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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.

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.