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For Desktops:

  1. Click on the gear icon once in Gmail on your desktop, then go to 'Settings'.
  2. Scroll down to the 'Signature' section.
  3. Type in the signature text of your choice (you will have some text formatting options like 'bold' and such). This should include your name, position, and contact information.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of page and 'Save' your settings.

For advanced users - on the formatting bar, you can also add an image (make sure you have permission to use that image) by clicking on the 'Insert Image' icon. The image will appear wherever you have your cursor positioned.

Other advanced options exist - please refer to the link below for Google's support tutorial.

For Android

  1. Open the Gmail App (the original Google Gmail App) and go to the 'hamburger menu)Menu.
  2. Scroll until you see the 'Settings' option and tap on it or touch it.
  3. Pick the account you would like to add the signature to and touch 'signature'.
  4. Type in your signature and touch 'OK'.

For iOS (iPhones/Tablets)

  1. Open the Gmail App and go to the 'hamburger menu)Menu.
  2. Touch the gear icon and switch 'Mobile Signature' from OFF to ON.
  3. Touch the text directly below 'Mobile Signature' to edit your signature text.
  4. Touch 'Save'.

Mobile Web

  1. Open Gmail and touch the 'hamburger menu' Menu.
  2. Touch the gear icon.
  3. Switch 'Mobile Signature' from OFF to ON.
  4. Touch the text below 'Mobile Signature' to edit your signature text.
  5. Touch 'Apply'.

  1. In Gmail, click on that gear icon and go to 'Settings'
  2. Scroll down to the 'Vacation Responder' section on the 'General' tab.
  3. Make sure the 'Vacation Responder' is ON.
  4. Fill in the date range, the subject and the message you want to send back to the folks who send you mail.
    Unlike other mail programs, you can send this response back only to the people in your contact list or, if you use Google Apps, there's an option to send it to a whole group of people in your domain (such as TSBVI.EDU). This way, messages that are from groups or forums outside of your domain will not receive the "I'm out of the office" messages from you. 
  5. Don't forget to 'SAVE' changes.

You will see the messages sent to you while you are away in your inbox. People sending you email will receive your 'Out of Office' response until the 'Last day' that you defined in the date range.

For Android

  1. Open the Gmail App.
  2. Touch the hamburger menu Menu.
  3. Touch 'Settings' and choose your account.
  4. Touch 'Vacation responder'.
  5. Fill in the date range, the subject and type in the message.
  6. Switch OFF to ON at the top and then touch DONE.
  7. This will also sync with your desktop version of Gmail.


  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Touch the hamburger menu.
  3. Touch the gear icon.
  4. Switch 'Vacation responder' from OFF to ON.
  5. Choose Start and End dates, fill in the subject and message.
  6. Touch Save.


In the compose window, click Attach Attach and browse to where you can find a photo or file that you'd like to attach. This will send whatever you want as an attachment. In Gmail, you can now drag and drop a file or photo onto the open email before you send it and it will also attach - the difference is that the photo will show up 'inline' - that is it will be seen within the email you send and not be attached as a separate file (unless the other person's email handles files differently).

Please note that no executable files (.exe, .bat) will be sent. Google doesn't like to send .exe files. If you HAVE to send one, you may have to change the extension on it or zip it (right-click in windows and send it to a compressed file), then send it that way.

Different phones will allow you to 'share' your photos differently. I've noticed that most Android phones will allow you to send your photos to Google Drive or to whatever email application you are using, but that's not always the case. If you touch and hold your finger over the picture, options will become available to you. Please read your phone's instructions on how to handle your attachment options.

  1. Once you are logged in to your online email session in Google, click on the gear icon in the upper right-hand portion of your screen. 
    Screenshot showing the small gear icon in the top, right corner of the email window.
  2. Click on the 'Settings' link.
  3. On the 'General' tab, scroll down and find the 'My Pictures' section.
  4. Click on 'Change Picture'.
  5. Click on 'Choose File' to select a picture from your computer. (If your computer is equipped with a camera, you may have the option of taking a 'selfie' from your computer.)
    Screenshot of the 'upload image' window.
  6. Once the image is selected, a box will be positioned directly over the picture that will allow you to resize the image it by dragging on the corners. 
  7. Then, all you have to do is apply the changes. Now you can decide whether ALL Gmail users are going to see your photo or only those who will chat with you.


To be able to forward a message, the message must be open. Once open, there are two ways to forward a message.

  1. In the upper right-hand side of the message are several icons - the first one you generally see is the reply arrow. Once clicked, the menu opens as a drop-down to several other options including the option to  'Forward' your message.
  2. The other way to forward is to scroll to the bottom of the message and click 'Forward' in the text box. You may also enter a message or add an attachment. If there are attachments, make sure you want to keep them. If you do NOT wish to forward the attachments, look at the place where the attachments are listed and click the 'x' at the corner to remove them.

Then simply click 'Send' when you're finished - unless you'd also like to add more recipients.

For additional information, such as forwarding an entire conversation, visit


Most people have work and email accounts and often with the same email provider. Google allows you to have multiple Gmail accounts open so that you can switch between accounts easily within the same browser using multiple sign-ins.

  1. All you have to do is sign in to Google.
  2. Click on your profile photo or email address at the top right-hand corner of the page.
  3. Click Add Account from the drop-down menu.
  4. Enter the user name and password for the second account you want to use and then sign in.

If you find you can't log into another account using this method, you may have to use another browser window or even another location to log in. For example, a Yahoo mail account will require you to log in at the Yahoo site in a new tab.


To protect possibly sensitive information, it is best not to sync your business email to a personal device. If your device is lost or stolen, all information on that device could be in the hands of an unethical person.

The safest way to access data on your mobile device is to log in to your email account by browsing to through a web browser (Safari, Chrome, etc...). Once that web browser is closed, or you have been inactive for a period of time, you will be logged out of the account and the email in your account (as well as access to your Google Drive documents) will be inaccessible until you log in again.

Even though mobile devices typically come with Mail apps (the Mail icon on the screen) or even a Google Mail app, these apps should be used for your personal email rather than business email.

Check with your IR department to learn about the specific policies in place for your job site.


In a word, 'no'. Anything that you send through email, a chat or even instant message can be read by others without your knowledge. 

At TSBVI, your privacy is respected and your messages are not read by your administrators unless they are required to do so by law. As a state agency, TSBVI is subject to the Texas Public Information (Open Records) Act

As your IR Manager says during NEO (New Employee Orientation) each year, "never send anything in a message that you wouldn't want your grandmother to read".

This is especially important to remember when communicating with parents, educators and others outside of the TSBVI domain. Never include personally identifiable information for a student, medical details, student identification numbers or login credentials in an email or publicly shared document. If you need to transfer sensitive information, contact your IR Manager for secure options.


No. If you work in a school district and forward personal information about students in your email messages - who is at risk? You and potentially the student.

You can, however, forward your email to a co-worker within your domain while you are on vacation.

  1. To do so, open the Gmail account that you want to forward from and click on the gear icon then click on the 'Settings' link.
  2. Find the 'Forwarding and Pop/IMAP' tab at the top.
  3. Click on ADD A FORWARDING ADDRESS which will bring up a pop-up box that allows you to put in the address you want to forward your mail TO. This should NOT be a personal email account address.
  4. Go back to your 'Settings', 'FORWARDING AND POP/IMAP' page and make sure that 'FORWARD A COPY OF INCOMING MAIL' is selected and that the email account is selected from the drop-down menu.
  5. Now you will have to determine what to do with the messages AFTER they're forwarded, such as keep as copy in the 'Inbox' (recommended) or archive it.
  6. As always, at the bottom of the page, 'Save Changes'.


Contacts are listed separately from your inbox email in Gmail. In the upper left-hand corner of your screen, typically right below a logo, there will either be the word 'Gmail' or 'Mail' (depending on whether you are using Google Apps or not - TSBVI uses Apps).

Click on that link to open a drop-down. You will find 'Contacts' listed there.

Click on 'Contacts' to find the various options available to you.

If you wish to create a new contact, simply click on 'NEW CONTACT'. These are saved automatically once added.

Every time you use the 'REPLY' or 'REPLY to all' buttons, those addresses are automatically added to your contacts in the 'OTHER contacts' list. You can stop this by going to the gear icon, selecting 'Settings', choosing the 'General' tab, scrolling down to 'Create Contacts for Auto-Complete' and selecting the option "I'll add contacts myself".


To create a Task in Gmail, simply open your email to one of your mailboxes. You will see either 'Gmail' or 'Mail' in the upper left-hand corner, typically beneath the logo. Click on 'Gmail' or 'Mail' to find the 'Task' menu item in the drop-down.

A box will open on the bottom, right-hand side of your screen. To add a new task, click on the big, bold PLUS ('+') sign. This will immediately allow you to type in a task name. 

Now, you can either press SHIFT+ENTER or click on the 'ACTIONS' option at the bottom of the task box. Here, you may Enter Details - meaning giving your task a due date and a note that defines what the task is that you are trying to complete and its due date.

You may also indent a sub-task (another 'Action' from the menu options at the bottom or you can go to the start of the name of the task and hit the TAB key. That will begin an outline for you.

To attach a task to an email, you can open an email message and in the 'MORE' menu of the email, there is an 'ADD TO TASK' option.


In Outlook and Eudora you can drag all the relevant mail pieces to folder icons.

In Gmail, however, the concepts are the same but 'labels' are used to group items rather than 'folders' that you create.

First, you can filter the mail by using the built-in filter feature. Check the checkbox in front of one of the emails you want to filter (which means you want all the same type emails filtered from that person or that organization).

For example, if you want all of FACEBOOK messages filtered, first make sure no other message checkboxes are checked. Next, find a message from FACEBOOK in your Inbox and check the box in front of the message. Next, click on the 'MORE' link above your messages and select 'filter messages like these'. 

A box will pop up and in the top, the first box will be filled in like this:

from:(notification+) - then you will have what looks like a blue magnifier at the bottom. Click on it and all the messages ON THAT PAGE will show up. You will then have to put a check in the check box to select all the messages. If you want ALL the messages in ALL your email to show up,  a line of text with the message that includes: Select all messages that match this search will show up at the top of your messages.

Make sure you want to select them ALL. If so, click on that message and then you can delete all the messages from here, label all the messages and then use the archive button (all in one fell swoop) and they will disappear from your inbox. You can then click on the Inbox when you've done this and see that all the messages from FACEBOOK are now out of your inbox altogether.

Check the link below for Google's method of handling labels.


'Chat' is Google's add-on communication tool that works with Gmail.

  1. If you are logged in to Gmail, click on the gear icon.
  2. Click on 'Settings' and there's a 'Chat' tab.
  3. Click on the 'Chat' tab to open it.
  4. Select 'Chat On' if you are available to send and receive chat notifications.

If you want to chat with someone, click on their name on the left-hand side of the Gmail window. A chat window will open on the right hand side. Enter your message and click enter. The message will pop up on their screen in the same place where you are typing. NOTE: Chat conversations are logged and are subject to the Texas Freedom of Information Act.


Oh, don't we all wish we could just recall that last message we sent! Unfortunately, we can't always. However, if it was sent within 30 seconds, it's possible!

This is an optional feature in Gmail which means you will have to enable it for it to work. It also means you have to have a reliable Internet connection.

  1. Once logged in to Gmail, click on that gear icon and select 'Settings'.
  2. Find the 'Undo Send' setting and Enable it.
  3. Set the cancellation period you want and then, of course, go to the bottom of the settings page and 'SAVE CHANGES'.

When you send a message (the message itself will be delayed) after you have enabled this option and saved the change, the message at the top of your email screen will say 'Your message has been sent', as usual, but now the word 'Undo' will appear right next to it. Click on the word 'Undo' and the create message box will once again appear so you can edit your message or delete it.


I don't know about you, but email seems to pile up very quickly. How might we find a specific message, say from Mark Smith, about a meeting on "Accessibility" from two weeks ago?

There are several ways to go about this.

  1. I could use the search box at the top of my Gmail page. If I search for 'Mark Smith', though, it will call up everything with the words 'Mark Smith' in it.
  2. To narrow it down a bit, I happen to know that Mark's address is . I can search in that search box or type into the main search box: from: - and voila! All the mail from Mark pops up and I can see from the right side of the screen all the dates I've received mail from him.
  3. If I have a LOT of mail from Mark, I can narrow down the results even more by typing 'from: AND accessibility'  --this would give me only the email with his address and the word 'accessibility' in the message.

Google uses simple language. It doesn't use very many characters like [ and ] or % or any of the programming characters. It's friendly. Just use 'AND' to search for multiple phrases.

For a few more keywords that are used to find email messages, visit


Personalizing your Gmail is a good way to customize the screen to your personal preferences.

  1. Open your Gmail and click on the gear
  2. Click on the 'Themes' tab and select a theme. 
    There are more options on that tab for further customization. See the link below on just how to do that.


Organizing your email is sometimes frustrating. In Outlook and Eudora and other mail programs you can drag and drop messages into folders.

A 'label' is one way Google enables you to organize messages that acts somewhat like a 'folder'.

After creating labels (, they will appear on the left-hand side of the screen in your Gmail window.

Now, you can either drag a label to a message, leaving the message in your 'Inbox' view with everything else, or drag a message (by the sender's name or subject text) over to the label on the left, effectively 'moving' it to that label.

Please see the URL at the bottom for other ways to handle labeling. Google makes it easy.

You can also take a whole selection of items and put them under one label!

Check the box for an item, go to the 'more' option above your email messages and select 'filter messages like these'. Then select all of them using the checkbox to the left of the 'more' button. Finally, grab the first of the selected items and drag them over to the label you want on the left. Now, the messages will be 'moved' to the label on the left and removed from the 'Inbox' view.

You can now view these messages by clicking on the label you chose.