Accessibility information for Gmail's basic HTML view


Section headers

Here's a list of section headers you can navigate to:

Header Section
h1 Gmail Logo
h2 Account options, labels and Inbox sections
h3 Contacts link and labels with unread messages

Access keys

Below is a list of access keys you can use. These access keys should be used with the modifier keys specific to your browser. For more information on using access keys, visit this Wikipedia entry (Please note that Wikipedia is not a Google site, so we can't vouch for its accuracy).

Access key Link
i Inbox
c Compose
r Reply
a Reply All
f Forward


You can change settings on the General, Accounts, Labels, and Forwarding and POP/IMAP tabs.

To change your settings:

  1. Click the Settings link in the upper right corner.
  2. Click on the appropriate link (General, Accounts, Labels, or Forwarding and POP/IMAP).
  3. Under the "Settings" heading, make the changes you want. Table navigation can be used to navigate through these settings.
  4. Make sure you save your settings or the changes will be lost.

Your Inbox

Now, pressing the access key modifier together with i will move the cursor to the Inbox link. You may need to press Enter to activate the link.

How do I know that I am in my Inbox?

The Inbox view is in a tabular format. On the top and bottom of your Inbox are the Archive, Report Spam, Delete and Go buttons.

You can also identify that you're in the Inbox by the presence of a check box, a sender's name, a subject, and a listed time for each message.

Opening and reading messages

Opening messages

Here's how to open a message:

  1. In the Inbox, move the cursor to the subject line link.
  2. Press ENTER to open the message.
  3. The page will refresh with the opened messages. Click the Expand all link to view all the messages in the conversation.

Reading messages

Once you have opened an messages, navigate to the message body. You can read the message using the reading-related keyboard commands.

Composing and sending messages

Follow these steps to compose a message:

  1. Navigate to the Compose Mail link and press ENTER.
  2. Once in the Compose window, the cursor will be placed in the To: field by default.
  3. Type the address in the To:, Cc: or Bcc: fields, using Tab to move between fields.
  4. Type the message in the Message body field.
  5. Tab once to get to the Send button and press ENTER.


Attaching a file

You can attach files when you are composing new mail or replying to messages. All of the buttons required to attach files are located below the Subject: edit box.

You can either type the path of the file you want to attach in the File upload edit box, or click the Choose File button and select the file from the pop-up window.

Attaching multiple files

To attach more than one file, use the Attach More Files button located right below the Choose File button.

Deleting messages

You can simply check the checkboxes of messages you would like to delete and click the Delete button.