Aug 25

Composing a message? Try the contact chooser

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Benjamin Grol, Product Manager

When composing messages, you probably rely pretty heavily on auto-complete to add recipients. Auto-complete is convenient and fast, and usually does the trick. But sometimes seeing your list of contacts can help you remember all the people you want to include on your email. So, we’ve added a contact chooser to Gmail. Click the “To:” link (or Cc:/Bcc:) when composing a message and you’ll see something like this:


You can click on the contacts you want to add or search for others.

If you use contact groups, your groups will appear in a drop-down menu in the contact chooser, so you can select contacts from the groups you’ve already created. And if you happen to use Gmail in Chinese, Japanese or Korean, being able to pick from your list of contacts should be particularly useful since auto-complete doesn’t offer the same search as you type experience that it does in other languages.

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Composing a message? Try the contact chooser

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/gmail-tips/composing-a-message-try-the-contact-chooser

Aug 21

Email a task list

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Michael Bolin, Software Engineer

Sometimes you need to get your tasks out of Tasks. Although you already know how I feel about paper, we decided to add support for printing with Tasks’s graduation from Gmail Labs. Today we’re offering another export solution which doesn’t kill trees: emailing a task list.

Like most Tasks features, “Email task list” can be found in the Actions menu.


Clicking on it will open a new compose window with the contents of your current task list. This works in all views (my order, sort by date, completed), so to email your mom to explain why you’ve been so busy and haven’t been able to return her calls, just choose “View completed tasks” from the Actions menu, then “Email task list” and send away. (Note: this may not be very convincing if you haven’t actually checked anything off your list recently.)

If you want to let us know how Tasks is working for you, we’re now available on Twitter at http://twitter.com/googletasks. Like most Google accounts on Twitter, we won’t be able to respond to every question or feature request, but sometimes you might get lucky and we’ll have an answer for you. Oh and @sayanghosh, today is your lucky day.

Originally posted here:
Email a task list

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Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/mail-and-contact-import-for-everyone

Aug 04

New in Labs: Hide labels, see subject lines on netbooks

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Christopher Semturs, Software Engineer

Some time ago I bought a netbook. It’s perfect in terms of portability, weight and space usage, but the natural drawback is the size of the screen. It’s so small that sometimes I find it hard to read the subjects of emails in my inbox. It looks something like this:


Now, there are some ways to work around this, like using Google Chrome’s full screen mode, but I wanted a way to do more. So I created a new Gmail Labs feature called “Remove Labels from Subjects” that automatically hides the labels from messages in your inbox, leaving plenty of space for the messages’ subjects.


To turn it on, just go to the Labs tab under Settings and look for the following icon:


Enjoy the new screen real estate and tell us what you think!

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New in Labs: Hide labels, see subject lines on netbooks

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Jul 30

Send mail from another address without “on behalf of”

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Emmanuel Pellereau, Software Engineer

Quite a few of you use Gmail’s custom “From:” to send messages with one of your other email addresses listed in place of your Gmail address. Since these messages are sent by Gmail’s servers but “from” a non-Gmail address, we have to include your original Gmail username in the “Sender” field of the message header to comply with mail delivery protocols and help prevent your mail from being marked as spam. Most email programs just display the “From” address and not the “Sender” field, but some (including versions of Microsoft Outlook) show these messages as coming “From username@gmail.com On Behalf Of customaddress@mydomain.com” which really annoyed people.

We heard your request for another option that wouldn’t show the “on behalf of” text loud and clear, and now there’s a new option that does just that. Instead of using Gmail’s servers to send the message, we’ll use the servers where your other email address lives. Since Gmail isn’t the originating domain, we don’t have to include “Sender” info in the header. No more “on behalf of.”

Here’s the difference. All custom “From:” addresses used to work like this:


Now, if your other email provider supports POP and/or IMAP access, you can choose to send your message like this instead:


To switch to this new method, go to the Accounts page under Settings, and click “edit info” from the “Send mail as” section. Then choose the option to “Use your other email provider’s SMTP servers.”

We recognize that your other address might not have a server that you can use to send outbound messages — for example, if you use a forwarding alias rather than an actual mailbox, or if your other email provider doesn’t support authenticated SMTP, or restricts access to specific IP ranges. For this reason, we’ve kept the original method as well. Check out our Help Center for further details on these two “send mail as” configuration options.

If you use Google Apps Premier or Education edition and would like to send mail as another address within your domain or within an aliased domain, no sweat. We do all the work behind the scenes so your original username won’t be listed in the “Sender” header, and your recipients won’t see “on behalf of.”

Read more here:
Send mail from another address without "on behalf of"

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Jul 23

Unsubscribing made easy

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Brad Taylor, Gmail Spam Czar

We believe you should only get the mail you want to get. Some of you already use the “Report Spam” button on all kinds of unwanted email, and for that we’re very thankful: the more spam you mark, the better our system gets at weeding out junk mail.

Unsubscribing from mailing lists and newsletters you subscribed to a while back but no longer want to receive should be just as easy. Searching through individual messages for little unsubscribe links is too big a pain —you should be able to unsubscribe with a single click.

So we just launched something that makes this all work better, both for Gmail users and big email senders. Now, when you report spam on a legitimate newsletter or mailing list, we’ll help you unsubscribe. After clicking report spam, you’ll see a little dialog like this:


Clicking “Unsubscribe” will automatically send a request back to the sender so they’ll stop emailing you.

This only works for some senders right now. We’re actively encouraging senders to support auto-unsubscribe — we think 100% should. We won’t provide the unsubscribe option on messages from spammers: we can’t trust that they’ll actually unsubscribe you, and they might even send you more spam. So you’ll only see the unsubscribe option for senders that we’re pretty sure are not spammers and will actually honor your unsubscribe request. We’re being pretty conservative about which senders to trust in the beginning; over time, we hope to offer the ability to unsubscribe from more email.

For those of you senders who are interested in this feature, the most basic requirements are including a standard “List-Unsubscribe” header in your email with a “mailto” URL and, of course, honoring requests from users wishing to unsubscribe. You’ll also need to follow good sending practices, which in a nutshell means not sending unwanted email (see our bulk sending guidelines for more information).

With an easy way to unsubscribe, everybody wins. Your spam folder is smaller, and senders don’t waste time sending you email that you no longer want.

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Unsubscribing made easy

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/unsubscribing-made-easy

Jul 22

Submit a video: “So much email, so little time”

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Sarah Price, Online Operations Strategist

Like many of us nowadays, I get a lot of email. So much email that going on vacation can be a little scary because I know I’ll have a mountain to wade through when I get back. A few messages I receive each day are time-sensitive or very important — but only a few. Lots of my mail can wait a few hours or a few days or even a few weeks, or in the case of that mailing list I’ve always meant to unsubscribe from, forever.

Thankfully, Gmail has a lot of features that keep me organized, from filters to archiving to keyboard shortcuts to Tasks, as well as a whole bunch of Labs features, like Superstars. I’ve developed my own system for dealing with all my incoming mail, but I’m always curious to hear about how other people manage their messages.

If you’re a Gmail expert and an organizational wizard, we want to see how you do it. So submit a short video at youtube.com/gmail to showcase your tips and tricks for managing your inbox. Submit a great one by August 15th, and your video could end up in our Help Center, our forum, or even on this very blog. And if you aren’t into making your own video, check out the videos that others have submitted and let us know what you like.

You can discuss these videos in the official thread in our new forum. The Gmail Help Forum isn’t just about “help” — it’s also a great place to connect with other Gmail users and share tips and tricks. We recently gave it a complete makeover, so if you haven’t been there in a while, check it out.

Original post: 
Submit a video: "So much email, so little time"

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/submit-a-video-so-much-email-so-little-time

Jul 20

Now displaying images in messages from your contacts

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by David de Kloet, Software Engineer

When an email references external images, Gmail usually doesn’t display them automatically. Instead we show placeholders and present you with the option to “Display images below” or “Always display images from” that sender.

We do this to help protect your privacy from spammers, who can use images and links to verify that your email address is real.

But often the messages you get with images are from friends or family and there’s no reason to worry about your privacy — you just want to see the photo of your newborn niece or the invitation design they’re sending you. So, in these cases, we’ve decided to start displaying images by default. Now, whenever someone you’ve emailed at least twice sends you a message containing images, you’ll see them right away. Note that we picked this threshold of two messages to start with, but we may tweak it if it doesn’t seem right going forward. And we only display images by default for authenticated messages (using SPF or DKIM). Gmail and other big mail providers usually authenticate their mail, but other services might not, so it’s possible you’ll get an email from one of your contacts where images aren’t displayed by default.

If you prefer to go back to the way things were, you can choose not to display images from certain senders or from anyone. To disable images from an individual sender, click “Don’t display from now on” under the “Show details” link of an email from them with images. To disable images from everybody, select “Ask before displaying external content” under “External content” on the general Settings tab.

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Now displaying images in messages from your contacts

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/now-displaying-images-in-messages-from-your-contacts

Jul 14

Tasks graduates from Gmail Labs

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by James Watts, Software Engineer

Our little baby’s all grown up.

We launched Gmail Labs as a forum for delivering useful (and maybe not so useful) features that might not be quite ready for prime time. The idea was always that the most popular and viable Labs features would graduate and be made more readily available to all users…and that some of the less used, less viable ones would disappear forever.

I’m proud to announce that Tasks is in that first bucket — it’s been one of the most popular experimental Gmail features and it’s now the first graduate from Labs.

To access Tasks, starting today you can just click “Tasks” under the “Contacts” link above your chat list (no need to turn it on from the Labs tab anymore).

We’ve been continually improving Tasks since it first launched in Labs. We believe simple and fast is best, so we’ve been working to make Tasks more responsive and get basic interactions working better: we’ve added mobile and gadget views, made improvements to task editing and management, launched in more languages, and integrated with Google Calendar. We’ve also added a printable view for those people compelled to do things away from their computers or mobile devices.

Rest assured there’s more on the way for Tasks— just because we’re graduation from Labs today doesn’t mean we’re done.

We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about Gmail Labs, and we’ve found that testing something in Labs can be a good way to help decide whether it should become a regular part of Gmail. So we decided to extend the same model to Google Calendar. Beginning today, you can add Labs features to your calendar too, such as Free or Busy, which lets you to see which of your friends or coworkers are currently in meetings or World Clock, which helps you keep track of different timezones when you schedule meetings. Take a look at the Google Apps blog for more info.

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Tasks graduates from Gmail Labs

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Jul 13

New in Labs: The super-trustworthy, anti-phishing key

The following is is a posting from the Official Gmail News Blog:

Posted by Brad Taylor, Gmail Spam Czar

We’re always looking for new ways to protect Gmail inboxes from spam and phishing. Last year, we started taking extra steps to protect you from fake eBay and PayPal emails, requiring that any email claiming to come from one of eBay’s or PayPal’s domains actually comes from them. We do that by looking at the “From” header, and when it says “ebay.com” for example, it means it really did come from ebay.com. Anything else is rejected; it won’t even appear in your spam folder because Gmail won’t accept it.

Now, unless you are a regular reader of this blog with a photographic memory, you may not be aware of this extra protection. So, we thought we’d add a little something to remind you. Turn on “Authentication icon for verified senders” from the Labs tab under Settings, and you’ll see a key icon next to verified emails that are super-trustworthy.

“Super-trustworthy” is a technical term I just invented that means: (1) the sender, usually a financial institution, is a target of phishers, (2) all of the sender’s email is authenticated with DKIM, and (3) Gmail rejects any fake messages that claim to come from this sender, but actually don’t.

It’s a bit of work for senders to make their email super-trustworthy, which is why this feature is limited to just eBay and PayPal right now. We hope to add more senders in the future, and when we do, you’ll know because you’ll see the super-trustworthy key icon magically appear by those senders too. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think.

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New in Labs: The super-trustworthy, anti-phishing key

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