Searching for a way to better the current way of receiving assignments (We should probably be using something like egroupware for universities, one can dream) I stumbled upon some nifty tricks to make life that much easier.
The issue came when I wanted to create a filter that analyzed the attachment file name. I found out that one can use the keywork “filename:” together with the checkbox “has attachment”. Therefore if one wants to act when receiving a mail that contains a pdf attachment, one needs to check the “has attachment” checkbox and the type “filename: pdf” in the “Has the words” text area. There is a downside to this approach: if the sender attached a file that ends in “.pdf” and the file is not actually a pdf, it will match it anyway. In other words the Gmail code does not actually check the mail, but just the name.
After I identified the emails that came in and had pdf attachments I wanted to auto-respond to them. When I went to create an action for the filter, no action had the auto-respond mechanism that I was looking for, so I googled a bit. After some searching I came across something called “Canned response”. This is basically a predefined mail that e-mail keeps somewhere and you can use it when defining an action in a filter or when answering an incoming mail. To use this feature I had to activate the Gmail lab called “Canned responses”.
This is probably one of the things that bothered me the most of the Gmail filters. The fact that one could not have a smaller granularity with one’s information. Now that I have discovered tagged filters, I like Gmail a bit more.