Topics in this column include: Finding Your Ancestry Online, Brain Teasers and other interesting websites, Getting a hacked Gmail account back, Fun Projects from Maker Lab’s new book, Sending birthday greetings online, Tips and Tricks for your cell phone.
Say you’re on a train without a connection to the Internet. If you’ve previously downloaded “Gmail Offline,” you can answer mail. It will be sent out the next time you’re able to connect. This is free for computers and phones. You’ll need to use the Chrome web browser. If you don’t have it, you can get it at Chrome.com; it’s free.
“Mixmax” is a free service for Gmail users. Click to add it to your Chrome or Firefox web browser and get some great features that Gmail doesn’t have — like “boilerplate.” These are standard replies you send over and over to respond to standard questions and comments.
Gmail has a new “block sender” command that’s much better than their “report spam” button. We’ve labeled hundreds of items as spam, only to see them come back the next day. We’ve tried using filters as well, but sometimes they filter out too much and you miss things you would have liked to see.
— “Auto-Advance” is helping Joy to get through her Gmail a wee bit faster. What it does is automatically advance you to the next email in your list, so you don’t have to waste time leaving an email and going back to check another. To enable it, click the picture of a tiny gear, then “settings,” then choose “Labs.” Click “enable” next to “Auto-Advance.” — “Boomerang for Gmail” is a plug-in for scheduling emails to go out when you want them to go out. You may be writing at 3 am, but you’d rather they went out the next morning at 9. It’s free unless you’re a heavy user, and works with Chrome, Firefox and Safari web browsers. — To […]
Our friend Ida, who is 95, likes to print out her Gmail messages, but the print is often too tiny, and she hates printing the column on the left listing all the folders. We have encountered this tiny print problem once in a while on our machines. But our solution for this — moving the text into MS Word, was too complicated for her, she said. So we tried another solution.
A few weeks ago we mentioned the yellow exclamation point in Gmail that prompted us to switch from Chrome to Firefox to Opera. A reader said he gets it too and wonders why. We finally have the answer. Every web address these days begins with “https” rather than the simple “http.” (The “s” is for “security.”) If you have a browser add-on that still uses the simple http, Gmail flags it. It can be quite annoying, even causing your email to freeze, but it appears to be harmless. In our tests, simply uninstalling Google Chrome and reinstalling it without any add-ons fixed the problem.
Google the phrase “Gmail Cheat Sheet” and you’ll get a handy chart full of keyboard shortcuts for common Gmail commands.
We were already using “r” for reply and “c” to compose a new message, but we discovered a lot more. For instance, type the forward slash “/” (without the quotes) to put your cursor right in the search box, which is faster that moving there with your mouse.
To email a huge bunch of photos, we like the free Picasa from Google. Select all the pictures in a folder by clicking with your right mouse button and choosing “select all.” Then email them all in one fell swoop by holding “Ctrl” and the “E” key. (E for email.)