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April 9, 2010

Gmail Adds Nested Labels and Message Preview

Gmail Labs has two useful experimental features: hierarchical labels and message preview. If you used Greasemonkey, it's likely that you've tried Folders4Gmail and Mihai Parparita's Conversation Preview, two scripts with similar functionality to the new Gmail Labs experiments.

Nested Labels is just a cosmetic change that lets you create labels which are displayed hierarchically. If you enable this experiment and create a label like Mailing-Lists/Linux, you'll notice that Linux is displayed as a subfolder of Mailing-Lists. Unfortunately, all the other places that let you interact with labels show the label as Mailing-Lists/Linux.

"You can create complex hierarchies of labels if that's the way you like to organize your mail, and you can expand/collapse labels to save space. You'll always be able to tell whether a given label contains unread messages in its collapsed child labels by looking at whether it's bold or not," explains Google.


Message Sneak Peek shows a small preview of a conversation, so you can quickly read the first sentences without opening the conversation. Right-click on a conversation from the inbox or from another view and you should see the first unread message from that conversation. If you've read all messages from a conversation, Gmail shows the last message.

There's also a keyboard shortcut for showing the preview pane for the currently selected conversation: h. You can navigate to the previous/next conversation using k and j or dismiss the pane using Escape.


{ Thanks, Sterling. }

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