Continuing with our series of Gmail Tips and Tricks, today we will be discussing about the interface and how to make most of it. The reason for doing so is that the interface is the only way we interact with the service and when we are using it every day, it is important to know how to customize it or organize it the way you want it. Let’s check out some ways that enable you to do so-
Gmail Compose Window
Google started rolling out new compose window for Gmail in the starting of this year, and while it may have created furor amongst users, we can be sure that it’s not going away. This means that we should make ourselves familiar with it. Whenever one clicks on the compose option in the Gmail, instead of opening it on the same window, the service opens a small window at the bottom right of the screen. This screen gives you a minimalistic look to enable you to focus on the content of your email, instead of anything else. But, this also means that you don’t get all sending options like To, CC, BCC, etc. until you click them yourself.
However, this option has one nice thing that is you can check your other emails while typing a new email for reference or other purposes. This saves a lot of time because earlier you had to close your email, then check the mail and visit drafts to resume writing. You can also minimize the email and write it later by simply clicking on it.
Another good option is to click the maximize button to compose your email in full glory. This gives you bigger screen to type and also showcases the formatting options, which in earlier mode have to be clicked. This mode can be set as default as well, by keeping the maximized window open once.
All the usual options of formatting, attaching files, etc. is still present in new compose experience, but now they have to be clicked on the basis of need.
If you still want to go back to the older compose interface, then there are some third party plugins/ extensions which can help you with that. However, we would suggest you to not rely on that as Google can shut them down anytime.
One good thing about Gmail is that it has responsive interface, which means that the website is automatically scaled depending upon the screen size and resolution. But, if you want to have more control of how you are viewing the emails, then there are options for that as well.
At the top, you can see these buttons which enable you to do various settings.
The first and second previous/ next buttons are navigating between emails. The second option is really useful allowing you to split the interface horizontally or vertically. This option actually makes Gmail look like any desktop email client (such as Outlook). As the name suggests, horizontal split will showcase emails at the top, and their complete view at the bottom, whereas in case of vertical split, you can see all emails at left side and complete view of an email at the right. The good thing is that you can resize the split, so you can see either all emails or the complete view properly. This option will really be useful for users using large screen monitors. By default, the option is selected as ‘No Split’.
Another option is present in the Gear icon at the right, which allows users to set the display density. There are three options- Comfortable, Cozy and Compact, which shows all the emails in different manners. While comfortable and cozy offers ample space between each email, ensuring that you can read the email’s subject easily, compact packs them very tightly. You can set the display density as per your needs and device. For small screens (like Netbooks), compact view comes in handy as it shows more amount of emails.
Personalizing the Interface
While many of us might know it, it still is really simple and effective way to give personality to your Gmail. Gmail allows you to have a custom theme for the interface, which can be enabled by simply going to the Themes option from the settings menu. Depending upon you needs you can select any theme from various colored options, HD Themes (for HD monitors), Custom and Classic. Custom theme allows you to add your own background to the theme.
If you haven’t read Part 1 of Gmail Tips and Tricks, do read them and let us know if we missed anything. After discussion of Basics and Interface, we will be back with Part 3 where we will have some advanced tips.