Save Gmail messages in Google Docs

Some e-mail messages are quickly trashed; some are better off archived, but a few need work. Gmail has a new experimental feature that lets users save their messages as Google Docs.

Rob Lightner
Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.
Rob Lightner

Cut and paste is great, but for some purposes, it's a tool of last resort. Gmail makes it much simpler to save your messages as documents and PDFs, keeping formatting intact. Here's how to do it: 

  1. Log in to Gmail. 
  2. Click the gear-shaped icon near the top right, then select Settings.
  3. Click the Labs tab near the top center. 
  4. Scroll down and click Enable next to Create a Document. 
    Step 4: Select Create a Document.
    Step 4: Select Create a Document. Screenshot by Rob Lightner/CNET
  5. Scroll to the top or bottom and click the button labeled Save Changes.
  6. The next time you want to save a message as a doc, just click the More button in the top center of the message reading pane, then select Create a document.
  7. A new tab opens in Google Docs. From here, it's easy to edit, save, and export as a PDF or some other file format. 

That's it! This feature is incredibly handy for tackling invites, e-mailed schedules, and all sorts of other problems that cutting and pasting just can't solve.