Getting Started with Google@UH Gmail (Webmail)

Overview

Webmail is an email application with many advanced features including: contacts, labels, chat, the ability to send and receive attachments, etc. Since Webmail is a Web-enabled email client, you will need a reliable Internet connection and a supported web browser  which has cookies and JavaScript enabled.

There are several advantages to using Webmail:

  • access to your email from your office and home computers or on the road
  • intuitive, easy-to-use interface
  • search for messages that meet certain criteria

This document is a general introduction to webmail and will cover commonly used features. For detailed information, refer to the Google's gmail help center. It provides the most complete information on the features of webmail in a clear, easy-to-understand format.


How do I logon and logout of Google@UH Gmail?

To access Gmail, point your web browser to http://gmail.hawaii.edu. You will be prompted to enter your UH Username and Password. (To apply for a UH Username, visit this site: www.hawaii.edu/username.)

If the UH Username and Password are entered successfully, you should now see the initial Google@UH Gmail screen.

To end your email session, click on your email address in the upper right corner of the screen and select Sign out.


Basic Tasks in Google@UH Gmail

When you first login, a summary of the messages in your Inbox will be displayed. Your Inbox is a folder (a collection of email messages) where new mail is initially stored. If you see no messages, then your Inbox is empty.

Here are some of the basic tasks which can be performed:

Send a new message - Click on the Compose Mail button on the left tool bar. The window appears for you to compose your message. Type in the email address of the recipient in the text box labeled To:  (You may enter multiple recipients). Click on the Add Cc or Add Bcc to add carbon copy or blind carbon copy recipients.

(Note: CC stands for Carbon Copy - it means "send a copy to this person also." BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy - "Don't let other people see that I am sending a copy to this person.")

Type in the subject and the text of your message. When finished, click on the Send icon to send your message. Once your message is sent, the window with the message will close automatically.

Read a message  - To read a message in your Inbox, click on the message's Sender or Subject. The email message will be displayed. Click on Show Details to display the message headers containing information on who the email is from, the date and time it was sent, a list of recipients, and the subject.

There are several things you can do after reading an email message: 

Reply - Reply to a message by clicking on the Reply icon. A new window appears below for you to compose your reply. The To field is automatically filled in with the email address of the person who sent the original message. You may add more recipients by clicking on the Add Cc or Add Bcc.

The Subject field is also filled in as "Re: original subject". You may change the subject by clicking on Edit Subject. Type in the text of your message. To send the reply, click on Send. Once your message is sent, the window closes automatically.

Reply All - If you receive a message that was sent to several people (a message which had multiple recipients), you can choose to reply to only the sender (by using Reply) or to all of the recipients (by using Reply All). The procedure for using Reply All closely follows the procedure for using Reply.

Forward - send one of your messages to another user by clicking on Forward. A new window appears below for the message you are forwarding. Enter the email addresses of the recipient. The subject line is filled in as "Fwd: original subject". The original message is included in the body of the message. Add the text of your message, then click on Send to send the message.

Delete - you can delete the message by clicking on the Delete button in the tool bar. This adds the message to your trash. Messages tagged as trash will be automatically deleted after 30 days. If you want to delete the message sooner, you can browse to the trash folder on the left toolbar and select the Trash folder. Click on Empty Trash Now to permanently delete the messages. Refer to the Labels section below on how to permanently delete messages in Trash.


Using Labels in Google@UH Gmail

Rather than using folders, Gmail uses labels.  There are many benefits in using labels as opposed to folders.

  • A message can have more than one label
  • You can search for messages by label
  • Reduce the number of duplicate messages

Here are some of the basic tasks you can perform with labels.  

Create a label -You can create a label by clicking on the Labels drop-down menu, then select Manage labels.  Select Create new, type the name of your new label and select Create.  If you select multiple messages, or are viewing a specific email message, click on the Labels drop-down menu to display the option Create new.  After creating a new label, the new label can be selected by clicking on the Labels drop-down menu.  Any selected messages will be categorized with the label chosen from the drop-down menu. 

 

Delete/Edit a label -To Delete/Edit a label, select the Labels drop-down menu, and select Manage labels.  From the labels screen, you can show, hide, or remove any existing label.  If you select an existing label by name, you will have the option to change the name of the label.  Changing the name of an existing label will rename the label for any messages that were categorized under the label.  Deleting a label will not delete any messages that were categorized under the deleted label; e.g. a message that had been labeled as "Inbox" and "Google", would retain the "Inbox" label after deleting the "Google" label.

Search labels - One benefit of labels versus folders is that a message can be searched by label.  Messages can have multiple labels, which return better search results.  To search for a message by label, enter "label:" in the search box followed by the search criteria.  A list of your labels should display, you can select the appropriate label from the list of labels, or you can contiue typing.  Select Search Mail to search for the desired label.

For more information on labels go to http://mail.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=12881 . 


Using Attachments in Google@UH Gmail

It is possible to send files to another person by attaching them to email messages. These files are referred to as attachments . Any kind of computer file can be an attachment: a word processing file, a spreadsheet, a database, an audio or video file, etc. However, please be advised that email with certain extensions are deleted due to security risks e.g. viruses or other damaging programs. For more information, please refer to: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6590

Although the recipient may be able to receive an attachment, the file is not usable if the recipient does not also have the appropriate program to read the file. For example, if you send an MS Word file to a person who uses Word Perfect, the recipient may not be able to use the file. Likewise, there are sometimes problems involved in sending files between PCs and Macs.

In addition, Google imposes a maximum email size limit of 25 MB. (As a caution, large files take up valuable quota disk space and should be off-loaded to your personal computer.) As an alternative, please see the File Drop service at: http://www.hawaii.edu/filedrop for transferring large files.

To send an attachment: compose a message and click Attach a file (next to paper clip) on the tool bar. Use the browser to find the file to attach and click Open to attach the file. (If your files are large you may see a progress bar as your file is uploaded) To attach another file click on Attach another file and follow the same procedures. To remove an attachment , uncheck the box for appropriate file. 

It is good practice to mention that you are sending an attachment and specify its format. (For example: "I am attaching a spreadsheet in MS Excel 2003 format.")

To receive an attachment: Read the message as you normally would. If there is an attachment, they will be displayed below the message. Depending on the attachment type, you may have several options to choose from. (Open as Google document, View, View as HTML, etc) You can also choose to Download the attachment to your computer, or if there are multiple attachments 'Download all attachments" (in a zip file).

For more information on attachments, go to http://mail.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=12834 .


Using Contacts (Address Book) in Google@UH Gmail

Gmail has a simple Contacts feature. It allows you to create short nicknames for long email addresses and store them in a contact list. This is convenient when you don't care to type in long addresses such as fred_jones@unix21.philadelphia.pennsylvania.edu. The Web mail address book also allows you to create Group lists.

To use contacts, click Contacts in the left column.

To create an entry in Contacts: Click Contacts in the left column of the page.  Select the New Contact button in the upper left of the Contacts screen.  Enter in all appropriate information for the new contact, then select Save.

To create a group contact entry: Click Contacts in the left column of the page.  Select the New Group button  in the upper left of the Contacts screen, this should prompt you to enter a name for the group.  After entering a name for the group, click on OK to create the group.  The group will now be listed under My Contacts.

To add contacts to a contact group: Select any existing contacts you would like to add to the group from the Contacts list, then click on the Groups drop-down menu.  You can Add to any existing group, or you can Add to a group that has not yet been created by selecting New group.

To use contacts: Click Compose Mail then click To, this should bring up a list of contacts.  Most Contacted contacts should be displayed by default.  You can search for contacts by name, using Search my contacts, or by selecting the drop down menu to display other options such as My Contacts, or group contacts.  Any selected Contacts should be listed in the To field after selecting Done from the Choose from contacts window.  

For more information on Contacts, go to http://mail.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=12867 .


Other Tasks in Google@UH Gmail

To check the disk space used/available for your account: Look towards the bottom of the page. It should state "You are currently using xxMB (%) of your 7xxxMB."

To use the Vacation feature: You might want to have a short message automatically sent to anyone who sends you mail while you are away on vacation. To do so, click Settings at the top, then scroll down to Vacation responder. You are prompted for a start and optionally a stop date for the vacation messages, also for a subject and some text to include. When you are done, click Save Changes. For more help, click Learn More under Vacation responder.

How to forward a copy of all the messages you receive to another email address: Click Settings at the top, then click Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Check off the radio button for 'Forward a copy of incoming mail to...', enter a valid email address into the email address box and select whether to keep a copy of the email, mark as read, or delete the email from Google and click Save Changes.

What does the Get mail from other accounts do? You can use Web Mail to read messages sent to a different POP mailbox. Click Settings, then Accounts, then click Add a mail account you own. Enter the email address, the username and password and POP server address and port number. There is a check box to leave a copy of the retrieved messages on the server. For more information, click Learn more under Get mail from other accounts.


Known Issues for Google@UH Gmail

Known issues and recent fixes for Gmail can be found at http://mail.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=known_issues.cs 

Please consult http://mail.google.com/support/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=12914 for General Issues and solutions.


Getting Help for Google@UH Gmail

Google has very good online help articles. Click on the Help button in the upper right corner of the screen, then click on the topic in which you have interest. Or browse directly to http://mail.google.com/support/ 

You may also contact the ITS Help Desk.

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Article ID: 1145
Created: Thu, 13 May 2010 9:40am
Modified: Wed, 13 Oct 2010 8:19am