Gmail Basics

Google Mail is an online communications hub with world class email, text and voice chat, one-on-one video conferencing, and a directory of contacts. You can use Gmail from any computer, tablet or phone – both online and offline.

Gmail Offline

Only available for the Google Chrome web browser.

To use Gmail Offline, you first need to install the offline app.   You should also install the Gmail Sync Offline Optimizer, as referenced in the “How Sync and Storage Work” document.

Please follow and review all the information as it contains useful information on the one-time setup for Gmail Offline as well as help on using this app. For additional help on using Gmail Offline, see the below information. For known issues with Gmail offline, see the Gmail Offline Troubleshoot link.

When you use Gmail offline, all conversation in Starred and Drafts, regardless of age, are synced.  But the Trash and Spam labels are never synced.  Gmail syncs your most recent conversations, and by default, syncs seven days of mail.  Here’s how to change the amount of mail that’s synced:

  1. Open the Offline Google Mail app and click the gear icon in the upper right corner
  2. In the Download mail from past drop-down menu, select on week, two weeks, or a month
  3. Click “Apply” at the bottom of the page

Gmail Search Tips

Searching in Gmail can help you find messages quickly and easily, but there are some tips that may help you get to your message more reliably:

  1. Watch this brief video on the best way to search for your messages.
  2. Use the full search term, not a partial word. A search for “conversa” is not going to return the same results as “conversation” will. However, it handles plurals nicely: “conversation” and “conversations” will return the same results.
  3. When searching for a name, beware of “autocomplete”. Gmail’s autocomplete feature replaces the name with the person’s email address, which may not return the entire set of results for that person (as we have multiple valid email addresses at Round Rock ISD).
  4. If you want to avoid autocomplete, there are a couple ways to do this:
    • The number one way to do this is to type what you want to search for  “John Doe” and make sure to hit the search key rather than the return/enter key.
    • Another method would be to add a “space” after your search term since a space after “John Doe “ is likely going to find the same results as no space. By entering the space after the word/phrase, one can avoid autocomplete.
    • Finally, once the search returns results, look to the search bar to see what was actually used as the search criteria.
  5. Advanced searching is available through the small, grey arrow in the search box. This will allow you to craft a more specific search.
  6. For even more advanced searches, you can see the entire list of advanced search operators at


Inserting a Photo into your Gmail Signature

To insert a photo into your signature, follow these steps:

  1. In Gmail, click on the gear icon and select Settings
  2. In the Signature box, type in your signature to be included in your messages
  3. In the menu above the signature box, select the icon for insert image
  4. Locate the image you wish to insert (it must be an image available to the public on the Internet)
  5. Click on the image or open/view the image in its own web page
  6. Select the url for that image (dialog box will pop up)
  7. Paste the url for the photo image in the box where prompted
  8. Click OK (view will return to Settings page)
  9. Click Save

When For additional details on creating and modifying your signature, visit:


Organizing Your Email

You may want to organize your email using labels (similar to folders), and to automatically filter some messages.  You’ll find instructions for doing so at


Getting to Inbox Zero

Trying to keep your inbox clean with only messages that you still need to act on?  You might find the Send and Archive option useful. You can activate this option in Settings. When you reply to messages in the Inbox, you’ll see 2 Send buttons. Clicking on the blue Send+ will send your message and simultaneously archive it. The other Send button will send the message but keep it in your Inbox for additional action.


Archived Email

When you archive messages in Gmail, they remain on the server.  The only affect of selecting archive is that the Inbox label is removed from the message.  All archived messages will be in the All Mail label, as well as under any other label you’ve applied.  You’ll find additional information about archiving messages at


Use Appropriate Permissions

You may be able to do what you need without logging into the other account at all. Instead, consider using features such as “Send as” or granting mailbox or calendar access.

Send as another account: This would allow you to change the From field in an email you are sending to send it from another account. This requires verification from the other account.

Set up mail delegation (Grant access to your email): This allows another person to grant you access to their email account. If you are granted this access, you can read, reply and send mail as this other person. You may wish to set up access to a departmental account this way.

Automatically forward emails to another account: This would automatically send emails from one account to another. You can set it so copies are kept in the original account.

Share your calendar with specific users: You can allow specific people to see event details, to make changes to events or make changes to events and manage sharing (the latter is not recommended). This can be a way to access a departmental calendar also.