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November 6, 2010

Undocumented Gmail Shortcuts for Composing Messages

Gmail's keyboard shortcut for composing new messages is "c", but there are two undocumented shortcuts that let you compose a message, while also adding the CC (carbon copy) and the BCC (blind carbon copy) fields:
  • b - compose new message and add both CC and BCC
  • d - compose new message and add CC


To use these shortcuts, you first need to enable keyboard shortcuts in Gmail's settings page. Gmail is the only Google service that doesn't enable keyboard shortcuts by default.

{ Thanks, Cougar Abogado. }

37 comments:

  1. Both of these work great! But hard to get used to two character shortcuts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm still trying to figure out why these are undocumented. Is this more of the Chrome-established mantra, "Just do the right thing"?

    http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=150 (See comment #4.)

    Maybe it's Google's way of letting people like me find satisfaction in the simple, hidden shortcuts of life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Cougar Abogado

    If you enable labs feature "custom keyboard shortcuts", the new settings tab lets you customize all keyboard shortcuts, including these. I realize this probably doesn't qualify for "documented", but at least it's not totally hidden (as in "easter egg")...

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  4. It would be nice to add only BCC. I rarely use CC but often use BCC to send to others or even myself. At least with a BCC-only option I could save some screen space ! :-)

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  5. Anyone know how to use the # shortcut to delete email on a Mac? I've tried in Safari and Chrome but no luck, had to use a custom shortcut :(

    ReplyDelete
  6. Re: Mac/delete

    Command-3 works for me. Either when you're in the message itself or if you've checked it off in your inbox.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This feature is nice really i want this shortcut keys to save my time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. would be more useful if BCC or CC could be activated only once you have decide to compose an email. many times you don t know you need to cc or bcc someone before you start writing a message

    ReplyDelete
  9. These shortcuts are simply

    b
    d

    You do not need an * in front of them.

    I was confused about this, especially since @S said above that it's hard to learn two key shortcuts.

    This is a single key shortcut. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Is there a list of keyboard shortcuts in message composition window, like Ctrl-B for bold and Ctrl-I for Italics?

    I am particularly interested in the "link" shortcut which is Ctrl-K in Outlook and several others apps, and I am sorely missing it in Gmail.

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  11. Sweet! Saves me a trip to the mouse!

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Mantas. Tuche. I guess I really enjoy easter eggs - V.v.V

    @Alex G. I feel your pain on ctrl+k and have really gotten used to it in Docs. I often find myself wanting to use it in Gmail. Now, if we could just get _some_ keyboard shortcuts in the Docs folder page. "Life would be a dream."

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wish when double clicking a word to highlight it, (to add "bold", "underline", etc.), it would not include the space AFTER the word also. It is very annoying and time wasting. In Microsoft Word and other programs I work with, double clicking a single word does not include the space too. I keep hoping Gmail will fix this bug.

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  14. @Lee. I hear that. Please let me know when you find the feature request or bug listing, and I will add my star to it.

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  15. Does anyone know if there's a keyboard shortcut to press the send button? I can't find it and would be very useful as I use Google Chrome with DragonDictate and nothing I can say will press the send button after dictating an e-mail.

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  16. @Scott:

    Tab + Enter should work well.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for the tip. I've updated my GMail graphical cheat sheet (with credit to your blog).

    http://blog.schultzter.ca/2010/11/update-to-gmail-keyboard-shortcut.html

    or

    http://www.2fatdads.com/2010/11/update-to-the-gmail-keyboard-shortcut-graphical-cheat-sheet/

    Thanks again for the tip!

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  18. I'm still lost..after enabling keyboards shortcuts what else do I need to do?

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  19. to use the short cut keys for CC and BCC - what are the short cut keys

    allan.lobeck@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. @ Anonymous Allan.

    d for CC.

    b for CC & BCC.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am guess I am missing something. I enabled the feature. where so I enter b for both?

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  22. @Anon.

    You enabled which feature?

    If you're talking about simply enabling keyboard shortcuts, then using b (instead of c) will open up a new draft with the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields all opened.

    d will pull up a draft with just the To: and Cc: fields opened (i.e., the Bcc: field will be closed, behind "Add Bcc").

    Does that answer your question?

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  23. It's a keyboard shortcut. For example, you can press c to compose a message, z to archive a conversation, / to start typing a query. Instead of pressing c to open the message composing section, press b or d to see some additional fields.

    To sum up, open Gmail and type b (or d), the same way you would press F1 or Ctrl-Alt-Del. It's a single character shortcut.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I assumed I had to be in the email.

    "B" & "D" shortcuts actually open a new email for you and add what you are asking for by selecting the correct shortcut...

    Anything I should know about other shortcuts?

    Thanks Alex

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. shift + ? or / (hold shift key and then press ? or /) in gmail

      Delete
  25. guys its just a shortcut...KISS

    ReplyDelete
  26. "it's jaust a shortcut" but its very convenient.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hey guys, I can't find the ANY key on my computer..... how do I install that?

    This is for those who are asking how to use the keyboard shortcuts! thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6594

      after 1step in the above link, click on LABS and then find for word keyboard shortcuts, enable them and click save on the bottom

      Delete
  28. and what about adding TO and BCC ?

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  29. yes, i noticed this accidentally and quiet frankly it annoys me on my thinkpad, as 'b' is close to trackstick and it keeps creating new msgs!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. is there any other shortcuts in Gmail for tracking the mails to trash, drafts etc

    ReplyDelete