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Gmail - Using Canned responses (templates)

I should say at the outset that I don't like Gmail and avoid it whenever possible (I use Mutt), but my wife uses Gmail all the time and needs the facility to have templates (which Gmail calls Canned responses). Some time ago I researched how to set this up for her but recently I found it didn't work any more. Apparently Gmail has "improved" its method of doing this. I searched the Web and discovered plenty of instructions, mostly out of date. The best site I came across was by Heinz Tschabitscher (21 Nov 2018), but even that has one or two inaccuracis due no doubt to subsequent changes in Gmail; also, I think, the author doesn't suffiently draw attention to the peculiarities of the Gmail menu system. Here I offer an outline of the steps I use at present (15 Feb 2919).

A. Preliminary: enable canned responses (if not already done)
1. Start Gmail
2. Click cogwheel symbol (Settings) at top right
3. In the menu, click Settings
4. Click Advanced (towards right-hand end of top line)
5. Enable Canned responses (templates)
6. Click Save changes

B. Composing a Canned response (template)
1. Click Compose
2. Write the text you want to use as a template (don't fill in To: or Subject: at this stage)
3. Click More options (three vertical dots at the bottom right)
4. Choose Canned responses
5. In the Canned responses menu, click New canned response
6. You'll be prompted for a name for the new template; type in something to identify it
7. Click OK to save the template

C. Using a Canned response (template) in an email
1. Click Compose
2. Fill in To: and Subject:
3. Click More options (three dots. at bottom)
4. Choose Canned responses
5. In the menu, choose a template FROM THOSE AT THE UPPER PART OF THE MENU! (ignore duplicate entries for the same template that appear further down - see Note 1 below)
6. The template text will appear in Compose, where you can edit it if necessary
7. Click Send

1. The Canned responses menu is confusing. It has greyed-out entries for Insert, Save, and Delete. Usually greying-out means that a button is inactive for some reason and I assumed that this was the case here. In fact, these are section headings. You will see every template listed under each section - three times in all. If you click on a template that appears under Delete you get the option to delete it. If you click on the same template under Save it will be replaced with whatever you have in Compose (if there is nothing there you will get a blank template). Clicking a template under Insert will paste the template into Compose ; this is what you want most of the time.

2. If you change your mind and want to use a different template in your email you must delete the draft and start afresh (click the X at top right of Compose or the symbol like a little house at bottom right)


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