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Less typing, fewer mistakes: How Gmail Snippets can save you time and effort

If Gmail is your preferred email service, consider taking advantage of the free Snippets feature, which can cut down on the amount of typing you do on a daily basis.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
sdominick/Getty Images

Do you regularly have to type emails that include the same content over and over? You might have steps for a process, legalese, different email signatures, or other bits of boilerplate information. If that information is complicated or long, typing it out every time can be a chore. On top of that, if you have to regularly re-type it, the likelihood of a mistake grows considerably.

What if I told you that there was a handy Gmail add-on that saves you from having to retype that content every time you need to send it? 

Also: Gmail will help you write your emails now: How to access Google's new AI tool

That feature is called Snippets and is included with the Gmail "Vault" addon. This simple tool can save you a lot of time and effort. 

Vault is free, is available to both the free and paid Google Workspaces accounts, and is very easy to use.

Let's find out how.

How to create your first Snippet

What you'll need: The only things you'll need are a valid Gmail account and the Vault addon. You can access your Vault (and the Snippets contained within) from either the browser or mobile version of Gmail. I will demonstrate with the web version (as that's what I use the most).

1. Installing the Vault add-on

The first thing to do is install the Vault add-on for Gmail. To do this, open your web browser, point it to the Vault addon page, and click Install. Follow the prompts to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete, point your web browser to Gmail. Once Vault is installed (and Gmail is open), you're ready to go.

2. Open Vault

With Gmail open, click the Compose button. you should see a new icon in the Compose window (a small square with a green/white check). Click that icon.

The Gmail compose window.

The Gmail compose window should now include the Vault icon.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Launch the Snippet editor

In the resulting window, click New Snippet at the bottom left corner.

The Snippet selector window.

You can add as many Snippets as needed.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4. Create your first Snippet

In the next popup, type everything you need for the Snippet, including Label, Content, Folder, and Team Members. At a minimum, you should type a Label and the Content, otherwise, the Snippet will either be hard to locate or be useless to you.

Once you've created the Snippet to your liking, click Save.

The Vault Snippet editor.

Don't worry, the content for your Snippet can contain more than a single line.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Using your new Snippet

When you need to use the new Snippet, all you have to do is open the Gmail Composer, click the Vault icon, and click the Insert button associated with the Snippet you want to use. The content of the Snippet will automatically be placed in the body of the email, where you can finish composing and send it away.

The Snippet selector window.

A quick click of Insert and your Snippet is added to your email.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

A possible word of warning

For those who place a high importance on privacy and security, remember that Vault is a third-party add-on for Gmail. Because of that, I wouldn't suggest adding sensitive information to a Snippet item. If you need to use sensitive information with a Snippet, I would recommend leaving placeholders in the Snippet for that content and adding it manually. Something like this:

Also: Google's new Bard extensions link Gmail, Docs, Maps, and more to its AI chatbot

My SENSITIVE CONTENT PLACEHOLDER is where I add sensitive content.

If used wisely, Vault and Snippets can really save you time and typing in Gmail.

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