left side of the screen
    3. Click on the Search Mail button
    4. Voila!
    • Another way to organize messages with by "starring" them, thereby giving them a special status to make them easier to find
    1. To star a message, left-click on the light blue star beside the message
    2. To find starred messages, left-click on the "Select: Starred" link just above the message box.
    3. If you change your mind, you can "unstar" a message by left-clicking on the yellow star beside the message

    1. To send an attached file along with an email message
    1. Create a message as described in section VI above
    2. Click on the "Attach a File" link just below the Subject line
    3. Click on the "Browse" button and, in the File Upload dialog box that opens, navigate through your hard drive to find the file you want to attach
    4. Click on the chosen file to highlight it, then click on the "Open" button in the File Upload dialog box
    5. The name of the attached file will appear in the text box next to the "Browse" button
    6. If you make a mistake, click on Remove
    7. If you want to attach another file, click on "Attach Another File"
    1. It is considered good e-mail etiquette to insure that the image files attached to an e-mail message are small enough so that they transmit in a reasonable length of time. (Roughly 50K or 60K should be the maximum size of an image you send to someone.)
    2. A good, free program to resize your images can be downloaded from
    3. It is not feasible to resize document files or software programs (other than by “zipping” them – a subject for another course)
    1. If the recipient of the message uses Google Calendar, you can send an invitation
    2. It will be entered in her/his calendar
    3. When she/he sees it, he/she can click on it to accept or decline the invitation

    1. Often, for reasons of keeping a group of people informed or getting responses from a group of people, you’ll want to send an e-mail to more than one person.
    2. There are two ways to do this
    1. You can type an group of e-mail addresses, separated by commas, directly into the "To" line at the top of the e-mail form
    2. You can use the names from your Contact List (Address Book) - more about this later
    • Courtesy Copy (CC:) – Use this to send copies of the e-mail to additional people and to let the primary recipient know that you did so. Access the CC: box by clicking on the Add CC: link just above the Subject line
    • Blind Courtesy Copy (BCC:) – Use this to send copies of the e-mail to additional people without having their names or e-mail addresses appear in the message. The most common use of BCC: is to send a mailing to a group of people without revealing their individual e-mail addresses to each other. (e.g. sending a news release to a number of different news outlets without revealing to any of them which outlets you are using.). Access the BCC: box by clicking on the Add BCC: link just above the Subject line.

    1. Sending messages with formatted text is useful for:
    1. Making the message more visually attractive
    2. Enabling you to emphasize or highlight certain parts of the message
    3. Allowing you to include features such as hyperlinks in the message
    • However, as a security measure, some people have their email program options set to receive only plain text
    1. Gmail has a "plain text" option that you can use if your recipient is having trouble receiving mail with formatted text
    • Formatting text in Gmail
    1. Just above the message area on a Compose email screen are the formatting controls
    2. You can use the formatting controls just as you would in a word processor to
    3. From left to right they are:
    1. Bold
    2. Italics
    3. Underline
    4. Font type
    5. Text size
    6. Test color
    7. Highlight (or background) color
    8. Insert an Emoticon
    9. Create a hyperlink
    10. Create a numbered list
    11. Create a bulleted list
    12. Exdent
    13. Indent
    14. Create a quote
    15. Left align
    16. Center
    17. Right Align
    18. Remove formatting
    19. Revert to plain text (no formatting)
    • Adding a Signature
    1. An e-mail signature is any text that you want to appear at the end of each of your e-mails
    1. Sincerely, Your Name
    2. Always remember “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana”
    • Creating a Signature
    1. Click on "Settings" at the top right of the Gmail screen
    2. If necessary, click on the "General" tab
    3. In the section of the page labeled "Signature," click on the radio button next to the white text box
    4. Type in the text you want as a signature
    5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Save Changes"
    • Applying a Signature
    1. Your signature will appear at the bottom of all the emails you send
    2. If you don't want the signature to appear in a particular email, simply highlight the signature text and delete it before sending the email

    1. Reply vs. Reply All
    1. When you are reading an incoming e-mail message you’ll see in the upper right corner a button labeled Reply. At the bottom left corner you'll see another "Reply" button as weel as one labeled "Reply to All"
    2. If you click on Reply, a new message form is created already addressed to the person whose e-mail address (or name) appears in the From: line of the message you were reading
    3. If you click on Reply to All, a new message form is created already addressed to the person whose e-mail address (or name) appears in the From: line of the message you were reading AND ALSO ADDRESSED TO ANYONE WHO WAS COURTESY COPIED (OR BLIND COURTESY COPIED). Use this with care.
    • Including Message Text in Replies
    1. By default the text the original message is included in the Reply (or Reply All) preceeded by the date, time and name of sender of the original message.
    2. This default setting is useful but can cause problems
    1. In Replying to an e-mail message, it is often useful to quote the salient parts of the original message and respond specifically to each of them.
    2. This requires some cutting and pasting.
    3. Do not include in the Reply any unnecessary text from the original message.
    4. You need a way to help your reader easily distinguish between the quoted segments of the original message and the new information in your reply.
    5. Gmail automatically displays the text from the original message in quoted form. All you need to do is remove the unnecessary text

    1. To forward an individual message:
    1. Open the appropriate conversation and select the message to forward.
    2. Click Forward from the bottom left of the message.
    3. Enter the email address(es) to which the email should be forwarded, and add any notes in the message field. If the message has attachments, you can choose not to forward them by deselecting the checkbox next to the filename below the Subject field.
    4. Click Send.
    • To forward an entire conversation:
    1. Open the appropriate conversation.
    2. Click Forward all from the right side of the Conversation View.
    3. Forwarding an entire conversation will add all messages from a conversation into a single message. Each message will be clearly marked, and will be listed in order from oldest to most recent.

    1. To create a contact:
    1. Click Contacts along the left side of any page.
    2. Click the New Contact button in the top-left corner of the Contact Manager.
    3. Enter your contact's information in the appropriate fields.
    4. Click Save to add your contact.
    5. You can enter additional contact info by clicking More Information or by clicking the add link next to the appropriate field. Enter your contact's information in the appropriate fields and click Save.
    6. Email addresses are automatically added to your Contacts list each time you use the Reply, Reply to all, or Forward functions to send messages to addresses not previously stored in your Contacts list. Also, each time you unmark a message as Spam, your Contacts list is automatically updated so that future messages from that sender are received in your inbox.
    • Editing contacts
    1. Select the contact in the Contacts list.
    2. Click Edit at the top of the page.Make your desired changes.Click Save at the top of the page.
    • To permanently delete a contact:
    1. Select the contact in the Contacts list.
    2. Click Delete Contact at the top of the page.
    3. Click OK.
    • Grouping Contacts
    1. By default, all the contacts are listed alphabetically
    2. However you can create Groups in which to aggregate them according to any system you want.
    1. Suppose you have in your address book some friends and relatives, some business associates, some people from a church group and a list of addresses to whom you send a club newsletter which you write once a month
    2. It is much easier to establish Groups to distinguish these four categories of contacts.
    • To create a contact group:
    1. Click Contacts along the side of any page.
    2. Click the New Group button located in top portion of the Contact Manager.
    3. Enter the name of the group.
    4. Click OK.
    • To add a contact to a contact group:
    1. Select the contact in the Contacts list.
    2. Open the Groups drop-down menu.
    3. Under Add to..., select the group you'd like to add the contact to, or select New group to create a new group.or
    1. Select the group you'd like to add to.
    2. Enter the contact's name or email address in the Add this to group box at the top of the contact list.
    • To remove a contact from a contact group:
    1. Select the contact in the Contacts list.
    2. Open the Groups drop-down menu.
    3. Under Remove from..., select the group you'd like to remove the contact from.
    • Default Contact Groups
    1. The Contact Manager has a few default contact groups to help you organize your most used and most important contacts. These groups won't affect your ability to create custom contact groups.
    2. My Contacts organizes the addresses you care about. Contacts are automatically added to this group when you interact with them frequently. You can also manually add new contacts to this group if you know you'll want to find them often. Gmail will continue to add new contacts automatically to this group as they meet the criteria, but you can disable this feature if you'd rather it didn't.
    3. Suggested Contacts includes all email addresses that aren't part of any other contact group by default. All of the addresses you use are added automatically to this group so that you'll always be able to find them. If you move a contact from your Suggested Contacts to another default or custom contact group, they'll no longer appear in Suggested Contacts.
    4. Most Contacted includes the 20 addresses you use most frequently. Gmail automatically updates this list for quick and easy reference.

    1. Once a name has been entered into the Contact List, a message can be addressed to it by simply typing all or part of the name and choosing the name from the list the auto-complete feature suggests
    2. To address a message to more than one person, enter the name of the first person, then the next, and so on
    3. There are two ways to address a message to an entire Contact Group
    1. Click Contacts.
    2. Select the group you'd like to send to.
    3. Click All at the top of the contact list or select the individuals you'd like to send to.
    4. Click Email in the group details pane. or
    1. Click Compose.
    2. In the To:, CC: or BCC: field, enter the first few letters of the name of the contact group to which you'd like to send the message.
    3. Select your contact group from the list of addresses the auto-complete feature suggests.
    4. Compose your mail.

    1. Gmail's filters allow you to manage the flow of incoming messages.
    2. Using filters, you can automatically label, archive, delete, star, or forward your mail, even keep it out of Spam -- all based on a combination of keywords, sender, recipients, and more.
    3. To create a filter:
    1. Click Create a filter (next to the Search the Web button at the top of any Gmail page).
    2. Enter your filter criteria in the appropriate field(s).
    1. From
    2. To
    3. Subject
    4. Has the words
    5. Doesn't have the words
    6. Has Attachment
    • Click Test Search to see which messages currently in Gmail match your filter terms.
    • Update your criteria and run another test search, or click Next Step.
    • Select one or more actions from the list.
    1. Skip the Inbox (Archive it)
    2. Mark as Read
    3. Star it
    4. Apply the Label
    5. Forward it to
    6. Delete it
    7. Never Send it to Spam
    • These actions will be applied to messages matching your filter criteria in the order in which the actions are listed -- for example, you could choose to Forward matching messages to a specific email address, then Delete the messages.
    • If you'd like to apply this filter to messages already in Gmail, select the "Also apply filter to x conversations below" checkbox.
    • Click Create Filter.
    • To create a filter from within a message:
    1. Click the drop-down menu next to Reply.
    2. Select Filter messages like this.
    3. Enter your filter criteria in the appropriate field(s).
    • To edit or delete existing filters:
    1. Click Settings (at the top-right of any Gmail page).
    2. Click Filters.
    3. Find the filter you'd like to change and click its edit link, or click delete to remove the filter.
    4. If you're editing the filter, enter the updated criteria for the filter in the appropriate fields, and click Next Step.
    5. Update any actions and click Update Filter.
    • You can use one filter to manage messages from a number of different email addresses. Here's how:
    1. Click Create a filter at the top of any Gmail page.
    2. Type a left parenthesis mark. Enter each email address in the From: field, separated by OR. End by typing a right parenthesis mark.
    3. Enter all other message criteria in the appropriate fields, and click Next Step.
    4. Check the box next to the action you'd like the messages to take.
    5. Click Create Filter.
    • You can create an unlimited number of filters, but only 20 filters can forward to other addresses. Combining filters like this is a great way to maximize your filtered forwarding.

    1. The Settings link is in the top right of the Gmail interface, just after your user name
    2. Use the Settings to customize how Gmail works for you
    3. There are 8 tabs in the Settings menu. Their contents are discussed in the following.

    • The General Settings Tab:
    1. Language:
    1. The Gmail interface is available in more than 50 different language settings.
    2. To change the language view in Gmail:
    1. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
    2. Select a language from the Gmail display language: drop-down menu in the Language: section.
    3. Click Save Changes.
    • The Gmail interface will appear in the language of your choice after you click Save Changes. Remember, your Gmail's display language doesn't affect the language in which your messages are sent and received.
    • Maximum Page Size
    1. This setting determines how many messages or conversations will be displayed on a single page
    2. You can set this at 25, 50 or 100
    • Keyboard Shortcuts
    1. Keyboard shortcuts help you save time by allowing you to never take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse.
    2. You can see a list of them click on Learn More
    3. To turn these case-sensitive shortcuts on or of, pick an option next to Keyboard shortcuts.
    • My Picture
    1. You can choose almost any photo as your Google picture, to show up whenever another user rolls over your name in their inbox, Contacts, or Quick Contacts list.
    1. From the My picture section on the Settings > General page, click Select a picture. The Upload a picture window appears.
    2. Click Browse and select the file you'd like to use. Make sure that it's a JPG, GIF, or PNG file.
    3. Click Open in the File Upload dialog.
    4. With your mouse, click and drag any corner of the selection box to shrink or enlarge it.
    5. Click Apply Changes. Don't worry - any changes you've made to the photo won't affect your original file.
    6. You can select whether you'd like all Gmail users to see your picture, or only those who you've allowed to chat with you, using the radio buttons next to your uploaded photo on your Settings page.
    1. Visible to all Gmail users means anyone who you email, or who emails you, can see your picture.
    2. Visible only to people I can chat with includes users who have been given permission to see when you're online and to chat with you. (You can see a full list of these users from the All Contacts tab of your Contacts page. They'll be listed with a colored ball next to their name.)
    • Once you apply your picture, you'll be able to view and change it from your Settings page, and other users will see your selection when they roll over your name in conversations or in their contact lists.
    • Contacts' Pictures
    1. If you'd like to keep other people's Gmail pictures off of your Gmail pages, you can turn them off by using only those pictures that you've selected for them yourself.
    1. In the Contacts' Pictures section on the Settings > General page, select Only show pictures that I've chosen for my contacts.
    2. Click Save Changes.
    • If you haven't selected any pictures for your contacts, you won't see any pictures in your Gmail interface.
    • Signature
    1. An e-mail signature is anything (text or image) that you want to appear at the end of each of your e-mails
    1. Sincerely, Your Name
    2. Always remember “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana”
    • Creating a Signature
    1. In the Signature section on the Settings > General page, click the radio button next to the white text box
    2. Type in the text box the text that you want to appear as your signature
    3. It will appear at the end of every email you send separated from the body of the message by a dashed line
    • Personal Level Indicators
    1. You can use arrow markers to quickly identify which messages are personal and which are not
    2. When Personal Level Indicators are on, a single arrow (>) next to a message indicates that it was sent to more than one person and a double arrow (>>) indicates messages sent only to you
    3. To turn Personal Level Indicators on, in the Personal Level Indicators section on the Settings > General page, click the radio button next to Show Indicators
    • Snippets
    1. Show Snippets means that you'll see a portion of the message displayed next to the subject of the message
    2. No Snippets means that you'll see only the subject of the message
    • Vacation Responder
    1. You can use Gmail's vacation responder to let people know you won't be able to get back to them right away.
    2. You can set up a vacation response in your Gmail settings that will automatically reply to anyone who emails you.
    3. While the vacation responder is enabled, Gmail will send a response to anyone who contacts you.
    4. If that person contacts you again after four days and your vacation responder is still enabled, Gmail will send another vacation response to remind the person that you're away from your email.
    5. To set up a Vacation Responder:
    1. From the Settings > General tab, select Vacation responder on in the Vacation responder: section.
    2. Enter the subject and body of your message in the Subject: and Message: fields.
    3. f you've enabled a personalized signature in your settings, Gmail will automatically append it to the bottom of your vacation response.
    4. Check the box next to Only send a response to people in my Contacts if you don't want everyone who emails you to know that you're away from your mail.
    5. Click Save Changes.
    • While the vacation responder is enabled, you'll see a banner across the top of any Gmail page, displaying the subject of your vacation response.
    • To stop Gmail from automatically sending the response, click end now within the banner. Or, if you'd like to edit the response, click vacation settings.
    • Messages classified as spam and messages addressed to a mailing list you subscribe to will not receive a vacation response.
    • Outgoing Message Encoding
    1. Each time you send a message, Gmail automatically selects an appropriate encoding for the language(s) in which you've composed your mail.
    2. It's possible, however, that the recipient may not be able to properly view the message you've sent.
    3. If your contacts are having trouble viewing messages you've sent them, we recommend using 'UTF-8' (Unicode) for all outgoing mail. UTF-8 is a standard encoding that's accepted by many email clients.
    • Browser Connection
    1. If you sign in to Gmail via a non-secure Internet connection, like a public wireless or non-encrypted network, your Google account may be more vulnerable to hijacking.
    2. Non-secure networks make it easier for someone to impersonate you and gain full access to your Google account, including any sensitive data it may contain like bank statements or online log-in credentials.
    3. Google recommends selecting the 'Always use https' option in Gmail any time your network may be non-secure. HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a secure protocol that provides authenticated and encrypted communication.
    4. To enable this feature in Gmail:
    1. From the Settings > General tab, Set 'Browser Connection' to 'Always use https.'
    2. Click Save Changes.
    3. Reload Gmail.
    • Please note that selecting 'Always use https' will prevent you from accessing Gmail via HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol).
    • In addition, it may make Gmail a bit slower. If you trust the security of your network, you can turn this feature off at any time.
    • If you use a public computer to check your email, it's also important to end each of your Gmail sessions by clicking Sign out at the top of any Gmail page and to close all Gmail browser windows.

    • The Account Settings Tab
    1. Send Mail As (Adding a custom "From" address):
    1. The custom 'From:' feature works only if you already own the alternate address as part of a separate account.
    2. To send mail with a different Gmail username, you must first sign up for that address.
    3. Gmail's custom 'From:' feature lets you use Gmail to send messages with another of your email addresses listed as the sender in place of your Gmail address. This feature makes it easier to manage multiple accounts from the Gmail interface.
    4. To add a custom 'From:' address:
    1. Make sure you can sign in with the address you'd like to add. You'll need to access the other account before Gmail will let you send from it.
    2. From the Settings > Accounts tab, under Send mail as, click Add another email address.
    3. In the Name field, enter your full name.
    4. In the Email address field, enter the email address you'd like to send from.
    5. Click Next Step >> and then click Send Verification. Gmail will send a verification message to your other email address to confirm that you own it.
    6. Open your other account and either click the link in the message Gmail sent or enter the confirmation code in the Accounts section of your Gmail settings.
    • To use a verified custom 'From:' address when composing a new message:
    1. Pick an address from the drop-down menu in the 'From:' field. If you're replying or forwarding, click change next to the 'From:' field first.
    2. You can also choose to automatically use the address to which a message was sent.
    • After you have created more than one custom "From" address, you can choose which to use as the default
    • To edit the name or reply-to address for an existing entry, click edit next to the address on your Accounts tab.
    • To delete an address, just click delete.
    • Add Additional Storage:
    1. Gmail currently provides over 7GB of storage for each account
    2. This is almost certainly more than the ordinary email user will ever need
    3. You can see how much you are currently using both in this section and below the message screen on any Gmail view
    4. However, if you need more:
    1. From the Settings > Accounts tab, under Add Additional Storage, click on Upgrade Your Storage.
    2. Choose the amount you think you need
    3. Give Google your credit card number or Pay Pal account number
    • Get Mail From Other Accounts
    1. Google will check your other accounts on a regular basis, and new mail will appear automatically in Gmail.
    2. Gmail checks individual accounts for new messages at different rates, depending on previous mail fetch attempts.
    3. Setting up Mail Fetcher is easy and free, but the email accounts you'd like to fetch from must support POP access and, in the case of Gmail addresses, have POP access enabled.
    1. From the Settings > Accounts tab, In the Get mail from other accounts section, click Add another mail account.
    2. Enter the full email address of the account you'd like to access, then click Next Step.
    3. Gmail will populate sample settings, but we recommend checking with your other provider to learn the correct server name and port. Enter your Password.
    4. Decide whether to:
    1. Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server. If you'd like to keep a copy of each message Gmail retrieves in your other mail accounts, select the Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server checkbox. This way, you can access mail in your other accounts, and in Gmail.
    2. Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail. If the email account being retrieved from supports Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, you can select this option to have all information sent through a secured connection.
    3. Label incoming messages. If you'd like to automatically label all messages that are retrieved from your non-Google account, select this option. You can choose to use the predefined label (your email address), or you can select an existing label or create a new one from the drop-down list.
    4. Archive incoming messages. Mail from this account can be archived directly, without showing up in your inbox.
    • Click Add Account.
    • Google Account Settings
    1. Click on Google Account Settings to reset your password, change your security question, or to learn about access to other Google services
    • Have Your Own Domain?
    1. This is a service that will incorporate Gmail, as well as other Google services, into your web site
    2. It is designed for use on corporate web sites

    • The Labels Settings Tab

    1. Use the Labels Setting Tab to rename or remove labels (See Section X above)

    • The Filters Settings Tab

    1. Use the Filters Setting Tab to edit or delete filters (See Section XVIII above)

    • The Forwarding and POP/IMAP Settings Tab

    1. Forwarding
    1. Gmail lets you automatically forward incoming mail to another address.
    2. Here's how to forward messages automatically:
    1. From the Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, in the Forwarding section, click on Forward a copy of incoming mail...
    2. Enter the email address to which you'd like your messages forwarded.
    3. Select the action you'd like your messages to take from the drop-down menu.
    1. You can send it automatically to All Mail or Trash.
    • Click Save Changes.
    • You also can set up filters to forward messages that meet specific criteria (see Section XVIII above).
    • POP Download and IMAP Access
    1. POP, or Post Office Protocol and IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol are sets of computer rules that let you download messages from Gmail's servers onto your computer so you can access your email with a program like Microsoft Outlook Express or Apple Mail, even when you aren't connected to the Internet.
    2. A discussion of them is beyond the scope of this course
    3. If you'd like to learn more, check out Gmail Help at Getting Started with IMAP.

    • The Chat Setting Tab

    1. Gmail's chat features let you talk to people from directly within Gmail, by connecting you to the Google Talk network.
    2. The Google Talk network is made up of millions of people who use the Google Talk IM product, or a service that supports open server-to-server federation.

    • The Web Clips Setting Tab

    1. Web Clips are the messages displayed just above the list of messages in the Inbox
    2. Web Clips show you news headlines, blog posts, RSS feeds, and relevant sponsored links.
    3. Each clip displays the source from which it was received, how long ago the clip was published, and a link to access the entire story or page containing the clip.
    4. From your inbox, you can scroll through clips you've already seen by clicking the left arrow (<) or see new clips by clicking the right arrow (>).
    5. To customize Web Clips for Gmail, from the Settings > Web Clips tab, in the My Clips section, you can:
    1. Browse popular clips by selecting a topic link along the left. Search for feeds by entering topics that interest you
    2. Use this feature as you would Google Search. Or, enter specific feed URLs.
    3. Click Add next to the clips you'd like to see in Gmail.
    • To remove a clip, visit the Web Clips tab under Settings and click remove next to the clip
    • To disable clips entirely, uncheck the box next to Show my web clips above the Inbox.

    • The Labs Setting Tab

    1. Gmail Labs is a secret underground bunker, far below Google Headquarters, where caffeine-fueled programmers try out experimental new features for Gmail.
    2. You can try out these new Gmail features to see if you like them.
    3. The contents of Gmail Labs changes frequently, so visit often.

    1. Definition of Spam
    1. Spam is nothing more than unwanted e-mail. It is seldom if ever a threat to the safety of your system, but it is intrusive and time-wasting
    • Some things you can do to try to avoid getting spam
    1. Don’t give your e-mail address to anyone you don’t want to hear from again
    1. Use a false e-mail address when registering on web sites
    2. If you must give an e-mail address (e.g. to confirm a registration or order) use a temporary address such as those available from
    3. Don’t ever unsubscribe from spam. This merely serves the purpose of informing the spammer that your address is real
    • Use a spam filter
    1. Many ISPs provide spam-blocking services, but they are notorious for being too arbitrary (e.g. blocking requested information on breast cancer)
    2. Legislation has been proposed (and adopted in CA and UT) which uses a sort of "caller-ID" approach, requiring spammers to give their true addresses
    3. There are many software programs available for blocking spam at the level of the individual user
    1. Black-lists (create a list of addresses you don’t want to hear from and lets through addresses not on the list)
    2. b. White-lists ( create a list of addresses you do want to hear from and block all addresses not on the list)
    3. Challenge/Response (creates both a black-list and a white-list. When an e-mail from an address not on either list arrives, a "challenge" e-mail is returned to the sender. If he/he responds, the e-mail is passed through and the address is added to the white-list)
    4. Beyesian (uses a probability theory approach to analyze the address, subject and content of a message in order to classify it as good or not. Learns from experience)
    • Anti-Spam software
    1. Spam Inspector ( $29.95
    2. Spam Eater ( $24.95
    3. Qurb ( $29.95
    4. e-mailProtect ( $29.99
    5. e. Choice-mail One ( $39.95
    6. Spam Bully ( $29.95
    7. A unique approach is to view and sort out the spam before the e-mail even gets to your computer: Mailwasher ( $37.00
    • A Word about Identify Theft (Phishing)
    1. Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.
    2. The FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency, suggests the following to help you avoid getting hooked by a phishing scam
    1. If you get an e-mail or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply or click on the link in the message. Remember that AOL, eBay, your bank or credit card company and other web sites related to your money will NEVER send out requests for passwords, PINs, or other sensitive information via e-mail
    2. If you are concerned about your account, contact the organization in the e-mail using a telephone number you know to be genuine, or open a new Internet browser session and type in the company’s correct Web address.
    3. Don’t e-mail personal or financial information. e-mail is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
    4. If you initiate a transaction and want to provide your personal or financial information through an organization’s Web site, look for indicators that the site is secure, like a lock icon on the browser’s status bar or a URL for a website that begins "https:" (the "s" stands for "secure"). Unfortunately, no indicator is foolproof; some phishers have forged security icons.
    5. Review credit card and bank account statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges.
    6. If your statement is late by more than a couple of days, call your credit card company or bank to confirm your billing address and account balances.
    7. Report suspicious activity to the FTC. If you get spam that is phishing for information, forward it to
    8. If you believe you’ve been scammed, file your complaint at, and then visit the FTC’s Identity Theft Web site at to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from ID theft.

    1. Some rules found at and Steve Bass' blog
    1. Be concise and to the point
    2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions
    3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation
    4. Make it personal
    5. Use templates for frequently used responses
    6. Answer swiftly
    7. Do not attach unnecessary files
    8. Use proper structure & layout
    9. Do not write in CAPITALS
    10. Don't leave the message thread
    11. Add disclaimers to your emails
    12. Read the email before you send it
    13. Do not overuse Reply to All
    14. Group mailings > use the bcc: field
    15. Take care with abbreviations and emoticons
    16. Be careful with formatting
    17. Take care with rich text and HTML messages
    18. Do not forward chain letters
    19. Do not request delivery and read receipts
    20. Do not copy a message or attachment without permission
    21. Do not use email to discuss confidential information
    22. Use a meaningful subject
    23. Use active instead of passive
    24. Avoid using URGENT and IMPORTANT
    25. Avoid long sentences and paragraphs
    26. Don't send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks
    27. Don't forward virus hoaxes and chain letters
    28. Keep your language gender neutral
    29. Don't reply to spam
    30. Use cc: field sparingly
    31. Don 't use e-mail as an excuse to avoid personal contact
    32. Don 't use e-mail to avoid an uncomfortable situation or to cover up a mistake.
    33. Remember that your tone of voice can 't be heard in e-mail
    34. Use a signature that includes contact information
    35. Summarize long discussions
    36. In a reply, highlight or quote a relevant passage, then include your response.
    37. Use your real name - I know you love your e-mail address. The problem is I haven 't a clue who you are