If you’re a fan of customizing everything that has pixels, the first thing you may want to do after setting up a new Gmail account is to make it your own.
From using your own photos as a theme for your inbox to playing with the fonts for your emails, there are numerous options available for those who want to stand out from the crowd. The guide below will help you get the best results when personalizing your Gmail account with some little-known tips and tricks.
Change the Gmail Theme
Spruce up your inbox by choosing one of the colourful high-definition themes offered by Google, which range from classic offerings to beautiful landscapes.
1. Log in into your Gmail account and click the gear icon in the top right corner of the screen.
2. Select “Themes” from the drop-down menu.
3. Browse through the selection of pre-made themes on offer. If you want a theme with a design that changes throughout the day depending on weather and time, look for the themes with a small clock icon in the right bottom corner of the thumbnail image. The black and white thumbnail corners indicate whether the background of the theme is light or dark.
4. If you cannot decide what theme would work best for you, click on “Random” to have Google make the decision for you.
Smart Tip: Google offers region-based themes as well. To see the themes available for your country/area, go at the bottom of the page and select your country from the drop-down list. The region-based themes should now appear with the other ones.
5. Select the theme you want to use, and click on it. Google changes it automatically, so you don’t have to click on anything else.
Personalize Gmail with Your Own Photo
If none of Gmail’s themes suits your taste, you can choose to create your own. Google allows you to customize the look of the main area and footer of the Gmail page with photos from your Picasa account. Follow these simple steps to do it:
1. Click on the little gear button in the upper right side of the Gmail account.
2. Choose “Mail Settings”, then navigate to “Themes”. Next, scroll down and click on the “Create Your Own Theme” button.
3. Choose one of the photos in your Picasa account or upload a new one.
Smart Tip: Gmail has its own crop that allows you for fiddle with the picture until you find the right position for it. You may also want to fiddle with text colours and size to make everything legible.
Personalize Your Emails
If you don’t like the default format of your emails, which admittedly can become quite boring at times, there are ways to beautify them. For best results, use an email design tool such as Flashissue, which can make your marketing emails look aesthetically pleasing. Using this tool can also provide you with other interesting features, including analytics that show you who is clicking and reading your emails.
Change the Default Text Settings
A simple, yet effective way of customizing your emails is to change the default text settings. Here’s how to do it in a couple of simple steps:
1. In your Gmail account, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and go to “Settings.”
2. Go to the “Default Text Style” field and choose your preferred text size, font, and colour. Check out how the text will look like preview box under the settings.
3. Click on “Save Changes” and you’re done. The changes are valid for all your new messages and your replies.
Customize Your Signature
Gmail allows you to have a signature that is included at the end of each of the emails you send. To add a signature, go to “Settings” and select “Signature”. Add your preferred text and click on “Save Changes”. Note that you can also choose to insert images or links in your signature.
Smart Tip: Use an extension such as HelloSign to use an electronic signature for your emails.
Replace Buttons With Text
Your Gmail account has buttons as default for the main functions. You can see these on top of the page, above your emails. If you think these images are not as explicit as you would like them, you can change them with text. To do so, go to “Settings”, then “General” and click on “Label” buttons. A new row of buttons will be created, this time with words instead of icons.
Display a Virtual Keyboard
Useful for those who would like to the possibility of handwriting when using Gmail on a tablet or for those who often use special characters, the virtual keyboard is one of those little hidden secrets of Gmail. With this keyboard, you get access to thousands of characters that are not present on your regular keyboard. Activate it by going to “Settings” > “General” > “Language” > “Enable Input Tools”. Once activated, you can opt to change the language directly from the virtual keyboard, which comes in handy when you have to type special characters for foreign words.
Make Use of the Gmail Rich Text Editor
With the help of the Gmail rich text editor, you can create stylish and professional emails. The default text editor that you see when you first set up your Gmail account only gives you access to a couple of formatting tools. With the rich text editor, however, you get so many more customizable options. To bring out the rich text editor, follow these steps:
1. In your inbox, click on “Compose”.
2. In the window that pops up, there is an icon with an underlined capital A next to the send button at the footer of the window. Click on it to activate the rich text editor.
3. Play with the font size, colour and style of the letters to personalize the look of your message. Bullet points and number lists are further options for a well-organized email.