Become an expert

    Getting Started with Google Apps
    Here are some tips to help you take advantage of the features Google Apps has to offer!
    Need Help?
    Students: resnet@saintmarys.edu
    Faculty/Staff: helpdesk@saintmarys.edu
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    1. Explore your Inbox

    Click through this interactitve tour to learn about your new Inbox.

    Gmail interactive tour

    2. Start sending mail

    Compose messages, add attachments, reply and forward, and print.

    Sending, replying, and other basics

    3. Set things up

    Set up your signature, and organize messages with labels and filters.

    Create a signature, labels, and filters


    Click on the Learn by app link in the left column to find out more about using Gmail.



    Quick Fixes:

    Conversation View: Do you want to turn Mail's Conversation View off? From Google Mail, click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Settings from the list that appears. In the General tab, in the Conversation View section, click on the button next to Conversation view off. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the window (you may need to scroll down to see the button).

    Signatures: To add a signature for all outgoing messages, go to Google Mail, click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Settings from the list that appears. In the General tab, in the Signature section, click on the button next to the text box (and not next to No signature)In the available text box, type what you want to have appear in your signature exactly as you want it to appear in your messages. (Common items to include are your name, your e-mail address, and other contact information you wish to share with any person you send e-mail to.) Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the window (you may need to scroll down to see the button).

    Changing your Display Name: If your name in Google Mail is not appearing as you prefer in your sent messages (you use a nickname), you can change the way your name appears. From Google Mail, click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Settings from the list that appears. In the Accounts tab, in the Send mail as: section, click on edit info (to the right of your Saint Mary's e-mail address). Next to Name: click the button next to the blank field. Type in your name as you wish it to appear in messages sent from your Google Apps account. Click the Save Changes button. (Your name as it appears in Google Apps is the same as what appears in the online phonebook.)

    Setting Unread Messages to be listed first: In Google Mail, go to the click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Settings from the list that appears. Click on the Inbox tab. In the Inbox type: pop-up menu, select Unread firstIn the Inbox sections: option that appears, click on the Options link next to Unread. Make sure that Show up to: is set to a number that will allow as many of your unread messages to appear in the top section as you wish. For most people, setting that number to the maximum option (50 items) is ideal for seeing all unread messages at once. As you read messages, new unread messages will filter to the top of your inbox. For the Inbox unread count: you may wish to change the setting to have Google Mail display how many unread messages you have. The default is to have Google Mail display only the number of unread messages you have in your top "unread first" section of mail (Unread items in the first section), but you can also have Google Mail display the number of unread messages in your entire inbox (Unread items in the inbox) or have Google Mail display both the number of unread messages you have in your top "unread first" section of mail AND the number of unread messages in your entire inbox (Unread items in the first section and inbox).

    Inbox tabs: Google has an inbox feature that will allow you to configure up to five tabs to help organize your messages. To use this feature in Google Mail, go to the click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Configure inbox from the list that appears. For more information on Inbox tabs, please refer to Google's documentation "Inbox tabs and category labels."

    Labels, Filters, and Folders: Instead of folders, Google Mail has "labels." Labels are similar to folders, but are more flexible, because you can add multiple labels to a message to categorize it in several ways. For detailed instructions on setting up labels and filters in Google Mail, please refer to Google's documentation "Gmail: Signatures, labels, and filters."

    FontsYou can edit the font size you type in. For an individual message, click the Compose button to open a new message, then click on the Formatting options button (A) next to the Send button. Click on the Size button (TT) and select the font size you wish to use. For setting the size on all messages, go to the click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Settings from the list that appears. Click on the General tab. Scroll down to Default text style and make the changes there for how you want all of your message text to appear by default.

    Archive: You can use Google's Archive feature to clean out your Inbox. When you have a message selected in your Inbox or open for you to view, there is a button that looks like a box with a downward-pointing arrow on it. Clicking on this button will archive your message, or remove it from your Inbox. The message has not been deleted - it can still be found in All Mail (listed in the left column of Google Mail). You can also find archived messages using the search feature in Google Mail. When searching, you may want to click on the small triangle on the right end of the search box at the top of the window to make sure you are searching in All Mail rather than your Inbox or other location.

    Sending messages to ListservsPlease be aware that if you send a message to a listserv (including the Saint Mary's fac-staff, students, and allsmc lists), Google Mail will not display the message in your Inbox. Google Mail considers the message a duplicate, and will instead show the message you sent under All Mail. The message that you receive from LISTSERV@LISTS.saintmarys.edu is your confirmation that the messages was distributed to its intended recipients. If you would like to easily see the messages you send to listservs, you can create a label for the listserv in your Google Mail account, and then set a filter for the To: field with the listserv address.

    Vacation MessageWhen your vacation response is active, Google Mail will send an automated reply to anyone who e-mails you. (Messages marked as spam and messages addressed to a mailing list you subscribe to will not receive your vacation response.) The reply will only be sent to people once every four days - but that four day period will reset if you edit your response in the meantime. From Google Mail, click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Settings from the list that appears. In the General tab, in the Vacation responder section, Click the button next to Vacation responder on and then enter the beginning and end dates desired for the message to be sent. Enter the Subject and the Message you wish to automatically have sent to people who contact you while you are away. (If you have a signature set for Google Mail, it will automatically be added to the end of your message.) Select whether you wish to have the message sent to anyone in your Contacts or sent to anyone with a saintmarys.edu e-mail address. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page. During the time your vacation response is active, a banner will appear at the top of your Google Mail pages with the subject of your vacation response.

    Blocked attachments in Google Mail: Google does not allow you to send or receive executable files (including files ending in .exe). This is to prevent malicious software from spreading over e-mail. For more information, including a list of file types that cannot be sent via Google Mail, please visit http://support.google.com/mail/answer/6590?hl=en

    Spam and Google Mail: Google is reputed to have one of the best spam filters available, but no spam filter is 100% accurate. If you receive unwanted messages in your Saint Mary's account, we recommend that you mark the messages as spam using the tool available in Google Mail. This feature not only removes the message from your Inbox, it trains Google to mark the message as spam for you and others. To mark a message as spam when the message is open for you to read, click on the small arrow to the right of the reply button (it will say More when you hover your cursor over it) and select Report spamIf you are viewing your Inbox and see a message that is obviously spam, you can click on the small box to the left of the message to select the message, and then click on the Report spam button that will appear above the list of messages in your Inbox. (The Report spam button will have an icon of an octagon with an exclamation point in it.)

    Google's method for blacklisting e-mail addresses (blocking addresses you don't want to receive messages from) is to create a filter for that address and have the unwanted messages go directly to your trash or skip your inbox and go to your archive. (We recommend filtering the messages to your archive - otherwise you may not be able to retrieve a message you later discover wasn't spam and was something that you needed.)

    Trash: Please note these important details about deleting messages in Google Mail:

    • Messages that were permanently deleted CANNOT be recovered.
    • Messages that have been labelled Spam for 30 days will automatically be purged by Google. Those messages cannot be recovered.
    • Messages that have been labelled Trash for 30 days will automatically be purged by Google. Those messages cannot be recovered.
    • Messages deleted by the user or automatically purged after 30 days from Trash or Spam cannot be restored by a Google Apps Administrator at Saint Mary's College or by Google Support.

    Google Mail versus Gmail: Google Mail refers to the mail application that is included with Google Apps for Education, which Saint Mary's College uses. Gmail refers to the personal e-mail accounts offered by Google. Google will frequently interchange the terms in their documentation, since Google Mail and Gmail look similar in many ways and Google's documentation serves to assist users of both Google Mail and Gmail.

    Web ClipsBy default, Google Mail's Web Clips do not display on Saint Mary's Google Apps accounts. If you would like Googles' Web Clips to to appear above your Inbox, go to Google Mail, click on the Settings icon (it looks like a gear in the upper right corner of the window) and select Settings from the list that appears. In the Web Clips tab, check the box next to Show my web clips above the Inbox. (There is no Save Changes button for this setting.)

    Gmail Labs: Gmail Labs are not enabled for Saint Mary's College.