Advanced Topics in Gmail

Some mail users are power users and require more than the native default Gmail interface offers. Fortunately Gmail is highly configurable, and both Firefox and Google Chrome offer extensions that add even more features. Some advanced topics are covered below...

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu

Canned responses

Canned messages are message templates that can be used to generate replies quickly. Examples of canned messages might be sending a thank you to people who offer feedback; providing directions to your facility; explaining a policy that people frequently inquire about.

To set up canned messages:

  1. Go to the Gear icon gear.jpg, select Settings, and go to the Labs section.
  2. Enable the Canned Message feature.

To use a canned message:

  1. Start a new mail message by clicking on the Compose button.
  2. Create your message as usual (the sender and attachments are not saved as part of the message).
  3. Click on Canned responses.
  4. Click on New Canned response and enter a name.
  5. Next time you need to send a canned message this canned message will appear as an option under Canned messages.

Note:

  • You can incorporate a canned message into a filter. For example, if you want all messages submitted to feedback_LTS@lehigh.edu to receive an automatic thank you, create a filter for that email sender, and specify the canned response to send back to them automatically.
  • If you want to make part of the canned message an attachment, unfortunately Gmail does not presently support that specific feature. You can, however, upload the attachments into Google Drive, make them available for viewing (for those with the direct link), and paste the URLs into the canned message.

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu

Gmail Calendar integration

There are several nice features that integrate Google Calendar and Gmail.

  • There is also a Create Event link in the More... dropdown menu when you view your email.
  • When you create an email group or nickname in your Gmail Contacts, you can use this group when inviting people to an event in Google Calendar.
  • In Gmail Labs you can increase the visibility of your Calendar events with two Lab features: Gentle Reminders and the Calendar Gadget.

Add a meeting to Google Calendar from Gmail
It is possible to add an email event or meeting invitation directly to your Google Calendar. If the body of your email message contains an identifiable date and time, Gmail will display it with a gray underline.

  1. If a date or time is underlined in a message, click the underlined text to add an event to your calendar and preview your schedule. See the illustration below.
  2. Update the title, date, or time, if needed, and click Add to Calendar.
  3. Once added, you can click the event title to see the event in Google Calendar.

addtocal.png

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu

Gmail desktop notifications

There are several ways to be notified of new mail:

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu

Mail merge

While there is no mail merge function native to Gmail, it is possible to perform a mail merge using third party scripts and Google Drive’s spreadsheets. Lehigh has purchased a campus-wide license for a third party tool, Digital Inspirations Mail Merge for Gmail. An important caveat is that this third party script is not Lehigh-sponsored or controlled -- we have found that although the tool is stable and in use around campus, vendor support is limited. You can access the campus license for Digital Inspirations Mail Merge at software.lehigh.edu

  • To use this tool you must allow the script access to portions of your Gmail account. 
  • For business-critical processes there are better enterprise tools in most cases. Contact the LTS Help Desk for assistance. 
  • ALWAYS test your mail merge before you send mail out to a large email list.

LTS offers this tool on a pilot basis and we provide "best effort" support. A number of departments are using it successfully, but  isolated problems have occurred. The vendor support is minimal.

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu

Managing multiple accounts

If you need to manage multiple Gmail accounts, there are several ways to do it.

The simplest method is to log into each account in a different browser -- for example, you can log into your consumer Gmail in Google Chrome and your Lehigh Gmail in Firefox.

It is also possible to log into multiple accounts from one browser.

  1. Click on the account icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Select Add account.
  3. Log in with your username and credentials.
  4. You can toggle from one account to the other within the same browser.

mult.jpg

In the example above, sek2@lehigh.edu is the primary account. The consumer Gmail account sek4278@gmail.com is a second login, while the LTS account is a delegated account as the indicated by the (delegated) text. Delegated accounts appear automatically when you log into your primary account.

For more information view the Gmail Help page on multiple accounts.

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu

Archiving

Archiving Mail (this text is from the Gmail help page)
Archiving lets you tidy up your inbox by moving messages out of your inbox while retaining other labels you may have added, so you don't have to delete anything. It's like moving something into a filing cabinet for safekeeping, rather than putting it in the trash can. Any message you've archived can be found by clicking on "All Mail" on the left side of your Gmail page. You can also find a message you've archived by clicking on any other labels you've applied to it, or by searching for it.

Note: When someone responds to a message you've archived, the conversation containing that message will reappear in your inbox.

To archive messages:

  1. In your inbox, select the message by checking the box next to the sender's name.
  2. Click the Archive button archive.png in the toolbar above your message list.
  3. If you have a message open, you can also archive it by clicking the Archive button above the message.

To move an archived message back to your inbox, follow these steps:

  1. Click All Mail. (If you don't see All Mail along the left side of your Gmail page, click the More drop-down menu at the bottom of your labels list.)
  2. Check the box next to the sender's name.
  3. Click the Move to Inbox button.

If you'd like an option to automatically archive messages after you've sent replies:

  1. Click the gear icon gear.jpg and choose Settings.
  2. Locate the Send and Archive setting and choose the option you prefer.
  3. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Once you enable the setting, you'll see a new button at the bottom of the page when you reply to messages. When you're done writing, click Send & Archive to send the reply and archive the previous message in one step, or click Send to send your reply but leave the original message in your inbox.
archive.pngarchive.png

For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or helpdesk@lehigh.edu