Docs Preview and Got The Wrong Bob

Welcome the Gmail Podcast, a collection short hints, tips, and tricks to help you get more from your Gmail account. I’m your host, Chuck Tomasi.

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Let’s say you’re a typical Gmail user and your colleagues send you links to a Google document, either a spreadsheet, presentation, or regular text document. Typically, you would click the link to open the document in Google Docs. That’s a little cumbersome when all you need is a quick peek to get a few facts or figures. That’s where the labs feature called “Docs Previews” comes in handy. Like any labs feature, you can find it under setttings, on the labs tab. Enable it and save your settings. Now when you get a link to a Google doc, an option will appear on the bottom of the message to preview the document, almost as if it were an attachment. Sorry, it doesn’t allow you to preview actual Microsoft document attachments like Excel or Word.

Another handy labs feature that can save you from some potential embarrassment is called “Got the wrong Bob?” This feature looks at the patterns of recipient groups you have sent to and tries to prevent you from including the wrong one.
For example, I normally send email to Kreg S, Victor C, and Steve H, about a surprise party we’re planning for Steve R. Well, it’s Saturday morning and I’m feeling a little tired from a long Karate workout the night before. I start typing and the automatic insert changed the order of my lookups for some reason so my quick typing gets me Kreg S, Victor C, and Steve R! It would be a bit of a problem if the mail went to Steve R instead of Steve H – obviously, it would ruin the surprise. Fortunately, I’ve got “Got the wrong Bob?” feature turnd on and it shows a red message just under the recipient box that says “Did you mean Steve H instead of Steve R?”
Again, like all other labs features, you can find “Got the wrong Bob?” under the labs tab of the settings screen. As a side note, be aware that the labs feature formerly known as “Suggest More Recipients” has been changed to “Don’t forget Bob”.
That’s all for this time… Comments, suggestions, or questions can be sent to or check the website for full information and archives of all previous Gmail tips at I have no affiliation with Google other than as a satisfied Gmail user. Thank you for listening, and don’t forget to write.


  • Jess says:

    Unfortunately, ‘Got the wrong Bob’ is now implemented as an always-on non-configurable ‘feature’ of gmail. Which means that even if ‘Bob’ is a jerk who I had to include on a group email because he works on my project, but I thankfully said goodbye to tha projest months ago, gmail will keep on faithfully popping his name up every time I send email to my friend Katy who also worked on that project. Oh, joy. I get to be reminded of good old Bob. Again. C’mon, google. Give us a little credit for being capable of helping ourselves, eh? How about making this an OPTIONAL feature?

  • Chuck Tomasi says:


    Great point. I know Google listens because they have reversed decisions before. Have you tried using the “Report a bug” feature under the gear icon (upper right)?

  • Joan says:

    This can be a very embarrassing feature as my cursor somehow passed over one of the addresses and added it. I didn’t realize it and the email got sent to this other person as well! Extremely annoying and enough to make me start emailing through another email provider if it doesn’t change.

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