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Beyond the Basics: Gmail Tips and Tricks


This document covers some of Gmail's most powerful advanced features to improve your email workflow. These 10 tips and tricks include how to undo sent emails quickly, change the composition window position, set up mail delegation, and more!


1. Undo Send

This feature gives you a “grace period” of 5-30 seconds before an email finally, really leaves your email account. When you click send, a yellow-highlighted message appears above the inbox for 5-30 seconds (you define the length), allowing you to “Undo” your sending of a message. Just click Undo to bring the message back into Compose mode. You can re-edit, add the forgotten attachment, or keep it in your Drafts folder.

FireShot Screen Capture #136 - 'Inbox (7,456) - sek2@lehigh_edu - Lehigh University Mail' - mail_google_com_mail_u_0_#inbox.jpg

To enable Undo Send or change the settings, go to the Gear symbol, and choose Settings. Under the General tab you will find the menu below:

FireShot Screen Capture #137 - 'Settings - sek2@lehigh_edu - Lehigh University Mail' - mail_google_com_mail_u_0_#settings_general.jpg

Click to Enable Undo Send and define the cancellation period. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

2. Add to calendar

If Gmail recognizes text in the body of a message as a date/time, it will underline the text. This underline indicates that you can add an event to your calendar directly from that email. Just hover over the date/time text and choose Add to Calendar (see below for an example). The text of the email will appear in the description of the event.


Even if there is no “live” Add to Calendar option you can go to the More menu and select Create Event. You will need to select the date and time of the event. In the body of the event you’ll find a link to the email with all of the details.



3. Preview pane


Available in Google Labs, Preview Pane allows you to preview a selected message under the inbox.

FireShot Capture 18 - Inbox (7,454) - - Lehigh _ -

1. Go to the Gear icon; choose Settings.

2. Go to the Labs tab.

3. Find and enable the Preview Pane feature and Save settings.

You can also choose to have a “vertical split” rather than the horizontal split shown above. Click in the box to the right of the gear to show your pane view options.



4. Inbox views

By default Gmail displays your messages in reverse chronological order. You can modify this order. Gmail lets you display important messages first (how does Gmail mark importance?), unread first, starred first, or Priority inbox (split in three sections).


To configure your inbox:

1. Go to the Gear icon; choose Settings.

2. Go to the Inbox tab.

3. Select the desired options.

4. Save settings.



FireShot Screen Capture #139 - 'Inbox (7,455) - sek2@lehigh_edu - Lehigh University Mail' - mail_google_com_mail_u_0__zx=qz43ljhga7ai#inbox.jpg

The priority inbox view with Communications requests label selected for second pane.

5. Compose window options

By default, when you compose a new message, the Compose window is "docked" in the lower right hand corner of the screen. However, you can change this if you don't like it.

Full-screen view

Full-screen view expands the Compose window larger, and in the center of your screen.

To go full-screen one time:

1. Click Compose to compose a message.

2 Click on the "double-arrow" in the upper right-hand corner of the Compose window to go full screen.

To make full-screen your default Compose view:

1. While in the Compose window, click on the upside-down arrow in the lower right corner (shown right as yellow highlighted "1").

2. In the window that opens up, select Default to full-screen(shown right as yellow highlighted "2").

Pop-out view

It's also possible to "pop-out" the Compose window into its own, moveable window.

To do this:

1. Click Compose to compose a new message.

2. In the upper-right-hand corner of the Compose window, locate the diagonal double-ended arrow (see image on right).

3. Hold down the Shift key and click on the double-ended arrow.

The Compose window will "undock," or open to a pop-out window that can be moved and/or resized.

To redock the window, click on the one-ended arrow in the upper-right corner of the pop-out window.


6. Mail-to links (enable for Gmail)

Click Set Chrome 01.jpg while viewing Gmail in Chrome, then choose Allow. If you don’t see this icon (in the Location bar)...

  1. Go to the Options menu in Chrome (three vertical dots, upper right).

  2. Select Settings, then Show Advanced Settings, then go to the Privacy section.

  3. Click the Content Settings button.

  4. Scroll down to Handlers and choose Manage handlers.

  5. Select for the mail handler, and click Done.

  6. Click Done again!


7. Label options

To the right of each label is an upside down triangle that reveals options for configuring labels. For example you can:

  • Color code labels

  • Show or hide them in the label list

  • Show or hid them in the message list (inbox)

  • Edit, remove, or add a a sublabel.

label modifs.png

8. Chrome extensions

Google Chrome has extensions, found in the Chrome Web Store, that provide extra Gmail features. Here are a few popular features:

  • Gmail label column resizer allows you to expand and shrink your label column (for easier viewing of long labels)

  • Gmail Offline lets you work on your email offline (messages you send are sent when you reconnect to a network).

  • Boomerang allows you to schedule messages to be sent or returned at a later date. Write a message now, send it whenever, even if you're not online. Track messages to make sure you hear back, and schedule reminders right inside Gmail™

  • Mailto for Gmail makes mailto: links open in a Gmail compose window.



9. Multiple accounts in Lehigh Gmail (Delegation)

You can keep  all of your Lehigh Gmail accounts open in tabs in the same browser window in Chrome: Follow the instructions at


10. Send Mail As...

You can send mail as if you are from another account using Send Mail as…

Go to the Gear icon, then Settings, and choose Accounts.

Go to Send Mail as to add accounts and follow the steps.

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For additional help, please contact the LTS Help Desk at 610-758-4357 or