Keyboard shortcuts are considered by some to be the next best thing since sliced bread. It can increase productivity and save you time by keeping you from reaching for the mouse anytime you need to do something. I don’t know about you, but I can’t imagine not having shortcuts for things like copying and pasting, or undoing something. Originally keyboard shortcuts were only offered in desktop applications, but they’ve made their way into online applications and services as well like Gmail.
While Gmail has offered keyboard shortcuts, it’s been difficult to remember what all of the shortcuts do. Sure, it’s easy to remember that pressing “c” is for composing a message, but it’s not as easy to remember that pressing “g” then “d” will take you to your drafts. A Greasemonkey script that some of you may be familiar with called Gmail Macros reference pop-up helped solve that issue by showing a nice pop-up with all of the shortcuts listed. The Gmail team must have realized that this is something they should incorporate into Gmail if they want people to make the most out of shortcuts because now there’s a handy keyboard shortcut guide.
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Displayed above, the shortcut guide is accessed by pressing the question mark key (on most keyboards in the U.S., remember to press shift+question mark key). Considering that the person who created the Greasemonkey script works for Google, it’s no surprise that the interface between the built-in guide and the one offered with the script are nearly identical. This will certainly come in handy for those of us who are shortcut junkies, especially because the menu pops-up fast. Keep in mind though, if you’re using The Google Apps version of Gmail, this feature along with the colored labels which were introduced this week are not available yet.