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I've been typing out some particularly richly-formatted emails in Gmail recently, and the bugs in Chrome's contentEditible=true rich-text-formatting heuristics are really starting to drive me to distraction.

For example, there's absolutely no way to create a new list item, then add a nested list item, then "access" the paragraph-space of the parent list item.

What's really making me want to throw Google's datacenters into the nearest large river, however, is the fact that if I try to use the clipboard to move things around and try fix them when they start breaking, well, they start getting even more broken, because behind the scenes the browser thinks I want to split the <li>s up into multiple <ul>s (and a few thousand <div>s as well, since Chrome is so modern). And so pasting a nested list pastes it into the paragraph before the parent list (which you don't discover until you scroll up and discover it innocently sitting there). And then repeated attempts eventually breaks the list into a series of cute, un-bulleted paragraphs.

So, what can I do to give Gmail a "switch to raw HTML" mode, or (more preferably, since I'm not interested in figuring out a thousand <div style="background-color: rgb(...)">s), is there something I can use as a Gmail-compatible WYSIWYG editor, which will let me graphically edit with some sanity?

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I created the templated email in Word, saved it as HTML page. Opened the HTML page in a browser. Ctrl+A that page, and copy.

Compose a new email in Gmail, and paste. Everything will get pasted except for vertical texts (so use only horizontal texts) and inline images. A tip for inserting inline image is to put some generic text ("insert image here") wherever you need to insert image.

In Gmail compose window, click on that text, and then drag drop image from your folder into the compose window. Image will get inserted inline.

Remove the generic text now. Resize image using the options you get by clicking on the image in the Gmail compose window.

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You may cringe at this answer, but: if you do all your composition in MS Word, then sweep it all out (copy) and then paste it into Gmail, it works fairly well. It only gets messy when, having done that, you start editing in Gmail.

  • Interesting idea... I actually use Linux :) but I've come up with a fairly equivalent solution: use <markup language of choice> (bbCode, Markdown, etc) on a local webserver to generate HTML which I open then copy/paste across into the Gmail tab. It's ironic this is the only sane way to post formatted content through Gmail without using a dedicated client (which I'm considering)... – i336_ Mar 13 '14 at 5:22

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