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Reading and managing emails is one half of the story. Composing them is the other half, and Gmail just went in for an improvement there. We could open a separate window to write a new email earlier too by clicking “Shift” while clicking the Compose button, using the Shift+c shortcut or clicking the pop-out icon. Using a separate window to write emails allows you continued access to your inbox. Gmail believes that this wasn’t used by many, and so they have gone about improving it so it is more prominent and gives you more control.

The Compose window has been redesigned to be faster and easier to use. The new Compose gets its own chat-like (but larger) pop-up window. You don’t have to close your draft to reference or read other emails. As it works like a chat window, you can write multiple messages at once and minimize a message to finish it later.

You can now also see profile pics of your contacts in the address field as auto-complete kicks in. You can drag and drop the new address ‘chips’ between the To, CC, and BCC fields. When all recipients have been added, the address area collapses automatically to get out of your way. Other changes include a new icon for text formatting, an icon for attachments and a “+” icon for embedding photos, links, emoticons and Google Calendar events.

Improvements have also been made to the way you reply. The changes are being rolled out gradually. To try the new interface, open Gmail, click the Compose button and look for the new compose experience link right next to the Labels button. You can switch back to the old interface if you don’t like the new interface.

Source: Google Operating System Blog


  1. Kevin Ross
    February 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Thanks for the review. So many times Google rolls something out and no-one finds out about it until they decide to shelve it. I hope this Compose option sticks around for awhile - it's more streamlined. +1 for the heads-up!
    Now, if I can find an equivalent replacement for the soon-to-be phased out, iGoogle page I'd be in heaven!

  2. Anonymous
    December 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Is there anyway to disable the automatically collapsing address area? Have a client that wants to be able to see CC and BCC separately.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 13, 2012 at 5:00 am

      Not one I know off, or at least not yet. Maybe, you can ask this in our Answers section.

  3. yarasa GR67
    December 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Nice, i like it

  4. Anne
    November 5, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I've found out how to do it now, thanks

  5. Anne
    November 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I just wanted to try this feature out but don't know how to switch back, help!

  6. Anthony Monori
    November 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Great addition, too bad I'm using a desktop email app.

  7. unlwire
    November 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    I noticed that I cant attach a file to my emails. Maybe this issue is just in the opera browser. I'll admit I have not tried it on other browsers. Has any one else had this issue?

    • Saikat Basu
      November 10, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Haven't had this issue on Chrome. Maybe, you can ask our wider community on our Answers section []

  8. Alae Hatoum
    November 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    I didn't like it design wise ... the added functionality is cool but I don't composing mails on the same page .. Yahoo has had tabbed inbox for some time now ... maybe google can look at that

  9. Manik Kumar
    November 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

    Great upgrade..

  10. DB
    November 2, 2012 at 3:31 am

    This is good. Very Good...hopefully it comes to Google Apps soon.

  11. Alex Perkins
    November 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for the info, Thanks Google.

  12. josemon maliakal
    November 1, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    It is a cool feature ..really..and also the facebook changed its message interface..very bad UI

  13. LH
    November 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    You can switch between accounts by clicking on 'from' in the top right corner.

  14. Kaashif Haja
    November 1, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    I can't attach smileys and do few thing..
    I'll get used to it..

  15. Harshal Warkhede
    November 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I used it, its really nice feature introduced by google.

  16. Nikhil Chandak
    November 1, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    amazing feature
    gonna try it out

  17. Ashwin Ramesh
    November 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Well, the feature is good, but I guess there are some cons of using it at present, atleast for me. I am unable to use Chrome extensions such as Bananatag, which I tend to use quite often.

  18. Mark O'Neill
    November 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I really like the feature and it is already proving very useful for me. However I am noticing the following drawbacks (which will probably be fixed later, but even so, it's annoying right now) :

    1. Canned responses and labels are not supported.

    2. I would prefer to have the compose window on the left side of the screen, not the right. It would be nice to have the option to move it.

    Despite that, it is a really nice and useful feature.

    • Ashwin Ramesh
      November 1, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      Yes Mark, moving the compose box is another feature that would be useful.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 1, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Another drawback - if you have multiple email addresses attached to your Gmail account, as I have (work and personal email addresses) then you can't switch between addresses. A major problem, and this might force me to go back to the old compose window, until Google sorts this out!

      • Florin Ardelian
        November 1, 2012 at 6:13 pm

        You can switch between senders. There's a "From" field in the top-right corner. That was the first thing I looked for.

        • Mark O'Neill
          November 1, 2012 at 6:47 pm

          Wonderful! Thanks Florin. I totally missed that.

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Plus I use Gmail Boomerang which is also gone! Well...that does it. Time to switch back. Sigh, and I was starting to like it.

      • Alae Hatoum
        November 2, 2012 at 1:41 pm

        I was using right inbox and at first thought it was gone turns out the options to track mail have been moved around a bit so maybe its not completely gone and instead just relocated or something

  19. BestGeeK
    November 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    It's seriously a nice feature. Bravo Google!

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