Wednesday, March 24, 2010

GMail Keyboard Shortcuts - Part One

One of my favorite parts of GMail are the keyboard shortcuts. Granted, I am quicker on the keyboard than most, I'm thinking that even for people who type slower than 100wpm will find keyboard shortcuts a huge time saver. Over the next few blog posts I'm going to share videos demonstrating the power of keybaord shortcuts for moving around and reading emails. Today I'm going to show you how to use some of the application shortcuts and some of the basics of moving around the inbox, tomorrow I'll focus more on moving around your email and organizing your inbox, and then the next day I'll talk about how to get to others parts of your GMail with keyboard shortcuts. Before I get started on the various shortcuts, I wanted to remind you that the shortcuts are case sensitive, so please be sure you pay attention to upper and lower cases in the shortcuts. As always, I'll start with a video for you visual learners:

First, if you haven't already done so, make sure you enable keyboard shortcuts in GMail:
  • Click on Settings
  • In the General tab, the third option is "Keyboard Shortcuts" ... make sure to select "Keyboard shortcuts on"
  • Scroll to the bottom and click "Save Changes"
  • After changing your settings you may need to reload GMail (Press: [F5], or hit the Reload button on your browser)

Find a list of shortcuts
  • From your inbox just press "?" (Question mark)
  • A list of all available shortcuts appears on your screen
  • From this screen on the top left you can open the list in a separate window if you want to print it out or keep it handy.
  • Pressing any key will make the box go away.

Search without the Mouse
  • Just press "/" to move your curser to the search box.
  • Type in your search and press enter.
  • When the search is returned you will be back in the list for navigation.

Jump to Chat Windows
  • Press "q" to juump tp the chat window
  • Type in the name of the person you want to chat with.

Start A New Email
  • Starting a new email in GMail is called "Compose Mail" to do so, just press the "c"
  • A new email message will be started in your current window
  • If you would like to start a new email in a separate window just make a capital "C" (Shift-C)

Moving Up and Down The Message List
  • Pay attention to the little black triangle to the left of the emails (►)... this arrow shows you which email is currently selected
  • "k" and "j" are the letters you need to remember to move up and down your email list
  • "j"-moves to older conversations, or down the list
  • "k"-moves to newer conversations, or up the list)
  • [Enter] will open the conversation you currently have selected
  • "u" will return you to your list of emails

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