Tuesday, June 03, 2008

So You Are A GMail User. But Are You A Power User of GMail?

So you are using GMail for regular e-mail communication. But are you a power user of GMail?

Here is a guide for all GMail users to transform as a power user of GMail

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you send/receive mails regularly then learning basic keyboard shortcuts will increase your productivity. Here is a list of common mail operations and the keyboard shortcuts to perform them

  • Compose mail - c
  • Send mail - tab + enter
  • Reply  - r
  • Reply All - a
  • Forward - f
  • Mark a mail as spam - !
  • Select(mark) a message - x
  • Archive a mail - y
  • Read a message - enter
  • Move to next mail/conversation - k
  • Move to previous mail/conversation -  j
  • Return to Inbox/any group of conversations(labels) - u
  • delete a message - #

Composing/Replying a mail in new windows

You can open a new window for composing/replying a mail by holding Shift key when clicking "compose" or "reply". Alternatively you can use the keyboard shortcut Shift + C, Shift + R to open new windows for composing and replying mails respectively.

Make sure to allow pop-ups for GMail.

Muting a conversation

Suppose you are on a mailing list and you don't want to be bothered about a mail conversation.  Select that mail conversation and simply press "m" to mute the conversation so that you will not see the mail in your inbox. The only time this conversation will appear in the mail box is when someone adds you to To or CC list.

Viewing all unread mails

You can view unread mails across all the labels by searching for label:unread. If you want to view the unread mails only from Inbox then  search for label:unread label:inbox.

Sending EXE files as attachments

GMail does not allow you to send a mail if you try to attach files such as .dll, .exe, .vbs, and so forth. This goes for files within ZIP archives as well—GMail looks inside these for executable extensions and the e-mail will bounce back.

The simple work around to trick GMail is to change the extension of executable files  to .jpg or .txt before attaching them.

Selecting a group of consecutive messages

If you would like to select  a group of consecutive messages displayed in Inbox or any other labels, you simple need to check the first one in the list, hold the Shift key and check the last one - GMail automatically selects all the consecutive messages between the first and last one.

Return to Inbox from anywhere

With the help of keyboard shortcut "g i", you can quickly return to inbox from anywhere in GMail application. Also you can return to Drafts( g d), Contact(g c), Sent Mail(g t), Starred(g s) and  All Mail ( g a) using the keyboard shortcuts.

Adding Images to mail

GMail does not allow embedding images between the text of a mail. You can trick GMail to embed images in the mail by just dragging and dropping the image on compose window. Or alternately you can use Ctrl + V to embed an image available in the clipboard.

Establish a secure mail communication

If you are connected to a network that is not trustworthy, then you can use secured version of GMail by pointing your browser to https://gmail.com instead of http://gmail.com. Secured version of GMail uses strong encryption methods to beat the people who sniff network communication.