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Google Mail - Send and receive emails with Gmail

November 2015

Gmail (Google mail), a free web-based e-mail service provided by Google, is a secure webmail accessed by users which provides more than 7 GB of usage per account. One can subscribe to the Internet Service Provider and create more than one email address. The Internet Service provider is responsible for sending and receiving your emails. To send an email, click on Compose mail, enter the recipient's address in the To field and the content into the email body and click on Send. You can even attach files of up to 25 MB to your email. All your received mails are saved in the Inbox: to read your mails click on Inbox. This web e-mail also has a provision for receiving mails from other accounts.

Google Mail - send and receive emails with Gmail

Anyone who subscribes to an Internet service provider can create one or more email addresses. At first glance, it is not necessary to use an external service for sending and receiving emails, since your ISP is responsible for forwarding your messages. However, we strongly advise you use another provider for the following reasons:
  • If you are changing ISP, you cannot store the email addresses you have been allocated by the previous provider. Therefore, if you want to remain reachable during the activation of your new ADSL line (which may take several weeks), you must use an email address independent of any ISP.
  • When you are travelling on business or simply on holiday, you retain the ability to view your e-mail at any time via a website. However the ergonomics of their websites is often much lower than that of providers like Hotmail or Yahoo.
  • In case of temporary unavailability of the mail servers of your ISP for x reasons, you are able to send and receive mails with your second email address.
  • Finally, the functionality offered by ISPs is often less and less powerful than that of mailing services.

Introduction to Gmail

Like its competitors, Google offers a service for receiving/sending emails called Gmail (Google Mail). This is a webmail, ie an email account which can be found with a simple Web browser. Gmail offers several advantages (not exhaustive):
  • Storage capacity exceeding 6.5 GB
  • Management by email discussion. This is more practical to follow the thread of a conversation with a correspondent.
  • Labelling system to classify and retrieve emails quickly.
  • Integrated search engine. It is possible to make queries on the content of messages, the sender, recipient, etc..
  • Smtp server performance and reliability.
  • Auto-completion of addresses seizures (i.e. the recipient address is automatically suggested by Gmail when the user starts typing the relevant letters/characters).
  • Management POP and IMAP to access their mail from a mail client like Outlook.
  • Protection against spam (unsolicited emails).
  • Centralized management of your email accounts other than Gmail.
  • Viewing RSS feeds.
  • Antivirus protection of mails sent and received.

Compatibility with web browsers

Gmail is compatible with all existing web browsers, providing they bear cookies and JavaScript. To take advantage of advanced features (faster loading pages, keyboard shortcuts, automatic backup of mails in progress, etc..), you need a recent browser such as Internet Explorer 6, Firefox or Opera 9.

Sending mails

The drafting and consultation of messages in Gmail differ little from those options offered by a conventional email client. To send an email, click "Compose Mail" located above the folder list. An entry form appears in the Gmail interface. However, it is possible to open a separate window by clicking the icon consisting of a blue square containing an arrow, superimposed on a blue square. This option has the advantage of allowing access to all functions of the Gmail mailbox without interrupting the e-mail attachment.

The recipients

In the "To:" box, type the address of the person you want to write to. For multiple recipients, separate the addresses with commas. When entering, Gmail will suggest possible addresses you use frequently, then those in your list of contacts (including groups). In case of multiple proposals, press [Enter] to select the first suggestion or move through the list to select another address. If Gmail does not suggest the address you want, continue typing without taking into account the proposals.

Tip: you can select the contacts you want to write directly into the folder "Contacts". Simply check the box before the name of the people you want, then click on "Write".

To view the "Cc:" tab click "Add Cc". Cc means "carbon copy", type here the addresses of people who are not the main recipients of the message, but you still want to send a copy to.

To view the "Bcc:" tab click "Add Bcc". Bcc stands for "carbon copy invisible, type here the addresses of people you want to send a copy of the mail to, without the other recipients knowing.

The subject

In "Subject:", enter the subject of the email. Enter the text itself. By default, Gmail will send a message in HTML format. You have options enrichment and text formatting: bold, italic, underlined, choice of font and size, insertion of hyperlinks, bulleted lists, numbered lists, etc.

If you are unsure whether your recipients can read rich text, click "Text only". Note that the spell checking works in both modes of entry. It is also possible to add attachments (pictures, videos, etc..) to the message. To this end, click "Attach a file" then click "Browse" to select a file on the hard disk. When you finish typing your post, click the "Send" button to send it immediately or on the "Save" button to save as draft.

Things to know: Gmail will backup the email you are writing at regular intervals. Therefore, do not panic if for any reason it were to be lost. You will find a copy in the "Drafts" folder.

Unfortunately, Gmail does not have the "receipt" for the messages you send.

You'll see that sending emails is a really easy process.

Reading your mails

The same is true for their consultation. All emails received are stored in the inbox. The number of unread messages is indicated in brackets to the right of the "Inbox" folder. Gmail automatically checks every two minutes when new messages arrive. At any time, you can force the check by clicking on the "Update" button.

Unlike other webmail and email clients, Gmail does not display the email in the form of isolated messages. All replies to a message are grouped in the form of a discussion. It is impossible to lose the thread of a conversation.

It is very easy to recognize a discussion in the inbox. By default, a single message is summed up in one line:
  • Dispatcher
  • Subject
  • The first words in the text
  • The date (or time) to dispatch

In the case of a conversation, instead of the sender you see the names of participants and their numbers (in brackets).

Foward a mail

To read a message, click on its title. It appears in full and you may respond to your correspondent by clicking the "Answer" button. To forward the mail to someone else, click "Forward".

Reply to a mail

Clicking on the arrow pointing down to the right of "Reply" button opens a menu. In it you can choose to print including the mail, add the sender to the address book, to report the message as a phishing attempt, and so on. A click on the link "View Details" indicates the date and time of shipment, the names and addresses of recipients and possibly the name of the company from where the message was sent (eg yahoo . com or if the sender has used a webmail). To eliminate this information, click "hide details".

Viewing a conversation

When you view a conversation, the initial message and responses were immediately displayed one after another. By default, only the last response received is shown in its entirety. To read all of them, just click on "Expand All". To view a single message, simply click on it (the other remaining reduced mails). A second click of the mouse will reduce it again. To close all messages while maintaining an overview of the speakers, click the "Collapse all". Note that the name of each participant is colored, which allows to follow the thread of the discussion relatively easily.
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Original article published by ChristophePineau. Translated by jak58. - Latest update by Jeff
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