Categories: Composing and Sending Messages :

GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages

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GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages Santacruz 2/16/10 11:30 AM
 RESIZING AND NAVIGATING THE "COMPOSE MESSAGE BOX" -- A problem with 5-related aspects:
 
(1)The lovely Gmail program offers an extremely useful "compose message box" for smaller drafts.  My problem is, that sometimes I need to write larger emails and would rather not "cut-and-paste" from a more powerful dedicated program (time losses and inconvenience).  I often discover desirable changes after cut-paste which results in loss of synchronization between Google and the "helper" program, unless I go back and massage things.  Has Google already solved this need and I am just not aware?  If not, is there a work around.  It's awfully hard to see much of a big message draft at a time, forcing me to scroll back and forth -- and often miss errors during proofreading or lose the sense of organization during drafting.

(2) It is also rather cumbersome to navigate within the box, short of scrolling.  Is there a short cut to quickly get to the top and bottom within the box and/or move in bigger leaps? 
 
(3)  Sometimes, when I scroll, the entire screen moves and I have to manipulate the mouse a great deal to restore my lost position -- awfully distracting.   

(4)  Selecting Text:  I would love to be able to use the shortcut (Cntrl + "A") to highlight my entire draft, but get the entire screen, instead, when I do this (the shortcut works ok in this question box). I can't imagine anyone wanting to highlight the whole screen, except, perhaps for programming purposes.  

(5)  Selecting large blocks of text within the actual message for cut-and-paste:  Presently, I have to hold down the " shift" key (from the start point of desired text) while I use the mouse to laboriously scroll down to the end of the desired block(s).  Sometimes, the highlighting mysteriously disconnects, forcing me to start again and, sometimes, yet again.  :(

Believe me, your assistance will be greatly appreciated and frequently used.  Not a big deal for small, isolated cases, but a real killer for the heavy or repetitious work or when I'm in a hurry and most need Google's brilliant foresight.


Respectfully yours!




Please Also Include:
Operating system (e.g. WinXP): WINXP
Program and version you use to access Gmail (e.g. Internet Explorer 7 or Outlook 2003): GMAIL and sometimes Notebook, Word 2003  
Your antivirus software (e.g. Norton 2007): MacAfee
Any extensions, toolbars or plug-ins:  The wonderful Google Chrome extensions
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages JohnW2 2/16/10 1:15 PM
There is definitely a problem with your browser if this is happening. And sadly, that's the one piece of information you didn't provide in your list!!
Use Firefox or better still Chrome in place of IE - you'll not regret it!!

The Gmail Compose Mail window is both re-sizeable, and has scroll bars allowing you to scroll backwards and forwards. It'll fill a standard 17" monitor with no problems.

Have you looked for the Shortcuts? See http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6594 for a full list.

Although I would not recommend using Drafts to write long texts for messages (much better to save those on your PC where you can get at them without fear of losing the text!) you can certainly write the equivalent of several pages of A4 paper in an e-mail.

Ctrl A works perfectly since it (along with several other Ctrl key combinations) is a standard Windoze set of keystrokes.
Highlighting is again standard Windoze fare - there's nothing unique in Gmail!!
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages Santacruz 2/16/10 2:11 PM
JohnW2!

I am so STOKED by your :"blazing" fast answer.  Thank you, Friend.   (1)  I had indicated my browser, Google Chrome (none better), under extensions.  I can see how you missed that -- I'll do better next time. (2) Before I visited the forum, I had printed out the keyboard shortcuts you had so thoughtfully directed me to.  I must be blind for I still can't see how to stretch my "compose pane."  Please take this blind man by the hand.  I feel so close to relief with just a little more of a push. (3)  My control "A" still selects my active pane and virtually everything outside of it --  not just the contents of the pane, as I would wish -- sorry to disagree with you.

Eternally grateful, David
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages Santacruz 2/16/10 2:21 PM
Additional clarification of my question about stretching the "compose pane."  Horizontal stretching is no problem. When I start to compose, I am presented with a pretty wide surface.  It's the vertical stretching that's the problem.---WAIT A SECOND -- I'm talking about the "REPLY WINDOW" (so sorry).  It's here that the little box squeezes me and interferes with my responding to emails in more than rather short bursts.  I would like to be able to stretch the "reply pane" to facilitate sometimes necessary longer responses than allowed.   I guess I can't get the right answer if I don't ask the right question --- PLEASE EXCUSE -- duh!
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages Santacruz 2/16/10 2:23 PM
I still do have "wasted space" at the bottom of my compose pane which I would dearly love to use.
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages JohnW2 2/16/10 2:29 PM
Chrome isn't an extension!! But it can have extensions now ....!
Only when you get to fill the Compose or Reply panes, in the bottom right-hand corner, there's a couple of little lines across the corner: this indicates (as with the address fields!) that it's dragable (i.e you can use it to make smaller or a slightly different perspective - wider and thinner ot narrower and longer!)

Have you tried clicking on the little icon which looks like two pages, one above the other? That starts a new pane, which can be used for replying. But it's not the normal way (for me, anyway!).
Not quite sure of this "wasted space" - the compose page is that size and there's nowt you can do about that!!

Click in the message pane BEFORE you press Ctrl A, and it'll select what's in that frame. 
If the focus is outside when you do so, then it will select the whole page!!

Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages Santacruz 2/16/10 2:29 PM
And, finally (I think), I still need some help with aspect (5) of my original question.  Selecting text for copy-paste operations is still a risky, clumsy business.  Any tips here? -- When I scroll by stretching the selection to the bottom of the pane, it is awfully slow working through a long message -- and, as I said, my selection sometimes "detaches" and I have to start over and (often) over and over.  I just must be NOT doing it the way Google intended...still blind, I guess.
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages JohnW2 2/16/10 2:35 PM
Yes, if you stray away from the "straight and narrow" when using the mouse's scroll wheel, it can get a bit fussy.
But that implies you're writing very long documents if you're scrolling that much!! This I do NOT RECOMMEND. It's remarkably easy to lose your text in Compose mode, which is why I always advise creating important/long messages in another application. Using Ctrl C and Ctrl V to Copy and Paste is really simple and works every time. Makes transferring from one document into an e-mail a piece of cake!!
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages Santacruz 2/16/10 2:41 PM
(1)  About Chrome - which I dearly love -- I agree it's not an extension, although I recently discovered them and have been adding them like crazy (like a kid in a toy store).  In future, I will answer the question, which I now realize was asking me about my browser and not other programs. (again -- duh!).
(2)  No little diagonal lines in the corner of the graphics on my 17-inch screen, though I always expected them to be there and have looked again and again over the last many months.  Your tip about clicking the two-page icon seems to be excellent advice which I can gladly live with using.
(3)  I've tried moving my focus all over the place but still get unwanted overhead -- but, I'll keep at it -- and live with whatever results from my "research."

Thanks for your 2:29 pm response -- so very much -- you have certainly been patient and helpful!!!  I guess my only remaining issue it the selection problem.
Re: GMAIL "Compose" Box is Frequently too small for any but the shortest messages Santacruz 2/16/10 2:48 PM
YES! JohnW2! AMEN!

Now that I know there is no alternative, I shall do exactly as you advise about my selection problem.  I have no sweat about the control codes since I was weaned on the old word processing program, WordStar, back in 1983 --- I'm so glad those codes still work as they as so intuitive to me.  I now fully understand and appreciate your recommendation about how to handle my long documents  -- I AM a rather wordy fellow.

And, I am now a completely happy camper.  Thanks 100 million and Happy Tuesday to you, my friend!

David