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7 Things You May Not Know About Gmail’s Compose Window

with 8 comments

(Guest Post by Krupesh)

If you thought the Gmail compose page was barebones, think again. There are plenty of features available in the compose window, but many of them are often overlooked upon.

Here are some features you might be missing. If you live and die by Gmail all day, these tips should certainly make you more productive.

1. Load contacts from the To button

Clickable to button in Gmail compose

Not everyone knows that the ‘To’ button in the compose window is clickable. Hitting it brings your contact list from where you can selectively choose contacts to be included in the ‘to’ field before you send an email.

2. Hit c to load the compose page

Keyboard shortcut for Gmail compose window

Hitting c on your keyboard from anywhere inside Gmail takes you to the Compose window. Make sure you activate the option Turn keyboard shortcuts on from the settings page in Gmail.

3. Open compose page in a new window quickly

Gmail compose view in a new window

Hitting Shift+C together opens the Gmail compose page in a new window. Alternatively, you can make use of the new window button on the top right to open the current draft in a new window.

4. Attach files by dragging and dropping

Dragging files into Gmail compose page

To quickly attach files, you can drag and drop anything from Windows Explorer into the space above the message field in the Gmail compose page. The file is then instantly uploaded as an attachment to the current email.

5. Directly insert images into message body

Insert images in Gmail

You can insert images directly into the body of an email by using the insert image tool in the compose page. You can also drag and drop any picture into the message field and it will show up in seconds inside the body of the email.

6. Hit Send from the keyboard

Tab, Enter Gmail Send shortcut

Hitting Tab followed by Space or Enter takes is akin to hitting the Send button in the compose window with your mouse. Try it, and you’ll forever use it.

7. Don’t ever include the wrong person in the ‘to’ field

This bob, that bob in Gmail
Source: Official Gmail Blog

Sometimes multiple contacts may have similar names and you might include the wrong one in the ‘to’ field. Gmail instantly suggests if you added the wrong contact (based on similar-sounding names). Make sure you look out for such suggestions.

8. Multiple, unique signatures

Gmail multiple signatures

You can add more than one signature to your Gmail account if you already send emails using multiple ‘from’ addresses. It’s just a matter of configuring appropriate signatures for every ‘from’ address from Gmail’s Settings page, as you can see in the screenshot above.

Written by Krupesh Muthukumar

August 17th, 2011 at 7:01 am

Posted in web app tips

Tagged with ,

  • Rk

    You should probably hide the real addresses, if any.

  • The screenshot for #7 you mean? I sourced it from the Gmail blog, as I’ve mentioned above. I guess they wouldn’t have put email addresses real people use actively in there.

  • I was also quite surprised to see the users email address exposed but you cleared the doubt. Anyways, I now know your 2nd email too. 😛

  • Also of note (as far as composing new email anyway) is the HTML signature support.  I love this feature, especially because it allows you to create multiple HTML signatures, which is great for someone like me who manages more than one email account, directly from Gmail.  

  • Ram

    Yes. Shortcuts are really useful to save time.IMO, its only useful for bulk senders.Gmail gives so many features compared to other mail services.

  • NK1964

    Don’t worry about the addresses. If Jane Austen, William Thackeray, George Eliot or any other of the 19th-century English novelists in the image complain, we may have more to worry about than Gmail shortcuts.

  • pankaj

    plz tell me how to save my subject colomn permanently…
    or how it take the previios subject automatically….

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