Last week Gmail announced the ability to customize messages with rich formatting (RTF). This includes things like adding color, underlining, bolding, justifying text, and more. However, it is not yet available to everyone. As is the Google way it seems, they are rolling out this new feature over the next several weeks in phases. You’ll just have to check your Gmail account to see if you are one of the lucky ones. You’ll know by checking the Compose Message page to see if there is an option link that says “Rich formatting >>”.
If you do have it, click it on to get all the new rich formatting buttons.
If you need to get back to plain text, click the “<< Plain text" link. The following new formatting abilities are available:
|Gmail’s Formatting Options|
|Bold – bold all or some of your message|
|Italics – italicize all or some of your message|
|Underline – underline all or some of your message|
|Font – select a special font|
|Font Size – change the font size of all or some text|
|Font Color – change the color of all or some text|
|Background Color – change the background color of a message|
|Remove Formatting – remove formatting from selected text|
|Hyperlink Text – hyperlink the selected text|
|Numbered List – create a numbered list in your message|
|Bulleted List – create a bulleted list in your message|
|Indent Less – move text closer to the left of the page|
|Indent More – indent text further to the right of the page|
|Quote Text – format a block of text as a quote|
|Left Align – align text along the left side of the page|
|Center Align – align text in the center of the page|
|Right Align – align text along the right side of the page|
Remember, rich text formatting does not mean it will recognize HTML code.
While I didn’t notice any problems, there are some reports of problems here and there with the new formatting. But, it is still technically in beta. Here is Google’s response to one user’s description of the problem:
- “You might occasionally notice that rich formatting doesn’t work exactly as you’d expect. Unfortunately, the limitations of most web browsers prevent rich formatting from working perfectly. We’re looking for ways to work around these limitations, and in the meantime, we hope you’ll find rich formatting fun and useful, even with the occasional quirks. ”
That’s okay. We’re happy to have it!