How-To Geek

Gmail Labs Rolls Out Preview Pane

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If you’re rocking a large monitor and want to take advantage of all that space when you’re reading and replying to emails, head over to Gmail Labs to turn on the Preview Pane.

You can split the screen vertically or horizontally–vertically seems like the best bet since most new large monitors are widescreen format. On the left hand side you’ll see your emails in list form with a brief preview of the initial text and in the right side you’ll see a regular editing window. Essentially you’re able to look at you inbox/tags/search results while also composing emails. Hit up the link below to read more about the features in the official Gmail announcement.

New in Labs: Preview Pane [The Official Gmail Blog]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/5/11

Comments (14)

  1. x3geek

    tried it. rolled back. multiple inboxes didn’t work for me after enabling preview pane.

  2. milocet

    Same here – It disables multiple inboxes.

  3. Jake

    I’m loving this new clean look that Google’s rolling out across their services. I’ve been on G+ for several weeks, and it doesn’t take long to get used to the white space. I remember back in 1998 when the Google search page came out: everyone complained about the white space then too.

    The new UI is great on my widescreen desktop, but degrades nicely on my netbook too.

  4. Bucky

    gee, a preview pane for email? how innovative! It’s not like email programs have had that since 20+ years ago. What’s next, Google? are you going to introduce sorting emails?

  5. Jagan Mangat

    Looks like inspired from Yahoo mail.

  6. David

    Love this new feature, Thanks for the tip!

    But in that screenshot, is that your Inbox? If it is, can you tell me how the left side bar didn’t get all scrolly scrolly after the preview pane? I have several labels and friends on chat and with the preview pane it consideres as two different fragments and it puts 2 scroll bars for each one, which is kind of lame :S

  7. Meena Bassem

    Yes, i wanna know too, how did you remove these new stupid scroll bars from the left side ?
    it’s not about the theme , I’ve just checked it

  8. jasray

    Nice option to have, but I went back to default in minutes. I had a hard time finding items in All Mail.

  9. Rdyne

    Bucky, haven’t they already done that with Priority Inbox and labeling/filtering?

  10. Biu

    Is it possible to remove that People column on the right?

  11. Rick Salters

    I tried it but could no longer see any of my custom mailboxes to I rolled it back. Is there a way to send Google feedback on their bugs directly? I’m using Chrome Canary.

  12. JohnforAmerica

    For those that don’t like this but want a way to see the message without OPENING every message, I suggest the “Message Sneak Peak” lab. I had it enabled without knowing it, and since I’ve “re-discovered” it I use it ALL THE TIME.

    Anyway, what it does is give you a pop up window showing the message contents (pretty much ALL of it unless it’s a long message) when you right click on a message. Hope that’s helpful to some!

  13. tommy2rs

    Preview pane was always the first thing I turned off in stand alone desktop email programs. Fire up the Delorean, Gmail’s heading back to the 90’s.

  14. Alma Ellliott

    Recently downloaded Gmail,and I keep losing data I wash to keep and generally find it difficult with.

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