5 Gmail Attachments Tips
Article by George Norman
On 17 Jun 2010
Everyone knows that you can use Google’s email client, the aptly named Gmail, to send and receive emails – simple text emails, or emails with attachments. Not everyone knows how to make the most out of sending, receiving, viewing and finding attachments. Well, fans that keep a close eye on Gmail may already know this. If you are a Gmail fan and you know all the bits and pieces Gmail can do, then spread the word. Then again, who knows, something presented below may even take you by surprise.

Here are 5 Gmail tips about sending, receiving, viewing and finding attachments:
  • Drag and drop attachments
To attach a file you would have to first click "Attach a file" -> then you have to look for the file you want to attach -> then you have to select it and click "Open". I think you will agree it is not a terribly convenient process. Luckily for you, if you’re using Firefox 3.6 or Chrome, you can simply drag and drop an attachment. If you want to attach a file to an outgoing message, simply drag and drop that file to Gmail.


You can also drag and drop images to the text body, but in order to do so you need to enable a Labs experiment. Read more about this one here.
  • Select multiple attachments
As mentioned above, attaching a file to an outgoing message is never fun – unless you drag and drop the attachment. Attaching multiple files can be a pain in the unmentionables. But you need not attach files one at a time, you can attach multiple files at one. Simply hold down Ctrl, click a file, then click another file, and another, then attach them all.
  • Never forget to attach a file
Don’t you have it when you forget to attach a file to an outgoing email. If you wrote something like “I have attached” or “see attachment” in the outgoing email, Gmail will warn you if you attempt to send the email attachment-less. Gmail will ask you if you wanted to attach a file, but somehow forgot.
  • View attachments online
You don’t need to download or save a file you received via Gmail in order to see it. You can see it online thanks to the Google Docs viewer which supports .pdf, .ppt, and .tiff files. This means that if you click “View” you can see these files in your browser. UPDATE June 25: Google announced that now you can also view .doc files (Microsoft Word) in Gmail.
  • Easily locate an attachment
Thanks to Gmail’s advanced search operators you can easily locate an attachment someone sent you. Arielle Reinstein, Product Marketing Manager provided these examples:
  • To find all messages that contain attachments: has:attachment
  • To find all messages from your friend David that contain attachments: from:david has:attachment
  • To find all messages that have .pdf attachments: has:attachment pdf
  • To find a specific attachment named physicshomework.txt: filename:physicshomework.txt

Tags: Google, Gmail
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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