Mail's new compose experience

Watch Gmail's New Compose Experience (Released on 11/12/12):

Gmail's new compose and reply experience

Staring on November 12, 2012, a new design for composing and replying to messages in Gmail will be released.  It is designed to be faster, cleaner, and more powerful. Most changes don't need any explanation but some differences are worth noting.

What's new

  • Streamlined compose pane
  • Check your mail while typing
  • Formatting options appear only when you need them
  • New keyboard shortcuts
  • Drag and drop addresses
  • Compose two messages at once

How to try the new experience...

* After clicking the Compose button, click the “new compose experience” link at the top of the message.

If you change your mind, you can temporarily switch back to Gmail’s previous experience. Open the Compose window, click the More options icon, and select “Switch back to old compose.”  

A closer look at some changes...


Entering addresses


Enter addresses as usual in the To field (labeled Recipients when you’re not adding addresses).


While adding addresses, click the Cc or Bcc link to display fields for entering those recipients, too.



You can even drag recipients between fields.
* Modify addresses

  • Double-click an address to edit it.
  • Click its x to remove it.
  • Hover over an address to see details about the recipient.
Your window grows as you type!

To accommodate longer messages, your writing pane grows as your message gets longer.
To make the window even bigger, click the  icon to open it in a separate window. Use the other two icons to minimize or close the window, which also saves your draft.

* Formatting text

Click the  icon to see text formatting options, such as font size, bold, underline, and bullets.
Look for indentation options under the alignment icon *
* Attachments, photos, and links

Click the  icon to attach a file from your desktop.
Hover over the + icon to see more options for inserting photos and links. *
Tooltips and keyboard shortcuts

If you're not sure what an icon does, point at it to see a pop-up description.

For many actions, the description also includes a keyboard shortcut for performing the action without having to display the icon.
* Spell check, printing, and labels

Click the More options menu to see other tools, such as check spelling, plain text mode, print, and adding labels.

Some options may not yet be ready and will be shown in gray until they become available.
* Reply, Reply all, & Forward

When replying to a message, open the Reply menu next to the recipient's name to display options to reply, reply all, or forward the message. 
Edit your recipient list

Click in the recipient field...
To open an edit field for adding or removing addresses... *
* Change a message subject

When replying to a message, open the Reply menu next to the recipient’s name and choose Start separate conversation. This copies the message to a new thread where you can enter a new subject. 

Compose multiple messages at once!

While composing one message, click Compose again to open another window. Minimize drafts you’re not working on now to keep them handy for when you want to finish them later.



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