My friend sends me email with all sorts of cool formatting, the best of which is he highlights certain passages with a bright yellow background. How does he do it? He’s using Gmail, if that makes a difference.
While most people use Google’s Gmail service as a straight text communication tool, your friend is highlighting in his email <cough> that it has quite a few nifty formatting tricks hidden away. You do have to enable rich email formatting, but once you do that in Gmail, there’s quite a bit you can accomplish!
The down side is that you can’t guarantee that every recipient is going to see all the formatting you specify, so until you’ve confirmed their email prowess and capabilities, I’d be judicious in the use of these formatting features. Just in case your “let’s hire the person who’s name is in green but no-one else” ends up causing confusion!
Still, Gmail has a lot of users. A lot. In fact, Google announced in February, 2016 that it had surpassed one billion active Gmail users. Quite impressive!
To start our demo, click on “Comp0se” to start a new email message (using the Web or desktop interface. The mobile interface is quite a bit different):
Everything you want to pay attention to is along the bottom row. Left to right it’s the Send button (easy to figure out), text formatting, add an attachment, add a link to a document on Google Drive, Send or request money, add a photo or video file, turn a word or phrase into a Web link, the smiley face brings up Google’s weird smooshed emoji faces, and the trash can lets you discard your draft.
Above you can see I have highlighted the word “red” in the first sentence after already using the Command-B shortcut to bold a word and the Command-I shortcut to apply italics.
Click on text formatting. Here’s which one I’m talking about if you’re unsure:
Now a whole world of new features and options. You can specify – left to right – the font family (default is sans serif for readability), font size, bold, italics, underscore, font color, paragraph alignment, turn lines into a numbered list or bullet list, outdent or indent a paragraph, turn a passage into quoted content and, finally, “Tx” turns formatted text into unformatting text.
Lots of options, but 90% of the time you’ll likely stick to bold, italics and font colors. Speaking of which, if I highlight the sentence “THIS is what we want highlighted” and click on the font color button (the underlined “A”):
As you can see, a colorful rainbow of options broken into two categories: On the left side is “Background color” and on the right side “Text color”. Highlight what you want to change, click on the text color button and choose away!
Here’s what I ended up with:
Pretty cool, eh? Now, go forth and rainbow blast your friends! 🙂