Information

Contents

  1. 1 General
    1. 1.1 How much space do I have for my email messages? What if I run out of space?
    2. 1.2 How often does the list of messages in my inbox automatically refresh? 
    3. 1.3 Accessing Email without Internet - Offline Email Access
    4. 1.4 Composing Messages
    5. 1.5 Can I check the spelling for a language other than English or my default language? 
    6. 1.6 Can I forward all messages in a conversation (message thread) at once? 
    7. 1.7 Can I reply to or forward just a single message in a conversation? 
    8. 1.8 If I forward a message or conversation, can I edit any text it in before I send it? 
    9. 1.9 Can I delete messages in a conversation before I forward it?
    10. 1.10 Can I add an action flag, such as "Follow-up," that recipients see when I send them a message?
    11. 1.11 How do I create forms or surveys?
    12. 1.12 Is my email signature applied when I reply to or forward a message?
    13. 1.13 Can I undo or stop a message I just sent? 
  2. 2 File Attachments in Mail
    1. 2.1 Can I include file attachments in email messages? 
    2. 2.2 Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Gmail?
    3. 2.3 Can I drag and drop a file to attach it to a message? 
    4. 2.4 Is there a way to copy a file attachment from one message to another, without first downloading it to my computer? 
    5. 2.5 Can I attach a message or conversation to a new message?
  3. 3 Using Labels, Stars, and Filters
    1. 3.1 There are no folders in Google Mail. How do I organize my messages?
    2. 3.2 If I label a message and archive it, but later remove the label, what happens to the message?
    3. 3.3 Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?
    4. 3.4 Is there a limit to the number of labels I can create? 
    5. 3.5 How do I move a message from my Inbox to a label?
    6. 3.6 How do I add a color to a label? 
    7. 3.7 Can I change the label on one or more messages?
    8. 3.8 Can I create sublabels to recreate the folders and subfolders tree I set up in my previous email application? 
    9. 3.9 When setting up an email filter, can I apply more than one label for the action?
    10. 3.10 Can I delete a label from a single message or all messages that have that label?
    11. 3.11 If I set up a filter to add a label to specific incoming messages, but then later delete the label, is the filter also deleted?
    12. 3.12 What are stars and how do I use them?
  4. 4 Working With Your Messages
    1. 4.1 Can I stop messages from being grouped into conversations? 
    2. 4.2 Can I highlight messages in my Inbox? 
    3. 4.3 Can I mark a message as "unread" in my Inbox after I open it?
    4. 4.4 Can I sort messages in my Inbox to move unread messages to the top?
    5. 4.5 What does it mean to "mute" an email conversation?
    6. 4.6 Can I "unmute" a conversation?
    7. 4.7 Can I make the "quoted text" in a conversation visible by default?
  5. 5 Archiving and Deleting Messages
    1. 5.1 What is the difference between deleting and archiving email messages? When should I delete and when should I archive? 
    2. 5.2 How long do messages stay in my archive?
    3. 5.3 How long do messages stay in the Trash?
    4. 5.4 Can I move messages out of the Trash?
    5. 5.5 If I delete or archive a meeting invitation from my Inbox, is the meeting removed from my calendar?
    6. 5.6 If I archive or trash a message, and then someone replies to it later, will it show up in my Inbox?
    7. 5.7 Should I delete or archive message in the Sent folder?
  6. 6 Searching for Messages
    1. 6.1 I can't always find messages I search for. How does Search work?
    2. 6.2 Is there a way to search or select all messages without labels?
    3. 6.3 Where can I find information about performing advanced searches?
  7. 7 Handling Spam and Junk Mail
    1. 7.1 How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?
    2. 7.2 How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being labeled as spam?
  8. 8 Setting Up Gmail
    1. 8.1 Can I change the colors of my Mail window? 
    2. 8.2 What is the maximum number of characters I can use for my email signature?
    3. 8.3 Can I format my email signature and add graphics? 
    4. 8.4 Can I change the way Gmail displays the names of message recipients, so their last names appear instead of their first names?
    5. 8.5 Can I create my own mailing lists?
  9. 9 Managing Your Email
    1. 9.1 Where can I find detailed information about methods for managing my email? 
  10. 10 Migrating Email and Data
    1. 10.1 Will my Thunderbird Filters or Mac Mail Rules copy over to Gmail?
  11. 11 Email Features
    1. 11.1 Does Email have an Out of Office or On Vacation feature?
    2. 11.2 Can I delegate my email to be managed by another Southwestern member? 
    3. 11.3 I like using keyboard shortcuts. Are they available for Gmail?
    4. 11.4 Does Gmail have a "tasks" feature?
    5. 11.5 Can I open a message I'm composing or viewing in a separate window from my main Mail window?

General

How much space do I have for my email messages? What if I run out of space?

Your account has 25 GB of storage for email. You'll probably never run out of space. In fact, a heavy email user who sends and receives lots of file attachments and archives all messages might use up to 5% of this space a year (usually less), so it would take decades to use up all of the available space. Also note that Gmail restricts the size of attachments to 20 MB, so you don't have to worry about a few large files using up your storage space.

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How often does the list of messages in my inbox automatically refresh? 

If you're working in Gmail, the refresh rate is approximately every 30 to 60 seconds. If Gmail is idle - that is you are not in Gmail or in anther browser tab or activity - the refresh rate is approximately every 2 minutes.

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Accessing Email without Internet - Offline Email Access

Can I access my email messages offline? Yes, in Chrome you can set up Gmail for offline access to your most recent email messages. To enable this feature, go to Settings - the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your Mail window - click the Offline tab, and then click Install Offline Mail for this computer. You will redirected to the Google Web Chrome store and click Add to Chrome. Once the Offline app is installed and setup - this may take several seconds - the Add to Chrome changes to Launch App. Click Launch App to see the email that is now stored and accessible on your computer without an internet connection. Go to Settings - the gear icon at the upper-right area of the offline email window - to access the offline email settings. The appearance and actions of the offline interface is very similar to the Gmail mobile app.

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Composing Messages

Can Gmail automatically spell-check messages I write? Gmail doesn't include automatic spell-check but Chrome and other browsers spell-check content as it is entered - often the misspelled item is underlined with a red dashed line. Gmail can also check your spelling after it is entered by choosing Check Spelling from the options menu to the right of the trash can at the bottom right of the New Message area. Misspelled words are highlighted in yellow and click on a misspelled word to view spelling suggestions.

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Can I check the spelling for a language other than English or my default language? 

Gmail automatically checks spelling in the default language selected in your mail Settings. To check spelling in another language, choose Check Spelling from the options menu to the right of the trash can at the bottom right of the New Message areaClick the down arrow next to Recheck at the bottom right and select the language.

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Can I forward all messages in a conversation (message thread) at once? 

Yes. Open the conversation and choose Forward All from the More drop-down menu above your email.

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Can I reply to or forward just a single message in a conversation? 

Yes. To reply to or forward a single message in a conversation, open the conversation and select the message you want to reply to or forward. To the right of the message, choose Reply for Forward from the drop-down menu to the right of the curly arrow.

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If I forward a message or conversation, can I edit any text it in before I send it? 

Yes, you can add a new message to the conversation, and even edit the text in the previous messages in the conversation.

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Can I delete messages in a conversation before I forward it?

Yes, you can delete one or more messages in a conversation as follows:

  • Open the conversation and click the message you want to delete.
  • To the right of the message, choose Delete this message from the drop-down menu to the right of the curly arrow.
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Can I add an action flag, such as "Follow-up," that recipients see when I send them a message?

No, Gmail doesn't support sending flags in messages at this time. However you can add the Chrome extension, Boomerang for Gmail that will allow actions such as send the same email in two days if there has been no reply to your original email. Boomerang also provides other time frame options and actions.

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How do I create forms or surveys?

One of the document types in Google Drive is Form which allows you to create a form with different types of questions and the collected results are saved in a Google spreadsheet. Click Drive in the black bar at the top of your browser window. Click Create and choose Form from the listed types. Enter a name for your Form and choose a Theme - the theme can be changed later. The next steps are to add your questions and the final step is letting people know the form is ready for them to fill out. By default, the collected results are stored in a separate Google speadsheet with the same name as your form with (Responses) added to the end of the name. For details about using forms, see Google Forms.

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Is my email signature applied when I reply to or forward a message?

Yes, if you have provided a signature for your email. To setup your signature, in your Mail browser window, go to Settings and scroll about two thirds of the way down the options in General. Enter the signature you want in the Signature area - note that you can format the text, include links and so on. When you are finished composing your signature, click Save Changes at the bottom.

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Can I undo or stop a message I just sent? 

Yes! The Gmail lab Undo Send has been enabled on all Southwestern accounts. This allows you to choose to Undo sending the email within 10 seconds of clicking Send. You can extend this time to a maximum of 30 seconds in Settings -> General in the Send cancellation period.

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File Attachments in Mail

Can I include file attachments in email messages? 

Yes, you can attach one or more files to an email message.

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Is there a size or type limitation for file attachments in Gmail?

Yes. The maximum size of all attachments of a single email messate is 20MB. As you add attachments, the size of each is displayed. To help prevent malware and viruses, Gmail won't accept file attachments that could carry harmful content. These prevented types include applications, scripts and other related types. Information abut blocked file types may be found at Some file types are blocked.

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Can I drag and drop a file to attach it to a message? 

Yes - in Chrome, Firefox and Safari. You can also click on the paperclip icon at the bottom of the New Message box.

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Is there a way to copy a file attachment from one message to another, without first downloading it to my computer? 

Because Gmail is a cloud based service, you can not drag a file attachment from one message to another. However, you can do the following:

  • Open the message that contains the file attachment.
  • To the right of the message, select Forward from the drop-down menu to the right of the curly arrow.
  • Remove all the content from the message - note that the file attachment is listed at the bottom of the New Message box.
  • Enter the recipient(s) of your new message.
  • Choose Edit Subject from the list of options displayed from the right arrow to the left of To and change the subject line to match your new message.
  • Compose your message and click Send.
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Can I attach a message or conversation to a new message?

When a message is forwarded, the contents of the original message are contained in the New Message box. Add your message content to the message, change the Subject information, choose your recipient(s) and Send your message. Alternatively, you can copy the contents of an email and paste into a New Message.

To forward an entire conversation, choose one of the messages in the conversation, select Forward All from the More drop-down menu available above your email, enter in your message content, choose your recipient(s) and Send your message.

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Using Labels, Stars, and Filters

There are no folders in Google Mail. How do I organize my messages?

Instead of folders, Gmail uses "labels" to organize your email. Labels are similar in concept to folders, but are more powerful and flexible, because you can add multiple labels to a message to categorize it in several ways. For details, see Using Labels

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If I label a message and archive it, but later remove the label, what happens to the message?

The message remains in your All Mail archive, but without the label. You can easily find it again later using Google search.

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Can I apply more than one label to a single email message?

Yes, you can apply any number of labels to a message. To label a message, drag the label from the list on the left to the mail either in the list of messages or anywhere in the open message. When a message is open, you can choose the label or labels from the drop down label menu above the message. You can also remove a label from a message by clicking on the X next to the label at the top of the message.

Note that labels apply to conversation threads. When you add or remove a label while in a message in a conversation thread, the label change applies to the conversation thread.

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Is there a limit to the number of labels I can create? 

The current limit is around 1800 or so but once you get to between 100 to 200 you may notice your gmail is slower.

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How do I move a message from my Inbox to a label?

Inbox is a special or system label and it can be removed or added to a message like the other labels. To quickly remove the Inbox label, Archive the message. You can also remove the Inbox label by clicking on the X next to Inbox at the top of an open message.

If the message does not have any labels other than Inbox and you Archive the message or remove the Inbox label, the message can be found in All Mail.

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How do I add a color to a label? 

Place your cursor over the label on the left and click the down arrow that appears to the right of the label. Choose a color from the list or choose Add custom color to create your own color scheme.

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Can I change the label on one or more messages?

Yes. To change a label on a single message, select the message, and in the Labels drop-down menu at the top your Mail window, check and/or uncheck the labels you want applied and/or removed and click Apply.

To change a label on all messages that have the same label, click the label in your Labels list at the left of the Mail window. At the top of the list that appears, click Select all. In the Labels drop down menu, uncheck the label you want to remove and select the new label or labels you want to apply and click Apply.

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Can I create sublabels to recreate the folders and subfolders tree I set up in my previous email application? 

Yes. Place your cursor over the label on the left and click the down arrow that appears to the right of the label. Choose Add sublabel from the list and name your sublabel. A triangle will appear to the left of the "parent" label of the new label. Clicking the triangle will display your new label. Clicking on the triangle toggles between display and collapse of sublabels. You can create sublabels below sublabels.

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When setting up an email filter, can I apply more than one label for the action?

You can apply only one label per email filter. However, if you want to add multiple labels to a filtered message, you can do the following: Create multiple filters with the same criteria, except specify a different label for each filter. If you receive a message that meets the criteria for the filters, Gmail will apply the multiple labels to that message.

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Can I delete a label from a single message or all messages that have that label?

Yes. To delete a label on a single message, select the message, and in the Labels drop-down menu at the top your Mail window, uncheck the label(s) removed and click Apply.

When viewing a message, you can click on the X next to any label at the top of the message to remove the label.

To change a label on all messages that have the same label, click the label in your Labels list at the left of the Mail window. At the top of the list that appears, click Select all. In the Labels drop down menu, uncheck the label you want to remove and click Apply.

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If I set up a filter to add a label to specific incoming messages, but then later delete the label, is the filter also deleted?

No, even if applying the label was the only action for the filter, your filter is not deleted. You can edit the filter to specify a different label or another action. 

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What are stars and how do I use them?

Stars are another way to mark or highlight messages. You can assign stars to special conversations or messages in your Inbox, or use them as a visual reminder that you need to follow up on a message or conversation later. To quickly see all messages with a star, click Starred at the left of your Mail window.

You can choose the number and order of stars available to use by going to Settings and changing the Stars settings in the General area. 

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Working With Your Messages

Can I stop messages from being grouped into conversations? 

Yes, you can control whether messages are grouped into conversations: Click Settings in the upper-right corner of your Mail window and in the General area, scroll down to Conversation View.

If you want to send a reply to a message in a conversation but don't want your reply to be added to the conversation, just change the subject line in your reply.

If Conversation view off is selected, all messages will NOT be grouped into conversations and any existing conversations are ungrouped into separate messages.

If Conversation view on is selected, all the messages will be grouped into conversations based on their subjects. 

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Can I highlight messages in my Inbox? 

Yes, you can use labels and stars to highlight messages in your Inbox. For example, you might create a label named "Action" and apply the color red to it, so you can easily see it in your Inbox.

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Can I mark a message as "unread" in my Inbox after I open it?

Yes, in your Inbox, select the message, choose Mark as unread in the More drop down menu at the top of the Mail window.

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Can I sort messages in my Inbox to move unread messages to the top?

Yes, you can do this by changing the style of your Inbox view. In Settings select the Inbox tab. Choose Unread first from the Inbox type items. The Options that appear next to 1. Unread and 2. Everything else allow you to specify the number of messages to show and other features.

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What does it mean to "mute" an email conversation?

If you' prefer not to receive anymore messages in a conversation, you can "mute" the conversation to keep all future emails of that conversation out of your Inbox. To mute a conversation, select it in your Inbox or open it, and select Mute in the More drop down menu at the top of your Mail window.

Note: The mute feature works only for messages you receive as part of a conversation. If the message was sent directly to your email address (your address appears in the To or CC field), the mute feature will not apply to that message. For more information, see Muting or ignoring conversations.

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Can I "unmute" a conversation?

Yes. First, find the conversation. A quick way to find muted conversations is to enter is:muted in the Search area. Select the conversation and choose Unmute from the More drop down menu at the top. If the message did not have a label, you can find the message in All Mail. If the message had a label, you will also find the message in the corresponding label name on the left.

A muted message has a Muted label which can be removed by clicking on the X next to the Muted label at the top of the message or conversation.

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Can I make the "quoted text" in a conversation visible by default?

No, quoted text is always hidden by default. Click on the 3 horizontal dots near the end of the first part of the message to see the quoted content. The purpose of hiding the quoted text by default is when viewing a conversation what is visible by default is each sender's content in each email in the conversation,

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Archiving and Deleting Messages

What is the difference between deleting and archiving email messages? When should I delete and when should I archive? 

If you either delete or archive a message, it is removed from your inbox. If you delete a message, it's placed in the Trash and then will be permanently removed from your email after 30 days. On the other hand, if you archive a message, it's moved to All Mail (your archive), where you can easily find it in the future, using Googles search.

It is highly recommended that in the first few months of learning to use Google email you Archive rather than delete messages. For example, deleting a Sent Mail message that is part of a conversation deletes the entire conversation - something which you may not want to actually do. You will receive a warning prompt when attempting to delete a Sent Mail message that is part of a conversation which you an choose to either Cancel or OK the action.

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How long do messages stay in my archive?

Forever unless you choose to delete them.

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How long do messages stay in the Trash?

Messages remain in the Trash for 30 days. After that, Google permanently deletes them.

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Can I move messages out of the Trash?

Yes! Find and select your message or messages in the Trash label. Choose Inbox from the Move to: drop down menu at the top of the Mail window.

You can also open the message in the Trash and remove the Trash label at the top of the message. The message will appear in any other labels that are already on the message or in All Mail if there are no labels.

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If I delete or archive a meeting invitation from my Inbox, is the meeting removed from my calendar?

No. Deleting or archiving a meeting invitation does not affect the invitation on your calendar.

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If I archive or trash a message, and then someone replies to it later, will it show up in my Inbox?

Yes, if someone replies to a message you archived or trashed, that message appears in your Inbox as a conversation, with all previous content. If you applied a label to the archived message, the label will appear on the message. If you choose to permanently delete the message from your Trash, you'll see an option at the bottom of the message to view the deleted messages in the conversation. However, the message will not have any of your original labels you applied to it.

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Should I delete or archive message in the Sent folder?

There's really no need to delete or archive messages in the Sent label because you have 25 GB of storage space and you can keep messages in Sent to refer to them later. Also, note that messages in Sent are also found in All Mail, so you can "remove" messages from Sent by removing the Sent label.

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Searching for Messages

I can't always find messages I search for. How does Search work?

To search for messages, type a word that the messages contain. For example, searching with benef will find messages with benef and benefit and benefits. Searching with benefits will find messages with benefits and not those with benefit or benef.

Gmail doesn't recognize special search characters like square brackets, parentheses, currency symbols, the ampersand, the pound sign, and asterisks. Gmail will also search within attachments where possible, so your search may return items without the search terms in the message text.

By default, Search doesn't search in your Trash or Spam labels. To include those labels in your search, click the drop down menu in the right area of Search and choose Mail & Spam & Trash from the Search drop down options.

You can find more information about using Search at About Gmail Search and the advanced Search features at Advanced Search.

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Is there a way to search or select all messages without labels?

No, you can't search specifically for all messages that don't have a label.

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Where can I find information about performing advanced searches?

A list of the advanced search operators is available at Advanced Search.

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Handling Spam and Junk Mail

How long do messages remain in my Spam folder?

Messages remain in the Spam folder for 30 days. After that, Gmail permanently deletes them.

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How do I prevent messages from specific senders from being labeled as spam?

Gmail will "learn" over time what email sent to you is Spam and which is not. There are many criteria used to determine this of which one the addresses of the emails you send are not labeled as Spam.

In the first few weeks of using Gmail at Southwestern, your Google email account has to learn what is and what is not Spam. Some of your mail that is not Spam will be labeled as Spam and to "teach" Google that those emails are not Spam, do the following:

  • Check your Spam label often during the day
  • Select or open the messages that are NOT spam and click Not Spam at the top.

Also, label spam messages in your Inbox as spam so your Google mail will "learn" about those too. 

  • Select or open the messages that ARE spam in your Inbox and click the exclamation in a circle at the top. 

To make sure that any messages you receive from a specific person are not labeled as Spam, create an email filter using the Never send it to Spam option:

  • In Settings go to Filters and choose Create a new filter.
  • Enter the person's address in the From field, and click Create filter with this search.
  • Select Never send it to spam and click Create Filter.

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Setting Up Gmail

Can I change the colors of my Mail window? 

Yes, you can choose from a number of different color schemes, or even create your own! To change the colors, click Settings in the upper-right corner of your Mail window and choose Themes.

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What is the maximum number of characters I can use for my email signature?

Your signature can contain up to 10,000 characters and that number includes those used to format the signature such as bold, italics and so on. For more information about Gmail signatures, exploreSignatures.

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Can I format my email signature and add graphics? 

Yes. You can format your signature with different colors and styles, and even add links and images. For more information about Gmail signatures, explore: Signatures.

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Can I change the way Gmail displays the names of message recipients, so their last names appear instead of their first names?

No, the display of names Gmail is an option that Southwestern's Google Apps for Education administrators set for all of Southwestern. If the "first name, last name" option is set, Gmail displays only the first names of message recipients in your Inbox and at the top of the message body. However, when viewing a message, you can select Show Details to see the full names of all recipients.

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Can I create my own mailing lists?

Yes, you an create your own Contacts Groups and information about those are found at: Creating contact groups

For email groups that can be used by others on campus, you'll want to work with a Google Group. To explore the features of Google Groups, explore: Getting Started with Google Groups.

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Managing Your Email

Where can I find detailed information about methods for managing my email

Information about managing your email may be found at: Organizing Your Email

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Migrating Email and Data

Will my Thunderbird Filters or Mac Mail Rules copy over to Gmail?

No, you'll need to recreate your filters and rules using the Filters feature in Gmail. Filters let you to manage the flow of incoming messages using keywords, sender, recipients, and more. Using filters, you can automatically label, archive, delete, star, or forward your mail, and even keep it out of your Spam folder. For details, refer to Using Filters.

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Email Features

Does Email have an Out of Office or On Vacation feature?

Yes, in Gmail you can set up a "vacation responder." In the General area of Settings is the Vacation responder area. You can specify the starting date and ending data (or leave the end date open) and the message. Note that your last "away message" is saved and you can setup your "away" message at any time before the start date.

The Gmail mobile app includes the option to set your "vacation responder" with the same options as you see on your desktop/laptop.

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Can I delegate my email to be managed by another Southwestern member? 

Yes, email can be delegated to another Southwestern person which gives them access to your email. How to setup email delegation may be found at: Set up mail delegation

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I like using keyboard shortcuts. Are they available for Gmail?

Yes, Gmail includes a full set of keyboard shortcuts and they are turned off by default. To enable keyboard shortcuts:

  • Go to Settings
  • In the Keyboard shortcuts area, select Keyboard shortcuts on.
  • Choose Save Settings at the bottom.

To see the available shortcuts, press and hold SHIFT and tap the ? key. More information about keyboard shortcuts may be found at: Keyboard shortcuts

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Does Gmail have a "tasks" feature?

Yes. While in your email, choose Tasks from the Mail heading at the upper left below the SU + Google logo. A Tasks box appears at the lower right of your browser window. To add a Task, click the + and enter in the name of the task. Click on the arrow to the right of the task name to access the additional task options.

Tasks appear as a separate calendar in your Google calendar. While viewing your calendar, a Tasks entry appears on the left with your other calendar or calendars. Your Tasks list is displayed to the right of your calendar and Tasks that have a due date appear on the Tasks calendar.

More information about Tasks in Gmail may be found at: Google Tasks in Gmail and information about Tasks in Calendar may be found at: Use Google Tasks in Calendar

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Can I open a message I'm composing or viewing in a separate window from my main Mail window?

Yes. While viewing a message, click the In new window image/icon in the upper-right corner of the message or message conversation. The In new window image/icon is a right upward pointing arrow in a box.

While composing a message, click the Pop-out image/icon in the upper-right corner of the message. The Pop-out image/icon is a right upward pointing arrow.

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