Getting Comfortable With The Basics

Gmail Labs Tools

Gmail Labs: Some crazy experimental stuff.
Gmail Labs is a testing ground for experimental features that aren't quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time.  I have been using 20 or 30 Labs tools for several years without issues. Glenn

You turn on Labs features from within Gmail by clicking "Settings" right top of window. Then choose the Labs tab to see the complete listing. Select Enable for the Labs feature you want to activate, scroll to the bottom of the list and click Save Changes. Enjoy

Enabling Gmail Labs

Here is a list of my favorite Gmail Labs tools:

Background Send
Let Gmail send your mail while you move on to more important things. Just be sure to stay logged in until it's all sent!

Default Text Styling
Would you prefer Times New Roman to Arial, or perhaps large text to small text, in the e-mails you send out? Enable this lab, head over to the 'General' tab on the 'Settings' page, and change the default text styling to better suit your preferences.

Google Search
Displays Google search results inside your mail window, letting you quickly find things and use them when you're writing an email.

Inserting images
Allows you to insert images into a message body. You can upload and insert image files in your computer, or insert images by URLs. This lab will not work if you have offline enabled.

Move Icon Column
Move the column containing the attachment and other icons over to the left hand side to make it more noticeable.

Nested Labels
by Manu C – Manage your email by sorting it into a hierarchy of labels. Add slashes (/) to label names to express inheritance. For example, if you want a Home label with two child labels named Kids and Shopping, create the three following labels: Home, Home/Kids and Home/Shopping.

Signature tweaks
Places your signature before the quoted text in a reply, and removes the "–" line that appears before signatures.

Automatically categorizes incoming Bulk, Notification or Forum messages. Filters are created to label mail with these categories and Bulk is filtered out of the Inbox by default. Use Settings -> Filters to modify these defaults or create new filters. Report mis-categorized email from the 'Reply' dropdown menu.

Adds additional star icons. After enabling this feature:
(1) Go to the "General" Settings page to choose which superstars you wish to use.
(2) Use either the keyboard shortcut ('s') or click to rotate through your selected superstars.
(3) Use the search operator "has:" to find all messages with your superstar (e.g. "has:red-bang", "has:blue-star"). Learn the name of a superstar by hovering over its image in the "General" Settings page.

Undo Send
Oops, hit "Send" too soon? Stop messages from being sent for a few seconds after hitting the send button.

The group above are what I consider must have to get the most form Gmail, in addition I also have the following Labs features enabled.

Apps Search

Authentication icon for verified senders

Create a Document

Filter import/export

Google Calendar gadget

Google Docs gadget

Google Docs previews in mail

Google Voice player in mail

Mark as Read Button

Mark Unread From Here

Picasa previews in mail

Refresh POP accounts

Send & Archive

Title Tweaks

Enabling Gmail Labs Go to top of page

Want to get started with Labs? You can do this in a few quick clicks. Sign in to Gmail and Click the gear icon in the upper-right and select Gmail settings in the top right of your Gmail page. Select the 'Labs' tab and identify the labs you want to enable. Click the 'Enable' radio button to turn on a lab and click 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page. Your page may refresh but after the refresh, the lab you just turned on will be available in Gmail.

Don't see the 'Labs' tab in your Settings? It could be because Gmail labs aren't yet compatible with all of our supported browsers. Labs are available only in Internet Explorer 7.0+, Firefox 2.0+, Safari 3.0+, and Google Chrome. You won't see a 'Labs' tab in your Settings if you're not using the newer version of Gmail on the browsers listed above. So keep in mind, if you're using Internet Explorer 6.0, you will not have Gmail Labs.

Tech News by Topic