Gmail has no preview pane, but it has what it dubs "snippets". The snippets show a few words from the message's body — just enough so you're confused and the inbox screen is filled with meaningless text; or just enough so you can get an better idea what the message is about than from just the subject and sender alone.
If you prefer your Gmail inbox cleaner, you can avoid the snippets easily, and maybe get rid of the indicators telling you whether messages have been sent to you only or to a group, too.
Clean Up the Gmail Inbox Screen
To rid the Gmail inbox of distracting personal level indicators and text snippets:
- Click the gear in your Gmail's top right corner.
- Select Mail settings from the menu that comes up.
- Go to the General category.
- To disable personal level indicators (› indicating mail with your email address in the To: or Cc: line and » signifying messages that were sent to you only):
- Make sure No indicators is selected under Personal level indicators:.
- To prevent Gmail from showing emails' first few words as snippets after the Subject on the inbox screen:
- Make sure No snippets is chosen under Snippets:.
- Click Save Changes.
(Updated August 2011)