Canned Responses

Set Up and Use Email Templates in Gmail

To enable message templates in Gmail:

  • Click the Settings gear in your Gmail's toolbar.
  • Select Settings from the menu.
  • Go to the Labs tab.
  • Make sure Enable is selected for Canned Responses.
  • Click Save Changes.

Save a Message as a Template in Gmail

To save an email for future use as a template in Gmail:

  • Make sure "Canned Responses" is enabled. (See above.)
  • Compose the message in Gmail.
    • Do leave the signature in place if you want it to appear in messages sent using the template.
    • You can leave both the Subject: and To: fields empty. They are not saved together with the template. (The subject, if you enter one, is suggested for the template name, though.)
  • Click Canned responses (beneath the Subject line).
  • Select New canned response... under Save.
  • Type the desired name for your template.
  • Click OK.

Create a New Message or Reply Using a Template in Gmail

To send a canned message or reply:

  • Do make sure "Canned Responses" is enabled, of course, and the canned reply is created. (See above.)
  • Start a new message or reply.
  • Click Canned responses.
  • Select the desired template under Open.
  • If prompted to overwrite what you have already typed in your message (and if you indeed want to replace it with the boilerplate text), click OK.
  • Make sure you fill the To: and Subject: fields.
  • Edit the message as needed and click Send.

Note that Gmail will overwrite the entire message with your template. This includes any quoted text from the original email when you reply.

Have Gmail Send the Canned Replies for You

Using message filters, you can make Gmail reply with a template automatically.

Edit a Message Template in Gmail

To change a template's content:

  • Make sure "Canned Responses" is turned on. (See above.)
  • Start with a new message.
  • Click Canned responses.
  • Select the desired template under Open.
  • Make the desired changes to the message.
  • Click Canned responses again.
  • Select the same template as before, but under Save.
  • Click OK.