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Gmail's new compose and reply experience

You can now write messages in a cleaner, simpler experience that puts the focus on your message itself, not all the features around it. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Fast: Compose messages right from your inbox.
  • Simple: Redesigned with a clean, streamlined look.
  • Powerful: Check emails as you're typing, minimize drafts for later, and even compose two messages at once.
Using Gmail with Google Apps? Find a switch guide, video, and FAQ for business users, at our Google Apps learning center.

Details of the compose window

Instead of taking up your entire Gmail window, clicking Compose now opens a smaller window at the bottom of your screen. Here are some of the features that you'll see:
  • Recipients: Click this text field to type email addresses. You can also click the Cc or Bcc links to add a new set of recipients. Drag and drop recipients from one field to another, or click the "x" to remove them from your message. Hover over the recipient to see details about them, or double-click on them to edit their address.
  • Text formatting: Click this icon Formatting options icon to add formatting like font size, bold, underline, and bullets. Or, use our new formatting keyboard shortcuts. Hover over each button to learn the keyboard shortcut you can use for that option. Alignment and indentation options are now collapsed under the alignment icon.
  • Attachments: Click the Attachment icon Paperclip attachment iconto attach files to your message.
  • Discard: Click the trash can icon Discard draft icon to delete your draft.
  • More options: Click this menu More options drop-down arrow to see other tools such as spell check, plain text format, print, adding labels, and including original attachments.
  • Window size: To compose in a full-screen window, click Full-screen expand icon expand in the upper right corner of the compose window. To use full-screen by default, click More options drop-down arrow More options and choose Default to full-screen. To pop out the compose window, hold the Shift key while clicking Full-screen expand icon expand in the upper right corner of the compose window.
  • Saving: Gmail automatically saves your drafts while you’re writing, so we've removed the "Save now" button (but you can verify that it’s saved if you see the word, "Saved" next to the Discard button). Your draft will also be automatically saved when you close the compose window.
  • Send mail as: If you use Gmail to send mail from another address (like your work address), click the address in the "From" field to choose a different address. If you don't see the "From" field, first click into the "Recipients" field at the top of the compose window.

Changes when replying or forwarding

You’ll also see some differences when replying to or forwarding messages. Most of the changes are similar to those that you'll see when composing a brand new message. Here are a few additional changes:
  • Recipients: To change who your message should be sent to, click into the recipient field when you’re replying.
  • Type of response: Click the arrow Recipient arrow next to the recipient’s name to choose whether your message is a reply, reply all, or forward.
  • Subject: To change the subject of your message, click the arrow Recipient arrow next to the recipient’s name and click Edit subject.
  • Pop out reply: To write your reply in a compose window, click the arrow Recipient arrow next to the recipient’s name and click Pop out reply .
  • Respond inline: If you want to see the previous message within your reply, scroll down until you see the "Show trimmed content" icon Show trimmed content and click it.


Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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