Insert an Image into the Body of a Gmail Message

Want to send someone a photo, screenshot, or other image? If you're a Gmail user, there's only one option: attach the item(s) to the message. That's all well and good, but what if you want to embed an image in the body of the e-mail? Scan the toolbar all you want; you won't find any such option.

Head to Gmail Labs, however, and you will. (If you're not familiar with Labs, you can get there by accessing the settings for your Gmail account, then clicking the Labs tab.) The aptly named Insert Images feature adds a new button to Gmail's Compose Mail toolbar. Click it and you can choose an image to upload from your PC or paste a link to an image you've found on the Web. (Regarding the latter, heed Google's fine-print warning: "Remember: Using others' images on the web without their permission may be bad manners, or worse, copyright infringement.")

Once you've selected your image, Gmail pastes it into the e-mail wherever your cursor was when you clicked Insert Image. You can resize it by clicking and dragging any of the handles, or by choosing one of the four available size presets: Small, Medium, Large, and Original Size.

I should note that the person on the receiving end might not see the embedded image if he or she is using an older e-mail client or doesn't have HTML viewing enabled. In that case, it will likely show up as an attachment.

This is a great little feature, one that deserves a permanent home in Gmail. Why it's still languishing in Labs, I have no idea.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PC World Community Forums.

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