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Web mail is the best place to start using email. There are no complicated programs and you can access your email from any computer with an internet connection. I like using gmail for a webmail account so this tutorial will be based on gmail. There are several other webmail providers, such as Yahoo, MSN, hotmail, etc. In this tutorial we will go through setting up a Gmail account, learn to send and receive emails, and add contacts.

Open your web browser and type www.gmail.com

GMail Web Browser

Now click on the lower right hand button "Create an account." This will bring up a new webpage with a form for you to fill out. Go through the form and fill out all of the fields. When you are finished click I accept. Create account.

That will bring you to the congratulations screen. From here click show me my account. It will bring you to the screen you will see each time you log into your email account from www.gmail.com

Gmail Inbox

Now that we have an account created we will move onto sending and receiving email.

We are going to go through the basics so you will have a firm understanding of how to read and send email to your friends and family. When you log in you will be taken to the inbox. The inbox is where you will see all of the messages that you have received. To read a message click on the senders name.

Once you have read your email you have four choices.

  • You can click the upper left link that says Back to inbox. This link will keep your email in the inbox and return you to your inbox to read the rest of your messages.
  • Click the Delete button to remove the email from your inbox.
  • Click the Reply link at the bottom left side of the email this will open a new message with the email you received at the bottom of the message and let you type a response to the email and send it to the person that sent you the original.
  • The last option is to click Forward and send the message to another person.

The next task we are going to complete is sending a new email to someone. Up at the top left corner of the Gmail website is a compose mail link. Click on this to open a new message.

Gmail New Message

Start by filling out the To: box with the person's email address all email addresses will have the @ symbol in the middle. for example this is my email address Jennifer@free-computer-tutorials.net Then click in the subject field. Type the topic of your email. Then down below the icons is where you will type the body of your email. You can also move from field to field by pressing the tab button. Type a short message to me and click the Send button at the bottom of the body. Your message is off to the recipient

I want to cover adding contacts and then we will come back to sending messages so you can see how the two work together.

Click on the Contacts link in the left column of the Gmail site.

Gmail Contacts

Click on the type of contact you want to enter i.e. Family. Now click the + sign with the little person next to it. Open a page for you to type your contact's information into.

Entering a Gmail Contact

Fill in the fields and click Save. Notice that in the middle section there is the name of your new contact and whatever type of contact you selected now has a 1 next to it. Now that we have a contact entered click on Compose Mail again.

Choose a Gmail Contact to send email to

In your new message that you are about to create click on the To: link. The Choose from contacts browser window will come up. If you do not see your contacts click the down arrow and select My Contacts. You should now see the contact you just entered.

Click on it to add it to the To: section. Once you have more than one contact in there you can select multiple contacts and send them all the same email at the same time. Now click Done.

That will close that browser window and return you to the Gmail email message you are creating.

You should see the email address for the contact you selected in your To: field of the email you are composing. Continue just like we did before entering the subject and the message in the body of the email. Then click Send.

If you have any questions please email me.

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