Now that you've created a Gmail account, you can start sending email messages. Writing an email can be as simple as typing a message, or you can use text formatting, attachments, and a signature to customize your message.
In this lesson, we'll show you how to compose an email, add an attachment, and create a signature that will appear on all of the messages you send.
Watch the video below to learn more about sending email with Gmail.
When you write an email, you'll be using the compose window. This is where you'll add the email address of the recipient(s), the subject, and the body of the email, which is the message itself. You'll also be able to add various types of text formatting, as well as one or more attachments. If you want, you can even create a signature that will be added to the end of every email you send.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the different parts of the compose window.
Recipients are the people you are sending the email to. You will need to type the email address for each recipient. Most of the time, you'll add recipients to the To: field, but you can also add recipients to the Cc: or Bcc: fields.
Cc stands for carbon copy. This is used when you want to send an email to someone who is not the main recipient. This helps to keep these people in the loop while letting them know that they probably don't need to reply to your message. Bcc stands for blind carbon copy. It works almost the same way as Cc, except that all of the email address in the Bcc fields are hidden, making it ideal when emailing a large number of recipients or when privacy is needed.
The subject should say what the email is about. Keep the subject brief, but give the recipients a reasonable idea of what's in the message.
When you are satisfied with your message, click Send to send it to the recipients.
Click the Formatting button to access formatting options. Formatting allows you to change the look and feel of your message. For example, you can change the font style, size, and color, as well as include links.
An attachment is a file (like an image or a document) that is sent along with the email message. Gmail allows you to include multiple attachments. Click the attachment button to include an attachment with the email.
The body is the actual text of the email. Generally, you'll write this just like a normal letter, with a greeting, one or more paragraphs, and a closing with your name.
Cc stands for carbon copy. This is used when you want to send an email to someone who is not the main recipient. This helps to keep that person in the loop while letting them know that they probably don't need to reply to your message.Bcc stands for blind carbon copy. It works almost the same way as Cc, except all of the email address in the Bcc fields are hidden, making it ideal when emailing a large number of recipients or when privacy is needed.
If the person you are emailing is already one of your contacts, you can start typing that person's first name, last name, or email address, and Gmail will display the contact below the To: field. You can then press the Enter key to add the person to the To: field.
An attachment is simply a file (like an image or document) that is sent along with your email. For example, if you are applying for a job, you might send your resume as an attachment, with the body of the email being the cover letter. It's a good idea to include a message in the body of your email explaining what the attachment is, especially if the recipient isn't expecting an attachment.
Remember to attach your file before you click Send. Forgetting to attach a file is a surprisingly common mistake.
You can click Send before the attachment finishes uploading. It will continue to upload, and Gmail will automatically send the email once it's done.
Gmail allows you to add various types of formatting to your text.
Click the formatting button at the bottom of the compose window to see different formatting options.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about different formatting options in Gmail.
You can emphasize text by making it bold, italic, or underlined.
If you want to add a little excitement to an informal email, you can change the text and background color for certain words. Avoid using light colors because they may be difficult to read against a white background.
You can also modify the alignment of the text in your message.
You can organize text into a list of information using bullets or numbers. This can help emphasize each item in the list and distinguish it from the rest of the email.
These options allow you to do things like attach documents and photos, or add a hyperlink to your message.
Most of the time, you'll probably want to use the Normal font size, but sometimes you may want to try a different size for contrast. Be careful not to overuse this feature; extremely small or large fonts can make your emails difficult to read.
Gmail has several font styles to choose from. You can change the font style for the entire email or just change a few words to create contrast.
For more serious emails, like job applications, be careful not to add formatting that would seem too informal, such as bright colors or emoticons.
A signature is an optional block of text that appears after every email you send. By default, Gmail does not include a signature, but it's easy to create one. It will typically include your name and some contact information, like your phone number or email address. If you're using Gmail at work, you may want to include your title and your company's address or website.
You should keep your signature brief. Instead of listing all of the phone numbers, email addresses, and mailing addresses where you can be reached, just list the most important ones.
Keep in mind that your signature will be seen by many different people, so you may not want to include your home address or anything too personal. Even if you only email people you know, someone can still forward your email to someone else, which can reveal your signature to even more people.