Insert an image into a Gmail message

Rick Broida, PC World
4 June, 2011
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Want to send someone a photo, screenshot, or other image? If you’re a Gmail user, there’s only one obvious 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 email? What if you need to resize an image for sending? Scan the toolbar all you want; you won’t find any image options.

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 and then clicking the Labs tab.) The aptly named Inserting Images feature adds a new button to Gmail’s Compose Mail toolbar. Click it and you can choose an image to upload from your computer 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.”)

Add image options to Gmail with a handy Labs feature. Click on the new Add An Image button (circled) to insert your image. Then click the image to reveal choices for resizing it (also circled).

Once you’ve selected your image, Gmail pastes it into the email message wherever your cursor was when you clicked the button. Click on the image to choose from four available size presets: Small, Medium, Large and Original Size. (Tip: You can also drag an image from the Finder to your Gmail message body.)

I should note that the person on the receiving end might not see the embedded image if he or she is using an older email 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.


2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Michelle says:

    related question to this post. I inserted an image into a gmail, but the image will not show up on my iPhone or my boss’ Blackberry. Is this a setting issue on the phones? On my iPhone all I get is a black box.

    Please help!

  2. Macworld Australia Staff says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Perhaps the attachment image is too big?. Try sending a smaller image as a test to see if this is the issue. Let us know how you go!

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