Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gmail Blog - Keyboard Shortcut Tips

Gmail shortcuts are a good way to save time when sorting through your mail. The little bit of time saved for each email can add up quickly. In Google's most recent Gmail Blog post they are giving people a refresher on the important keys. For those of you who do not use keyboard shortcuts, you should give them a try. It may be confusing at first, but considering that you only need a few to accomplish your most common tasks their is a short learning curve. Below is pertinent information from the Gmail Blog on the most important keyboard shortcut keys. Below that is the current list of all the keyboard shortcut keys.

"I scan the senders and subjects of unread messages in my inbox, navigate through the messages using k to move the cursor (little black triangle) upwards and j to move it back down.

As I'm moving around, I select all of the messages I haven't already filtered but don't need to read using x.

And archive them all with y (e works for this too). Now I just have the messages I should read.

3. Get through the mail I do need to read.
I find a message that looks important or interesting, and open it using the enter key. If I need to reply, I hit r. Reply all? That's a. Once my response is ready to go, tab + enter sends it on its way. Back to my inbox with g + i. More navigating around with j and k, selecting with enter. Archiving (y) and replying (r). Starring some stuff for later (s). The occasional forward (f). Sending with tab + enter.

It may seem like a lot to remember, but for me, these eleven shortcuts have been invaluable and aside from j and k, which I just had to practice, pretty intuitive (g + i? that's for "goto inbox"). If you ever need a quick refresher, hit ? anytime to see the shortcut reference guide. And if you don't like any of them, you can edit the defaults and define your own by enabling Custom keyboard shortcuts in Labs.

To turn these case-sensitive shortcuts on or off, click Settings, and then pick an option next to Keyboard

Shortcut KeyDefinitionAction
cCompose Allows you to compose
a new message. <Shift> + c allows you to compose
a message in a new window.
/SearchPuts your cursor in the search box.
kMove to newer conversation Opens or moves your cursor
to a more recent conversation. You can hit <Enter> to expand
a conversation.
jMove to older conversation Opens or moves your cursor
to the next oldest conversation. You can hit <Enter> to expand
a conversation.
nNext message Moves your cursor to the
next message. You can hit <Enter> to expand or collapse a message.
(Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
pPrevious message Moves your cursor to the
previous message. You can hit <Enter> to expand or collapse
a message. (Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
o or <Enter>OpenOpens your conversation.
Also expands or collapses a message if you are in 'Conversation View.'
uReturn to conversation list Refreshes your page and returns you to the inbox, or list of conversations.
eArchiveArchive your conversation from any view.
m Mute Archives the conversation, and all future messages skip the Inbox unless sent or cc'd
directly to you. Learn more.
x Select conversation Automatically checks and
selects a conversation so that you can archive, apply a label, or choose
an action from the drop-down menu to apply to that conversation.
sStar a message or conversation Adds or removes a star
to a message or conversation. Stars allow you to give a message or conversation
a special status.
!Report spamMarks a message as spam
and removes it from your conversation list.
rReply Replies to the message sender.
<Shift> + r
allows you to reply to a message in a new window.
(Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
aReply all Replies to all message recipients.
<Shift> +a
allows you to reply
to all message recipients in a new window.
(Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
fForward Forwards a message. <Shift>
+ f
allows you to forward a message in a new
(Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
<Esc>Escape from input fieldRemoves the cursor from your current input field.

<Ctrl> + s

Save draft

Saves the current text as a draft when composing a message. Hold the <Ctrl> key while pressing s and make sure your cursor is in one of the text fields -- either the composition pane,
or any of the To, CC, BCC, or Subject fields -- when using this shortcut.



Moves the conversation to Trash.

<Shift> + iMark as readMarks your message as 'read' and skip to the next message.
<Shift> + uMark as unreadMarks your message as 'unread' so you can go back to it later.
[Archive and previousArchives your conversation and moves to the previous one.
]Archive and nextArchives your conversation and moves to the next one.
zUndoUndoes your previous action, if possible (works for actions with an 'undo' link).
<Shift> + nUpdate current conversationUpdates your current conversation when there are new messages.
qMove cursor to chat searchMoves your cursor directly to the chat search box.
y Remove from Current View*
Automatically removes the message or conversation from your current view.

  • From 'Inbox,' 'y' means Archive
  • From 'Starred,' 'y' means Unstar

  • From 'Trash,' 'y' means Move to inbox
  • From any label, 'y' means Remove the label

* 'y' has no effect if you're in 'Spam,' 'Sent,' or 'All Mail.'
.Show more actionsDisplays the 'More Actions' drop-down menu.
?Show keyboard shortcuts helpDisplays the keyboard shortcuts help menu within any page you're on.

Combo-keys - Use the
following combinations of keys to navigate through Gmail.

Shortcut KeyDefinitionAction
<tab> then <Enter>Send message After composing your message,
use this combination to send it automatically. (Supported in Internet Explorer and Firefox, on Windows.)
y then oArchive and nextArchives your conversation and moves to the next one.
g then aGo to 'All Mail'Takes you to 'All Mail,' the storage site for all mail you've ever sent or received (and have
not deleted).
g then sGo to 'Starred'Takes you to all conversations you have starred.
g then cGo to 'Contacts'Takes you to your Contacts list.
g then dGo to 'Drafts'Takes you to all drafts you have saved.
g then iGo to 'Inbox'Returns you to the inbox.
g then tGo to 'Sent Mail'Takes you to all mail you've sent.
* then aSelect allSelects all mail.
* then nSelect noneDeselects all mail.
* then rSelect readSelects all mail you've read.
* then uSelect unreadSelects all unread mail.
* then sSelect starredSelects all starred mail.
* then tSelect unstarredSelects all unstarred mail.

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