Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Setting Gmail as the Default Mail Handler for Opening E-mail Links

Many have asked for the ability to click a mail link and have it open a new Gmail message instead of launching Outlook, which we don't use anymore. These instructions will work for other mail-to links, but the request is most common for people wishing to click on the email address of a parent in Infinite Campus and have a Gmail message automatically pop up instead of trying to launch Outlook. If you are in the habit of using mail links, you should follow these steps to ensure that the messages you create with a mail link actually go out. (Otherwise they may sit in the Outlook outbox and never actually send.)

You will need to remove a setting in Outlook, enable a setting in Gmail and make Chrome your default browser. Here are the steps.

  1. Open the Outlook application on the desktop (not the Web Access), Choose File, Options, Uncheck box to make Outlook the default mail program (the last choice under Options on the General section) 
  2. Click the two diamonds icon in the browser address bar in Chrome. Tell it to use CFSD mail as the default mail program. 
  3. Make Chrome the default browser. Chrome Menu, (three lines in right corner), Settings, Set Default Browser towards bottom of page. 
This should allow you to click a mail link when viewing a record in Infinite Campus via Internet Explorer or Chrome and it will open a new mail message in Gmail. This should also allow you to use a mail button from within another application to bring up a new mail message.

WARNING: If you make Chrome your default browser, the desktop shortcuts for any web addresses (including Infinite Campus) will change to a Chrome icon and will automatically open in Chrome when you use them. You will need to selectively open Internet Explorer to launch a site if you wish to use it in IE.

Creating a Class List on Google

Creating a Contact Group for your class(es) can be very beneficial. It makes it easier to email your students all at once and share documents to groups by typing in the group name rather than typing in every email address.

You can create class lists by going to Contacts, clicking New Group and following the steps, typing in each student to create the group. If you have multiple classes, this can be somewhat time consuming. There is a way to create contact groups using your Infinite Campus rosters. Its not for the faint of heart - there are a lot of steps - but Nick Gagnon used some of his Google Summer Camp time this week to create a detailed tutorial. You should be able to follow the picture steps in his tutorial to create class lists based on each course.

Those instructions can be found here. Thank Nick next time you see him!

Creating a Class List Using Infinite Campus Rosters