Quick tip: Select quote for reply email in Google Apps

Sometimes you don't want reply to an entire email, just a specific part of it.

If you are like me, sometimes you want to respond to a specific portion of an email, not the entire thing. To do this in Google Apps, you will have to enable one of the common features available in the Labs section of the settings page.

Note: At one time this was a standard feature of Gmail, but Google decided to move it to the Labs section.

To the labs

Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Gmail inbox to get to the settings screen. On that screen, click the Labs link and scroll down until you find the entry with the title: Quote selected text, as shown in Figure A. Click the enable button.

Figure A

Labs entry, Quote selected text

Note: Enterprise users may have to ask their Google Apps administrators to allow this lab entry.

Once you have enabled the quote feature, you can use it to limit what you quote in a reply email. For example, let's look at Figure B - a simple test email sent to my personal account.

Figure B

A sample quotable email
If I simply click the Reply button, I get a reply email that looks like Figure C.

Figure C

Full reply
But if all I want to quote in my reply email is the famous quote, all I have to do is highlight it, similar to Figure D.

Figure D

Quote is highlighted
Now, when I click reply, only the quote is pulled into the reply email, as you can see in Figure E.

Figure E

Just the quote

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By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.