Posted by: Diabolic Preacher | September 19, 2008

Have you taken Gmail Labs for a test drive yet?

Thought of taking a second look at the labs section of Gmail to see what newer features were added. I forgot I’d enabled mouse gestures. it was so long ago and i am used to keyboard shortcuts. There was also the random quote feature that I didn’t realise was a Labs feature. So this is an article on the current set of Labs features that I turned on and why I feel they would be of some use to me.
If the reasons are convincing enough, go ahead and give em bleeding edge features a try. πŸ™‚

I enabled the following GMail labs features. reasons follow…

Mark as Read Button

speeds up the operation. though with better gmail2 i need to press only the comma key (,) to select unread mails in the current list and mark them all read.

Forgotten Attachment Detector

its said to be not fool-proof but i don’t write that bad english that gmail wont recognize

Navbar drag and drop

kinda useless since right now i only have the labels box, so nothing to rearrange it with

Quote selected text

speeds up the work of replying to an email and having to separately cut off all the part that is not required. select text and only that part is quoted from the original message

Right-side labels

my linbox is now a 3 column layout else the list of mails would extend right till the end of the right corner

Email Addict

i am trying to depend less on this and trying to avoid checking email too much. studies say it takes 64 seconds to get back your concentration to what you were doing, once you finish your email checking. so it helps too

Random signature

buggy doesn’t print out the entire quote…trails off with “…”

Signature tweaks

what exactly is this about?

Custom keyboard shortcuts

this is what i’ve been mainly using better gmail 2 for and there is keyboard shortcuts for just about all operations.


i added this only after i read that you can search superstarred mails using the has: keyword, which makes it a really cool feature to find required mails quickly. its something like quick saved searches.

UPDATE: Finally figured out how wrong I was to add signature tweaks. Its the sure-shot way to easily top-post the reply, which makes reading replies in relation to their quoted context really difficult. since i am not at all in the habit of top posting it was a real PITA this new tweaks that i’d to copy paste the sig back down below.
Also check out this article on lifehacker, posted coincidentally around the same time.


  1. πŸ™‚

    I read your blog first before I read your email.. copy-pasted!! lol!

    So, you like it a bit.. if not all! Liked your response after yesterday, when it was kinda towards the “not interested” theme! lol! Custom Keyboard shortcuts are the best when it’s mastered, I agree πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the post πŸ™‚ Ciao!

    • Re: πŸ™‚

      a lot of my blog posts start off from chat or email conversations, i do that whenever i feel i can generalize the content for a wider audience. thanks to you for getting me started on it.

      your interest in labs feature was most surprising for someone who skips all technlogy posts on my blog. totally surprised me. i didn’t keep myself updated on features that were still cooking in the last tab (‘Labs’) until someone like you showed so much interest in them.

      better gmail 2 has already taken care of a lot of the requirements that gmail is trying to build in.
      in the end, i feel these extras should always have the option to enable or disable them as they are essentially extras.

      write your name. πŸ™‚

      • Re: πŸ™‚

        Ya, I forgot to write my name.. realised only after I posted the revelation.. and ‘en, had to email you back! :O

        One thing I’m yet to understand from Day 1 of this conversation: what’s “better gmail 2”? You keep on mentioning it! Did I miss something?

        – Radha.

      • Re: πŸ™‚

        go to tools menu then add-ons. click on the get add-ons tab and in search box just type better gmail 2 and press enter. ffx will automatically search and show you the extension. you can click “Learn more” to go to its webpage or install directly from there.

        Better Gmail 2 is an extension of compiled greasemonkey scripts by ( authors, which is one of my most favorite sites.

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