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E-mail to DOC

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Tony from New Mexico writes:

A while back you had instructions on how to save e-mails to our computer as text. I use Gmail and wish to save and convert some of my e-mails to my ‘documents’ as text. Thank you.

Hi, Tony.  Great question, and it also gives me the opportunity to talk about something cool:  Gmail labs. Gmail defines this as “crazy, experimental stuff” for Gmail.

Labs includes extensions for your Gmail that allows you to do things like send your mail in the background while you do other stuff, advance to your next message after you delete one instead of going back to the inbox and, more on point, save your e-mail as a Word document.

When you access your Gmail, you will see two gear (settings) icons on the right hand side of your screen.  You want to click on the one in the far upper right next to your screen name, and then “Labs”.

This will open up your labs for you.  Scroll down until you find one called “Create a document” and then click on “enable”.

Enable any other labs that you think that you’d like, then scroll all the way down to the bottom and click “save changes”.  This will reload your inbox.  Next, choose the message that you’d like to save as a document and open it.

This will open your e-mail up as a Google document, saving the formatting in your e-mail.  Make any changes that you want to the document.  Now, to save it to your computer you want to click on the “File” tab that appears in the Google documents window, not the one on your browser window.

Move your pointer to the option that says “Download as…” and choose which format you’d like to save it in.  Among others, you have text, .pdf, and Word.

Now you’ve got it saved to your hard drive and you can do whatever you want with it.

Hope that this helps.

~Randal Schaffer

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6 Responses to “E-mail to DOC”

  1. Carjonak says:

    I don’t have the “labs” option. Just “mail settings”, “mail help” and “report a bug”. How do I get the “labs” option?

  2. Stuaart Hubbard says:

    As a gmail user this is a wonderful help. I look forward to more tips about gmail.
    Thank you for the good work on all fronts.

  3. loyd kimery says:

    does not work

  4. Carol says:

    I have a prob with your article – I do not have 2 gears on my g-mail page. Just one. My understanding as well is that google labs have basically disappeared. I would really like to convert some emails to a document and even went into the Document program but was unable to discover a way to save the email as a document. Must be another way – can you help?

  5. randal says:

    Hi, Carol, Loyd, Stuaart and Carjonak. Thanks for your comments and your compliment, Stuaart. It’s always nice to know that my articles help.

    When i got your comments about it not working, or not being able to locate it, my initial response was that you are still running the old version of Gmail. I don’t know if this is the standard version now or not, but as soon as i saw a radio button that said “try our new look” i clicked on it and got the new version.

    However, when i went in today, i had the same problem. The second gear icon by the user name is, in fact, missing. I tried in Firefox, Chrome and IE just in case it was a browser issue, and found the same thing in all three. When i click on the remaining gear icon, I just get the same options that Carjonek did.

    All that i can suggest is to open an e-mail and click on “More” and see if “create a document” is one of your options. It is possible that Gmail has disabled the labs option, but made that one permanent.

    If anyone has any information about the missing options, please drop a comment here.



  6. Dawn says:

    You get to Labs from the ” Mail Settings”
    Click on the “gear” click on “Mail Settings” Then go to the “Labs” tab. It opened up fine for me.

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