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Google Mail Labs Functions

Mail Labs is a feature of Google Mail that allows users to add functions to their browser-based mail setup. Some of these functions may be used to make Google Mail more accessible or easier to use.

To Open Mail Labs

  • Open the Settings menu (in the upper left part of the screen; it has a picture of a gear on it)
  • Pull down the menu and choose "Settings."
  • Several tabs will appear. Select the "Lab" tab.
  • Browse the list and choose the "Enable" radio button for any function you want to activate.

Some Utilities to Try Out

If you experience problems and want to quickly turn off all Lab functions that you've activated, just go to
  •  "Canned Responses" lets you quickly retrieve and resend pre-written messages (such as a thank-you letter)
  • "Create a Document" makes it easy to turn the text of an email into a Google Document.
  • "Custom Keyboard Shortcuts" lets you change the keys used for existing shortcuts. Particularly helpful if a standard shortcut conflicts with your assistive technology.
  • "Default Text Styling" adds a new feature within the "General" Settings tab that lets you customize the font size, color, and typeface used to display your messages.
  • "Google Calendar Gadget" displays your current Calendar listings on the left side of the screen (similar to Outlook).
  • "Mark as Read" button makes it easier to dismiss emails without reading them.
  • "Mouse Gestures" lets you hold down the right mouse button and move the mouse left to go to a previous conversation or right to go to the next conversation. (Moving up supposedly takes you back to the inbox, but that doesn't seem to be working yet.)
  • "Move Icon Column" moves the column containing the "attachment" and other icons over to the left to make it more noticeable.
  • "Pictures in chat" shows pictures of the people you are chatting with.
  • "SMS (text messaging) in Chat" allows you to send and receive text messages (SMS) in Chat.


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