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How do I send Gmail email?

Send a Gmail message

This is a beginner’s article in which I provide detailed instructions on how to send Gmail email – composing and sending a message from your account. Firstly, if you don’t have a Gmail account, please refer how to create a Gmail address.

At the time of writing, Google provides more than 7GB of Gmail storage space with loads of splendid features. You can get to know of them gradually because the most important thing to know is how to send emails from your account. And that is a fairly simple process. If you have been a Yahoo! or Hotmail user, the Gmail interface may seem different and a little busy. Rest assured, it’s actually quite intuitive.

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By the way, we’ve used the standard (new) version to send the Gmail email. If you find the screenshots and images different from your layout, you are probably using the older version. You can switch across the two Gmail versions with a single mouse click.

Compose a new email message in Gmail

Click on the “Compose Mail” link located under the Gmail logo (top-left). You’ll now see an online form (the email composition section) with three fields. Ideally, to send Gmail email you need to provide 3 little bits of information – the email address of the recipient, the email subject and email body/message. So what are these?

New email composition window in Gmail - with three form fields

The email address of the recipient

It’s the only item that’s required to send an email and rightly so because trying to send an email without specifying an address is akin posting a blank envelop in the mail box – you need to address it to someone… right?

The email subject line

This can be anything you want – you can also leave it blank but I don’t suggest that. The email subject is like a one-liner that describes what you are about to write. It doesn’t need to be very long; just a few words would be fine.

The email contents – the main message

The main email message goes in the big (huge) box. You can write as much as you want and we shall also look at saving an email message and continuing it later if you need to abandon it in middle.

Start by entering the recipient’s email address in the To: field. By the way, you can send Gmail email to more than one recipient; all you need to do is enter the additional email addresses separating each one from the other by a comma. You can also send the email to multiple recipients through Gmail Cc and Bcc. Now type the one line email subject. Finally come to the third field in which you shall write the actual message.

Plain text or rich-text email

Gmail allows you to compose email of two types –plain text and rich-text. And what is the difference you ask?

As their name suggest, plain text email is simple vanilla flavour without any formatting which mean text will be in black and white default font face. I guess you can understand the dissimilarity better when we compare it with rich-text email message.

With rich-text message you can embellish your email message with various fonts in different colors and sizes, web links, emoticons, alignment and much more. For details, refer the tip on how to write Gmail e-mail with rich-text. But here is a brief anyway because we don’t want to lose track of our topic at hand, do we?

Right above the text box in which you type in your email message is what I like to call the “formatting bar” – see image below. It has several buttons/icons and you can understand what each one does if you move the mouse cursor over it. If you don’t see this toolbar, you are probably using the older Gmail version – switch Gmail versions read to know more.

Gmail rich-text formatting bar with its various buttons and icons

Some of the rich-text formatting that I use quite often include:

  • putting text in bold and/or italics
  • changing font size and font type (the font family)
  • adding color to selected text
  • highlighting text
  • including a web link (URL), emoticons
  • adding formatted lists – ordered or unordered (bulleted)

If you are writing a long email (we’ve all written a few in our lives) and have to run off for an errand, you can always save it (the “Save” button is at the top and the bottom) and it will send to the “Drafts” folder. Once you get back in front of your computer, go to the Drafts folder, click on the email message and resume your efforts. FYI, Gmail automatically saves the email message you are composing so that you don’t lose what you have already written – can be really frustrating if you’ve ever gone through this ordeal.

Send the Gmail email… quickly

When you have finished writing your email, click on the Send button and the email will be on its way. When you send a Gmail email, a copy is placed in the Send Mail folder for your future reference. This is really helpful sometimes when you either need to dig out old correspondences or forward / resend the message. And I hope you checked the email for spelling mistakes using the Gmail spell checker; if not, there is always next time…

send email from your Gmail account

Send an email from Gmail to me at webdevelopersnotes@gmail.com letting me know if you were successful.

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