Using Gmail API to Send Rich Text Emails

The new HTML Mail app uses the Gmail API to send rich-text emails to anyone on your behalf. You can sign-in using your Google / Gmail account via OAuth and are presented with a HTML5 form to send emails. Unlike the Apps Script based solutions that require full access to your Gmail account, the new Gmail API only needs permissions to compose and send messages and does not have access to your Gmail messages and folders.

The app uses the Google PHP library to connect to the Gmail API though the can be easily ported to JavaScript, Python or Java. The text editor of the HTML Mail app is powered by TinyMCE.



require_once 'Google/Client.php';
require_once 'Google/Service/Gmail.php';

// Replace this with your Google Client ID
$client_id     = '';
$client_secret = 'Your Google Client Secret';
$redirect_uri  = ''; // Change this

$client = new Google_Client();

// We only need permissions to compose and send emails
$service = new Google_Service_Gmail($client);

// Redirect the URL after OAuth
if (isset($_GET['code'])) {
  $_SESSION['access_token'] = $client->getAccessToken();
  $redirect = 'http://' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST'] . $_SERVER['PHP_SELF'];
  header('Location: ' . filter_var($redirect, FILTER_SANITIZE_URL));

// If Access Toket is not set, show the OAuth URL
if (isset($_SESSION['access_token']) && $_SESSION['access_token']) {
} else {
  $authUrl = $client->createAuthUrl();

if ($client->getAccessToken() && isset($_POST['message'])) {

  $_SESSION['access_token'] = $client->getAccessToken();

  // Prepare the message in message/rfc822
  try {

      // The message needs to be encoded in Base64URL
      $mime = rtrim(strtr(base64_encode($_POST["message"]), '+/', '-_'), '=');
      $msg = new Google_Service_Gmail_Message();
      $service->users_messages->send("me", $msg);

  } catch (Exception $e) {

} ?>

<? if ( isset ( $authUrl ) ) { ?>
<a href="<?= $authUrl; ?>"><img src="google.png" title="Sign-in with Google" /></a>
<? } else { ?>
<form method="POST" action="">
  <textarea name="message" required></textarea>
  <input type="email" required name="to">
  <input type="text"  required name="subject">
  <a href="#" onclick="document.forms.htmlmail.submit();return false;">Send Mail</a>
<? } ?>
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


Awards & Titles

Digital Inspiration has won several awards since it's launch in 2004.

Google Developer Expert

Google Developer Expert

Google awarded us the Google Developer Expert award recogizing our work in Google Workspace.

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

Our Gmail tool won the Lifehack of the Year award at ProductHunt Golden Kitty Awards in 2017.

Microsoft MVP Alumni

Microsoft MVP Alumni

Microsoft awarded us the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) title for 5 years in a row.

Google Cloud Champion

Google Cloud Champion

Google awarded us the Champion Innovator title recognizing our technical skill and expertise.

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