How can I edit the subject reference in received e-mails in Gmail?

Kathy Wingbermuehle June 16, 2013
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I make use of labels as best I can, but I frequently get e-mails from co-workers with no useful information in their reference line as to customer, project, etc. (I’ve asked them to make sure the subject line is more useful but it hasn’t helped). I spend a lot of time opening various e-mails to locate the one I need.

In Outlook 7 I was able to edit the subject or reference line to make it more helpful. Is there any way to do this in Gmail?

I saw your one tip about creating a Google doc directly from an e-mail but that gadget doesn’t seem to be available any longer and if I have to search both Gmail and Google Docs, I’m not sure that would help.

Is there anything you can suggest?
Kathy W.

  1. Amichai Rotman
    June 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm


    You can edit the subject line of an e-mail only if you reply or forward the message.

    If I understand correctly, you want to edit the subject line of the e-mail message in your Inbox and just leave it there for future reference - you cannot.

    You could, however, assign labels to the messages to sort them. Click the subject, add a tag and archive it. You can sort messages by their Tags later on.


  2. Alan Wade
    June 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Are you using an email client or accessing Gmail on the web?

    • null
      June 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      Right now I use gmail on the web - we don't have an exchange server at work so when I used Outlook, all messages downloaded into Outlook on my desktop and weren't accessible unless I was using that computer. If I could use Outlook e-mail (Office 10) but leave the messages on gmail on the web too (so I can access them from home laptop and droid phone) with deletions, forwards, etc. synced, that would be perfect. I currently sync my contacts from gmail to the gmail contacts app on my phone - if that could also sync to Outlook contacts, life would be really good. I'd continue to use Google calendar syncing to the google calendar app on my droid and I've just started using Astrid for a task manager the last few weeks. Any suggestions would really be appreciated.

  3. ha14
    June 16, 2013 at 11:08 am

    perhaps to forward a copy to yourself so you can edit the subject/body as needed, then delete the original message

    • ha14
      June 16, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Gmail's new compose and reply experience

    • null
      June 16, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Hi - I've done that but since everything then appears to be from me so I still open quite a few e-mails to locate the correct one.

    • ha14
      June 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      well perhaps to use another desktop email to do what you want, apparently it is not possible with web version gmail (or i am wrong).

      so if you use IMAP (outlook) and change the subject does it get mirrored to gmail after save and sync?

    • Kathy Wingbermuehle
      June 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      That is a great idea (if I could change the subject in outlook and have it sync back with the revised subject)! I have a copy of outlook I can use - I'll try setting it all up this weekend and see what happens and let you know. Thanks again!

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