The subject: nondescript. The sender: hazardous. The snippet: minimalist.
So, to known an email's worth in Gmail, you'll have to open it. Or do you?
Gmail also lets you open any email a little: a quick peek shows the first few lines — typically enough to find out whether an email is worth handling now or deserves a thoughtful reply later — without any fuss or marking the conversation read.
Preview Messages in the Gmail Inbox and Any Gmail Label
To get instant previews of emails in Gmail:
- Make sure Message Sneak Peek is enabled (see below).
- Click on the message you want to preview with the right mouse button or
- press h while the desired message is focused by the arrow.
While the Gmail preview is open:
- Press j to go to the next message.
- Press k to go to the previous message.
- Press h or Esc to close the preview.
As an alternative, you can also add a permanent reading pane to Gmail.
Enable Message Sneak Peek in Gmail
To turn on peeking at emails in Gmail:
- Follow the Settings link.
- Open the Labs tab.
- Make sure Enable is selected for Message Sneak Peek.
- Press Save Changes.
(Updated August 2011)