Gmail shortcuts – Tips and Tricks about GMAIL


C: Compose new message.
Shift + C: Open new window to compose new message.
Slash (/): Switch focus to search box.
K: Switch focus to the next most recent email. Enter or “O” opens focused email.
J: Switch focus to the next oldest email.
N: Switch focus to the next message in the “conversation.” Enter or “O” expands/collapses messages.
P: Switch focus to the previous message.
U: Takes you back to the inbox and checks for new mail.
Y: Various actions depending on current view:
Has no effect in “Sent” and “All Mail” views.

Inbox: Archive email or message.

Starred: Unstar email or message.

Spam: Unmark as spam and move back to “Inbox.”

Trash: Move back to “Inbox.”

Any label: Remove the label.
X: “Check” an email. Various actions can be performed against all checked emails.
S: “Star” an email. Identical to the more familiar term, “flagging.”
R: Reply to the email.
A: Reply to all recipients of the email.
F: Forward an email.
Shift + R: Reply to the email in a new window.
Shift + A: Reply to all recipients of the email in a new window.
Shift + F: Forward an email in a new window.
Shift + 1 (!): Mark an email as spam and remove it from the inbox.
G then I: Switch to “Inbox” view.
G then S: Switch to “Starred” view.
G then A: Switch to “All Mail” view.
G then C: Switch to “Contacts” view.
G then S: Switch to “Drafts” view.
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Drafts

Gmail now has the capability to save “Drafts” of your messages! If you are in the middle of composing a message, but want to finish it later, just click on the “Save Draft” button now located between the “Send” and “Discard” buttons. This droops the message in a new view located on the left side called “Drafts” located under the “Sent Mail” link and above the “All Mail” link. Later, you can just click on the message, complete it, and then click “Send” normally.

Cleaning Your Contacts

One of Gmail’s “features” can leave you with extra entries in your Contacts list. Gmail has a (debatably) nice feature that automatically adds to your Contacts list the email addresses of those to whom you send emails. While this can be helpful at times, just remember that EVERY unique email address you send to gets auto-added.

Log into your Gmail account and click on the “Contacts” link at the top of any Gmail page. A window will open displaying any Contacts you may have. Any you have manually edited will typically have a “Name” and possibly a “Note” associated with it. By default, any Contact Gmail auto-adds and is unedited will not contain any “name” or “note” information, just the email address. Visually scan down the list and look for any that fall into this category. If you find one, determine what to do with it: Delete is, Edit it, or leave it alone. Obviously what you do with it is up to you,

What Happens To Sent Messages

When you “send” a message, two things happen to it:

it gets copied into your “All Mail” view, and
it is visible in the “Sent Mail” view.
Many email clients and Webmail services let you optionally delete all sent messages by default, but Gmail doesn’t offer this feature. Here’s why…

One of Gmail’s intentions is to get you out of the “trash everything” mindset. This is one of the reasons why they offer 1GB of storage.

About Labels

You can add a Label to a message in one of two ways:

If you are viewing a message listing, you can just click the checkbox next to the message, click on the “Apply label…” dropdown, and select the Label you want to apply. Gmail will display the Label just to the left of the message’s Subject.
If you are viewing a message, just click on the “Apply label…” dropdown, and select the label you want to apply. Gmail will display the new label to the right of the Subject line.
OK, you assigned a Label to a message, but at a later time, you want to remove it. How do you do that? Just select the Label view from the Labels box on the left, “select” the specific message by clicking the checkbox next to the message, and then click on the “Remove label ‘xxxx'” button at the top of the listing. Your label has now been removed!

Reading Messages

Note a couple things: First, no external graphics are displayed. By default, Gmail disables displaying externally referenced graphics. The reason is that many spam messages contain externally referenced graphics. When they are displayed, the email sender can use this to track that you opened the message thus validating your email address for future spam. Clicking on the “Display External Images” link will display the images if you want.

There is one glaring problem: If the original email is HTML or Rich Text formatted, Gmail will strip out ALL formatting including links, fonts, and images. ie: you can only reply in plain text.

Archiving

One of the first concepts that you have to get used to with Gmail is that of “Archiving”. The overall power of Gmail is in its message management, searching and archival capabilities. With 1GB of storage, the average email user will have enough storage space to hold several years worth of emails. Yes, there will always be emails that you simply don’t want to keep.

Archiving a message simply tells Gmail to remove the message from your Inbox screen and keep it in your “All Mail” screen. All emails will remain in your inbox until you specifically “Archive” them. Archiving simply removes the message from your inbox screen.But what happens to it? Don’t worry, all messages are always accessible through the “All Mail” screen. Archiving simply cleans up your inbox. Once a message has been archived, should you ever want to, you can easily move it back to the inbox, but there really isn’t a need for that.

Cleaning Your Contacts

One of Gmail’s “features” can leave you with extra entries in your Contacts list. Gmail has a (debatably) nice feature that automatically adds to your Contacts list the email addresses of those to whom you send emails. While this can be helpful at times, just remember that EVERY unique email address you send to gets auto-added.

Log into your Gmail account and click on the “Contacts” link at the top of any Gmail page. A window will open displaying any Contacts you may have. Any you have manually edited will typically have a “Name” and possibly a “Note” associated with it. By default, any Contact Gmail auto-adds and is unedited will not contain any “name” or “note” information, just the email address. Visually scan down the list and look for any that fall into this category. If you find one, determine what to do with it: Delete is, Edit it, or leave it alone. Obviously what you do with it is up to you,

Import Contacts

For the best explanation of just how to Import Contacts, log into your Gmail account, click on Contacts, and click on the new “Import Contacts” link at the top of the Contacts screen.

But what can you import and how do you import? Gmail will let you import address books into Contacts from Yahoo!, Orkut, Outlook, and pretty much any other service by uploading CSV (Comma Separated Value) files to your Gmail account. You can even manually edit and create CVS files for importing using Microsoft Excel.

Just remember that currently, Gmail’s Contacts fields are limited to just “Name”, “Email Address”, and “Notes”. According to the Help screen, all other fields will be imported into the Notes field.


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