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Posts tagged with: gmail

Gmail Rich Text Signature

Adding a Rich Text / HTML Signature in Gmail was not natively possible before. So people had to download browser plugins or use different Greasemonkey scripts to make those ‘shiny’ signatures to work.

But thanks god that Google has finally listened to their users and started supporting Rich Text Signatures out of the box in Gmail. Simply go to your Gmail Settings page and the option will be right there for you. You can now customize your signature by adding pretty formatting, links, and images — or decide to leave things nice and simple.

gmail rich text signatures

The feature has also been added to all Google Apps users, so if your company has been using text based signature all this while – It is time for you to move to a more creative version of email signature!

Gmail now also supports a unique signatures for each email address that you have associated with your account. So you can use a different signature for each of the accounts that you use to send out emails from. On the Gmail Settings page, you can edit the signature for each account by changing the email address that appears in the dropdown menu.

[Source: Official Gmail Blog]


Gmail Nested Labels and Sneak Peek

A few users have always been annoyed with Gmail’s single pane interface as they need to open emails individually in order to view them. Some considered it inefficient & a waste of time. These users will definitely benefit from Gmail’s new move – Gmail Sneak Peak – which shows the users a preview of the emails that they have selected; these users will NOT need to open the emails in order to view them. This is similar to Mac OS X which shows a preview every time the spacebar is hit.

However, users will need to activate Gmail Sneak Peak in Labs before they can use its features. Then, in order to see the preview, they must right click the email or press “h”. The preview will not be comprised of the entire email; however, it will be sufficiently detailed to make the user decide whether the email needs to be opened or not. The user also needs to press “j” and “k” – instead of “y” – to move from one preview to another. If the user presses “y”, he or she can still scroll through the emails; however, the Sneak Peek pane will get closed.

gmail-labs-new

gmail-nasted-labelsAt the same time, Google has started Nested Labels – a feature that makes it possible for users to arrange their labels in an order. Then the user will have to use slashes (/) to organize the messages. For instance, if the user forms a label “Home” and wants to include “Family” and “Vacation” within it, then he or she needs to create a total of three labels using slashes: “Home”, “Home/Family” and “Home/Vacation”. The user may also include other labels then, such as “Home/Family/Kids”. In this way, a total of three labels – “Home/Family”, “Home/Vacation” and “Home/Family/Kids” – will be put under the main label “Home”.

How to Activate Gmail Nested Labels & Sneak peek?

Both these features are still a Gmail Lab’s feature and hasn’t graduated yet to be rolled into the final product. Thus you will need to manually activate these two features individually from your Gmail Labs page. To do so simply follow the instruction below:

Step 1: Login to your Gmail account

Step 2: Click on “Settings” on the top right hand corner.

Step 3: Click on the “Labs” Tab on the settings page.

Step 4: Look for the features that you want to enable and click on “Save Changes” at the bottom. That’s it! You are done.



Google Finally ditched the “BETA” Label

gmail out of beta

Whenever Google comes out with a product, you will notice that it is always in “BETA”. For many years Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and many other awesome google products has been under Beta.

Google’s VP of Search, Marissa Myers was once asked, about Google’s common practice of keeping everything in Beta. In her reply she mentioned that when it comes to software ‘beta’ basically refers to something that is incomplete or in other words ‘buggy’. But Google looks at the whole thing very differently; As the life cycle of the web services that Google comes up with is always evolving so they never consider it as the final product. At that time, I was wondering why don’t they put Google search under beta? It’s also always changing & improving every day!

Anyway it seems like Google has now finally decided to take off the Beta label from Gmail, along with 4 other major google products including – Google Docs, Calender & Gtalk.

Gmail has been in Beta for over 5 years, so why go out of Beta now? Matthew Glotzbach, director of product management for Google Enterprise, said on reply that the beta tag “just doesn’t fit for large enterprises that aren’t keen to run their business on software that sounds like it’s still in the trial phase. Google basically sells a bundle of its applications, including Gmail, Calendar and Docs, to businesses via Google Apps. Businesses don’t like the idea of buying something that is not ‘complete’ (or in Beta).

So basically by lifting of the beta label, Google’s paying customers will be happy. But if you are a regular users who wants to see Gmail in beta forever, You can simply go to “Labs” under “Settings” and choose the “Back to Beta” option, which restores the little “beta” label to the logo. Funny isn’t it?


Send SMS from Gmail

Send SMS From Gmail Right after Gmail launched their Task Manager, they have released yet another cool feature in Gmail LabsSMS from Gmail Chat!

This brand new Gmail Labs feature Labs lets you send Text SMS right from Gmail Inbox. It combines the best parts of IM and texting: you chat from the comfort of your computer, and your friends can peck out the replies on their little mobile keyboards.

How to Send SMS from Gmail

First Log in to your Gmail Account, click on Settings, and go to the Labs tab. Scroll down until you see “Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat” and select Enable and Save Changes.

To send an SMS, You can simply type a US-phone number or into the search box in the chat window on the left, then select “Send SMS.” You can also select the contact you want to SMS first and then add their phone number.

Send SMS from Gmail

Once you give us a name for that phone number, you’ll be able to start chatting.

More Details are here and here.


Gmail Task Manager

Gmail Logo - Gmail Task ManagerGmail has recently added a cool new feature that will allow you to sort of keep a to-do list inside your Inbox. Currently the feature is available as part of Gmail Labs and Google OS Blog predicts that this will be the most popular experimental feature.

How to Enable Gmail Tasks

Simply login to your Gmail account and head over to Gmail Labs (Settings > Labs ) and there you will be see something like the following –

So simply click on “Enable” and Save your settings and then you are done! Your Inbox will reload and you should be able to see the following link –

How to Use Gmail Tasks

Click on the “Tasks” link and it will load your Gmail Task inside your Inbox.

Now you can start adding your tasks easily by clicking anywhere on the white space inside the task panel. You can also add emails to your to-do list by simply selecting an email and clicking on “Add to Task” from the More Action Menu. Illustration provided below:

Add your Email in Gmail Task

Google Operating System blog shared some useful shortcuts of Gmail Tasks:

  • Open the tasks box by typing g then k if you have keyboard shortcuts enabled.
  • Create a task from an email by pressing Shift+T if you have keyboard shortcuts enabled.
  • Navigate between tasks using the arrows.
  • Delete a task by deleting the text and hitting backspace.
  • Organize your tasks by indenting them — just hit Tab to indent and Shift+Tab to un-indent.
  • Ctrl+Up moves a task up the list and Ctrl+Down move it down.
  • Hit Shift+Enter when in a task to show its details

Read Write Web has done a nice video of Gmail Task in action. So you can have a look at its feature before trying it out yourself. Eric @ Techcrunch also did a write up on Gmail Tasks earlier.

My Two Cents

Certainly this is an awesome inclusion by the Gmail Team. But I’m very disappointed that this Gmail Task can’t stay fixed in my sidebar. I need click on the task link every time I need to open it. Before Gmail Tasks was available I used to be a huge fan of Remember the Milk for Gmail. I think I’ll still continue to use them as it still has a lot more features that Gmail Tasks doesn’t provide yet. But adding emails to to-do-list is something that is new and worth trying out!


Gmail Desktop Gadget – Gmail in your Desktop

Official Gmail blog just announced that they have released a gadget that will enable you to access Gmail in your desktop!

Gmail Desktop

I know many of you (including myself) was actually waiting for this feature to come along and its finally here!

How to Get Gmail Desktop

Step 1: First you will need to get Google Desktop

Step 2: Head over here, and download + Install the Gmail Desktop gadget. (Screen shot below)

Step 3: Done!

Gmail Blog Writes:

…… it covers the basics such as reading, searching, and sending messages. You can star messages, use the same keyboard shortcuts, and we didn’t forget about contact auto-complete. It doesn’t take up much space in your sidebar or desktop, and you can also resize it to show as few or as many messages as you’d like.

With Gmail Desktop gadget you can keep more than once instance of your Gmail open at the sme time. So if you have two gmail address (for personal & work), now you can stay logged into both simultaneously.

Tip: You can bring up the gadgets in instantly by pressing the shift key twice!

So Try out Gmail Desktop Gadget now!


Official Gmail Theme Launches

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch just reported that some lucky users were able to see a new button under their Gmail Settings Tab – Themes!

Yes thats right! It looks like Gmail Team is finally coming up with their own set of themes that Gmail users will be able to click-n-change! I guess most of the Gmail users will find this new addition very useful as users were kind of sick and tired of seeing the same ‘plain-boring-simple’ interface over and over again. My Gmail window is open almost 24/7 (as long as my laptop is turned on…), so you imagine how excited I am to hear about this cool new feature of Gmail!

Right now, I still don’t see the feature under my account. But I believe Google is rolling out this feature slowly to all of its users.

Update: Ok the news becomes official as Gmail Engineer, Annie Chen breaks the news today in the Gmail Blog that over 30 odd themes has been launched today for Gmail. I have looked through their theme database and I must say that their collection is substantia. There’s a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your inbox into a retro notepad, nature themes that change scenery over time, weather driven themes that can even rain on your inbox, and fun characters to keep you always in good company.

How to Activate Gmail Theme

In order to activate these cool Gmail Themes and fully customize your Gmail Inbox, Log on to your Gmail account and then go to the Themes tab under Settings. Google be rolling out these themes to everyone over the next couple of days, so if you don’t see them yet, check back soon!!


Google Introduces Video Chat in Gmail

Gmail Video ChatToday it was reported by cnet that Google is rolling out Video Chat feature in Google’s web mail service – Gmail. Rafe Needleman of cnet called it a “bare-bones voice and video-conferencing service” which is extremely simple to install and use but has very limited functionality.

google-video-chat-screenGmail Video and Voice, as it’s called, can’t connect to the plain phone network, as Skype’s paid service can. And there are plenty of other optional features missing, like a voice call recorder.

Rafe had the privilege to test it out first and he have found the voice and video quality on the service excellent. Gmail’s Video quality is supposed to be more consistent than Skype because it doesn’t run on a point-to-point architecture like Skype, instead all the Gmail Video traffic all runs through Google’s private servers.

Unlike many current video chat products, Gmail Video and Voice uses their own proprietary plug-in and not Adobe’s Flash Player. The small (2MB) download supports Firefox, IE, and Chrome on the PC, and Firefox on the Mac. Linux & mobile browser support will be included later, source said.

How to Start Video Chat in Gmail

Gmail Video and Voice will be publicly available to all Gmail users starting Tuesday at noon PST. Global rollout should be complete by the end of the day. If you would like to check whether you have this functionality, simply open up a chat window with someone and if your account is video-enabled, at the lower left of the chat window, there will be an interface element labeled “Video & more.” Clicking on that will directly walk you through the installation of the plug-in that is required. If you want to make a video call to someone who hasn’t yet installed the plug-in, you’ll be able to invite them to do so.

Sadly even though the existing Desktop chat client – Google Talk has voice support it may only get the video capability later.

Update:

Watch the following video that introduces Google Video & Chat Program:

My Two Cents

I’m really excited to try out this new video feature of Gmail. But I’d much prefer to have that feature in my Google Talk instead of Gmail. What do you say? Share in comments!


Gmail Gadgets: Google Calender and Docs

Gmail Gadgets - Google Calender and Docs

Google has recently added some useful sidebar options (a.k.a Google Gadgets) inside Gmail. Now you can add some of these useful gadgets on the side that show your appointments directly from Google Calendar and also your last five edited/added documents in Google Docs.

In the calender gadget you can view all your subscribed gadgets and also add events directly from your Gmail. Similarly you can use the Google Docs gadget to view your recent documents directly from your Inbox. You can customize your view options such as – only spreadsheets, only presentations, or only documents previously opened by you.

Gmail Labs is also planning to release an option that will let the user to cut and paste the URL of any Google gadget and turns that gadget into a sidebar item in Gmail.

However the feature isn’t very user friendly right now; it’s basically a sandbox mainly aimed at developers who want to play around with gadgets in Gmail. So I don’t really think its a good idea to install it right now.

How to Activate the Gmail Gadgets

Step 1- Log on to Gmail.com

Step 2- Click on Settings

Step 3- Move over to the Labs Tab

Step 4- Scroll down and you should see the gadgets. (Screen shoot provided below)

Step 5- Click on Enable & Save!

Gmail Gadgets


Gmail Emoticons

Just now I was emailing a friend and I noticed a smiley face in the formatting menu of Gmail.

gmail emoticons

So Finally Gmail has Emoticon Images! If you notice carefully you’ll find two different types of icons (static round ones and square animations), with symbols ranging from laughter to sadness to a cake or a broken heart. But the Emoticons are a bit small in size in my opinion.

But nice work Google! :)


gAttach Gmail Application for Windows

If you are heavy desktop email client user (e.g. Outlook or Thunderbird), you must love the convince of the built email function in many windows applications like Microsoft Word, Windows Explorer, etc to attach files with ease. Sadly this functions doesn’t work for web-based email clients like Gmail. (Which I use as my Primary Email Client). Even though you make Gmail as your default email client inside your browser (e.g. Firefox), your Windows desktop applications still considers your desktop email clients (e.g. Outlook) as the default.

But recently I stumbled upon this cool Windows Application for Gmail called – gAttach which solves this problem!

What is gAttach?

gAttach is a tiny Windows application that lets you email using Gmail with or without attachments from almost any Windows application. Below are a list of gAttach features:

  • gAttach Handles email – mailto links from all browsers and not just Firefox
  • gAttach can send email from any Windows application via Gmail
  • It works like a charm with Google Apps
  • It uses HTTPS for added security
  • gAttach can remember your Gmail username/password for convenience or you can just login yourself anytime
  • Choose to launch Gmail after creating a draft message
  • Availablity of both basic HTML version and Rich Text version
  • Option Load Gmail when you click on an email link
  • You can setup proxy server details inside gAttach
  • Absolutely Free for personal use

Once you have installed gAttach, you can simply use the Send to ‘Mail recipient’ function in your Windows Explorer right-click menu to attach files. Just keep in mind that Gmail current only allows 20MB of attachment.

Let me know if you run into any problem with gAttach via the comments.