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In Gmail, I can do formatting big-text, small-text. I should be able to mark something as a heading, as code, as a quote, etc (it is HTML, so I should be able to do everything that HTML can do).

Can I do this? I don't mind typing in the HTML, but want the recipients to see it rendered.

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The Gmail web UI doesn't include an WYSIWYG HTML editor

but you could use one of another web app that creates HTML with inline CSS styles, then copy the rendered view and paste into the Gmail message editor, i.e. you could use the GitHub issue editor, change to the preview tab, copy then paste into Gmail.

Another alternative is to use Google Sites; just be sure to use a site with no design in order to prevent the inclusion of styles that depends on styles defined in the site template.

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    So write it in a text editor, render it in another tab, and copy into the email. This is a work around, so worth something. However it is a bit of a pain. – ctrl-alt-delor May 26 at 18:58
  • You have some images in your answer. I have no idea what they are meant to show. I skipped the first one, without even noticing. But the 2nd through be off track. I have no idea what it is. With the first one I know what it is, but don't see what it adds to your answer. The 2nd is .....? – ctrl-alt-delor May 26 at 19:00
  • The first image shows the Gmail compose formatting toolbar, 2 shows the GitHub issue editor preview, and the third how the preview from the previous image looks on the Gmail compose window – Rubén May 26 at 19:07
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    Ah yes. I Already now what the first one is, but don't know why it is there. The 2nd and 3rd I now know why they are there. But it is unclear in the answer what they are. Add some commentary. Then in a week or two I will up-vote (not yet, I don't want to encourage only work arounds). (drop a comment if I forget). – ctrl-alt-delor May 26 at 19:13
  • Sure, in the meantime, please add a brief description of your search/research efforts as is suggested in How to Ask :) – Rubén May 26 at 19:20
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There is a chrome extension see https://markdown-here.com/ and https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/markdown-here/elifhakcjgalahccnjkneoccemfahfoa

It allows you to write in markdown, and then render it. It has headings, code, syntax highlighting, bullet-points, tables, math, etc.

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