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gmail composeThis has happened to you: you’re reading your email, then you realize you should write someone else about something you just read. You hit “Compose”, only to find that the information you wanted to reference is now off-screen.

You could save the draft and re-search for the email. You could open a new tab, re-open your email and then find it. Or you could remember to copy relevant information before composing the new message.

None of those strategies are necessary, however, because of Gmail’s new compose mode Compose Emails In A New Window As Gmail Improves Interface [Updates] Compose Emails In A New Window As Gmail Improves Interface [Updates] 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. Using a separate window to write emails allows you access... Read More . It’s simple, it’s clean, and it’s a great sign that Google isn’t done improving Gmail yet.

Back in July Google acquired Sparrow, a brilliant email client for Mac and iOS users Sparrow - A New Gmail Desktop Client for Mac Users Sparrow - A New Gmail Desktop Client for Mac Users Read More . Their team joined the Gmail team, and if this is a sign of things to come from that I have to say: everyone wins.

No More Multiple Tabs

Previously, when you hit the “Compose” button, whatever you were looking at was replaced with your new message. The new compose mode, which you can enable now in Gmail, pops up at bottom-right:

gmail compose

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Whatever you had open in Gmail before pressing “Compose” remains open – you can browse without closing anything. You can even minimize a conversation you’re composing if you want to get back to it later, or pop it out to another window.

If you use Gmail’s chat function this is all familiar. What’s not is the email-specific functions: at top you can enter who the message is for; the To, CC and BCC fields pop up when you’re using them and go away when you’re not. So does the “From” field, if you’re one of those people who manages multiple email addresses from within Gmail.

At the bottom you’ll find buttons for formatting and other options.

compose multiple emails gmail

Saving vertical space is an obvious priority here, and you can’t deny: the result looks good. If you’re like me, though, you’re wondering where the features you love disappeared to.

They’re in submenus, as it turns out. An arrow at the bottom-left of the compose window allows you to use canned responses” or switch back to the old compose interface. Save Time with Gmail Email Templates using "Canned Responses" Save Time with Gmail Email Templates using "Canned Responses" Read More

compose multiple emails gmail

Formatting isn’t as big a deal in email as it was in the early, wild-west days of the medium. Some people still like it, however, so Gmail offers a mostly-hidden panel of formatting options at bottom-left:

compose multiple emails gmail

Attaching is simple: just drag any file to the compose window from your file browser, or click the paperclip icon. The hyperlink function can be found by hovering over the “Plus”.

Reply Mode

Of course, when you’re replying to a message you probably want to see it in the context of an ongoing conversation. For this reason Gmail doesn’t pop-out replies. They have simplified the reply look, however:

gmail compose

Traces of Sparrow live here, I think: if your response is quick you only ever see the tools you absolutely need. If you want to add more people to the message, however, you can also do that and all of the above advanced options are also offered.

What Do You Think?

You might react – as I did – with utter horror as you realize your favorite third party extensions no longer work. Don’t worry: they’ll come around. They always do.

Beyond that, however, I want to know what you think of this new way of writing emails. Is Google going mad with power, or did they just make email easier? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or randomly comment on the economics of Spanish agriculture. Whatever.

  1. Jerry
    February 17, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    this does not work

  2. Marianne Martin
    December 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    I am glad to hear about this new addition to gmail. I am going to check it out, review it and then post a comment.

  3. lucy
    November 29, 2012 at 4:06 am

    For me the deal breaker was the inability to switch between accounts/signatures from the new interface (or at least I couldn't find how to do this).

    • Justin Pot
      November 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      I was worred about this too. Just click the "From" button and you can pick.

  4. maharawj
    November 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I think most of us are yet to discover that the new compose strips of HTML code that it did not in the old compose.(when you copy paste a mailer for example).
    The old compose window and also many other clients do strip off code like background and positioning of layers to name a few.
    But the New Compose strips off some new code and I just don't understand why.
    Its 3 am in the morning and I am stoned due to lack of sleep, I am in doubt if it was the list styling that it stripped off(inline styles only inline styles works in mailer btw) or was it something else.
    Yes it has to be the list style because I don't see what else it could possibly strip as everything else was just text styling and table background color.
    Reverted back to the Old compose window and its working.
    I think it may get stripped again if someone forwards it using the new compose.

  5. Rajaa Chowdhury
    November 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I like the clean metro-style interface of more now so almost stopped using GMail. Just use the Google Account for Google Play now.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      November 17, 2012 at 4:18 am

      I personally feel that for a change, Microsoft has now set the benchmark of how a modern web-mail interface should look, with the clean minimalism interface of for the competitors to follow suit including Google.

  6. Terafall
    November 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    It's great for writing short email

  7. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I'm still using classic mail so I won't see these new features. The 'modern' version takes more time to load than waiting for YouTube buffering in my computer.

  8. DB
    November 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

    waiting for this to be deployed to google apps accounts. For those of you that do not like it, dont use it...pretty simple.

  9. Samuel Almeida
    November 16, 2012 at 8:40 am

    No doubt - in my opinion of course - that this is a huge improvement in gmail.
    I can't count the number of times I had to open up a few tabs to grab information from other e-mails so I could compose a new one.
    I'm not sure how this 'floating' compose window behaves on different resolutions, but on my 1280x800, it sits perfectly in the corner, waiting to be used :)
    It's not intrusive, it doesn't kill the usability, it's visible... it's what I was looking for.

  10. Usman Mubashir
    November 16, 2012 at 6:38 am

    I kind of liked it cause its far more neat.

  11. Timothy Liem
    November 16, 2012 at 5:19 am

    I think it's a great idea for quick compose. but the interface is confusing. I still prefer default one.

  12. Brian Mok
    November 15, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    It seems pretty good to me. :)

  13. Earl Sunaz
    November 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I liked the old one compose better. Then again, this is something new, so I'd be willing to be that there'll be more modifications and improvements as long as there's feedback.

    Earl from

  14. Jhon H. Caicedo
    November 15, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I tried the new compose, but don't like it, the new window is to small to write a long email and besides i don't see much use for multitasking or writing several emails at a time. I hope that the previous compose method continue to be available.

    • Douglas Mutay
      December 4, 2012 at 8:32 am

      You're right in some point, but if you click in the up arrow at the top left it will expend your window and make it more convenient for long email.

  15. Alex Perkins
    November 15, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    I really like the new compose, so much more friendly to use.

  16. AriesWarlock
    November 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    It's good to see the Gmail team finally doing something after the knockout Microsoft handed with the new Outlook and Office 365.
    I didn't like the new compose window at first but I am warming up to it. I still want to see easier way to add contacts, like if I send an email to someone not in my contact, Gmail should ask me right there if I want to add that person to contact list.

  17. Anonymous
    November 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I deinstalled it after short testing.

    1) all drag&dropped images would be embedded and not attached. No chance at the moment (i.e. dropping it on the bottom line)
    2) on my 1600x1200px monitor this window is small and sticks to the lower right corner which is totally not comfortable — no floating, no scaling.

    yes, it's clean, i like the design, but those 2 things above are really crucial to be fixed asap!


    • larrymcj
      November 18, 2012 at 3:37 am

      I couldn't agree more with Hannes. I love the new feature but PLEASE, Google, let the message composition window be user-configurable. The more people who request this feature, it might one day actually happen.

  18. Kamran Hassan
    November 15, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I think it's just great that they decided to finally include this feature into the web interface. That's another excuse for me to stay away from Thunderbird, which is an excellent piece of software, mind. Also, the way the tiny compose popups minimize to accommodate more compose popups is just so intuitive.

  19. amberr
    November 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    they should have left gmail alone its horrible now

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