Google updated Gmail, and now we’re following up with Better Gmail 2,
a Firefox extension that adds features to the new Gmail interface. Like
its predecessor, Better Gmail 2 is a compilation of Greasemonkey user
scripts that add features to Gmail, but Better Gmail 2 works with
Gmail’s overhauled interface. We’ll maintain the original Better Gmail
extension separately from Better Gmail 2, for users still rocking the
older version. However, if you’ve got the snappier Gmail interface
enabled and you’re ready for some tweaks courtesy of scripters far and
wide, hit the jump for the Better Gmail 2 Firefox extension download.
Better Gmail 2 Firefox extension
Updated: November 26, 2007
Released: November 8, 2007
Creator: Gina Trapani, using scripts by Mihai Parparita and others, compiled using Anthony Lieuallen’s Greasemonkey Compiler.
(Also available at Mozilla Add-ons)
License: Better Gmail is licensed under the GNU General Public License as specified by Anthony Lieuallen’s Greasemonkey Compiler.
All user scripts are copyright their original authors and maintain
their original license as specified by their original author. (User
scripts are located in the content/user_scripts folder in the Better
Gmail 2 .xpi package.)
What it does: Adds a menu of optional extra features to the new version of Gmail.
IMPORTANT: Better Gmail 2 only works with the NEW Gmail.
(You’re using it if there’s an “Older Version” link on the top right of
your Gmail.) If you are NOT using the new Gmail version, grab the
original Better Gmail download.
To view Better Gmail 2’s enabled features and get more information
on each, in Firefox’s Add-ons dialog, click on Better Gmail 2’s
Preferences dialog, as shown:
See screenshots of some of the extra features in action:
galleryPost(‘bettergmail2’, 10, ”, ‘list’);
Installation: Click the Better Gmail 2 download button above
in Firefox. A yellow bar will appear across the page that reads
“Firefox prevented this site (lifehacker.com) from asking you to
install software on your computer.” Click the “Edit Options” button and
allow lifehacker.com to ask you. Then, click on the link again. Press
the Install button in the dialog box, and restart Firefox.
Usage: Once you’ve installed Better Gmail 2, go to your Gmail
account to see the enhancements. To turn a feature on or off, visit the
extension’s Preferences dialog (from the Tools menu) and select or
deselect the appropriate checkboxes. Refresh Gmail to see the changes.
- Attachment Icons
Adds attachment filetype icons.
- Compose mailto: Links in Gmail
Adds compose message in Gmail link next to all email links.
By Julien Couvreur, Gina Trapani
Lists labels in a folder-like hierarchy.
By Arend v. Reinersdorff
- Force Encrypted Connection (https)
Forces encrypted https:// connection to Gmail.
By Mark Pilgrim
- Hide Spam Count
Hides Gmail’s Spam message count.
By Daniel Rozenberg
- Inbox Count First
See unread message count first on Gmail tab title.
By Jon Ramsey, Gina Trapani
- Macros (? for help)
Adds keyboard shortcuts. Press ? for help.
By Mihai Parparita
- Macros Sewpafly Mod (? for help)
Adds keyboard shortcuts, modified by Sewpafly. Press ? for help.
By Mihai Parparita, modified by Sewpafly
- Quota Graph
Adds a graph of used disk size and available disk size to Gmail’s sidebar.
By Shinya Kasatani
- Show Message Details
Display the full details of the top messages in a conversation.
By Michael Lieberman
We compiled the scripts using Anthony Lieuallen’s Greasemonkey Compiler, and modified the output of the compiler to include multiple scripts with the ability to enable and disable individual scripts.
0.2: Added Folders4Gmail, Spam Count Hide, Macros Sewpafly Mod and
Gmail Quota Graph. Split interface into 3 tabs (from a single “General”
tab) to accommodate new checkboxes. Submitted to Mozilla Add-ons.
- Version 0.1: Released.
- Script Conflict: The Quota Graph script does not work if Inbox Count first is enabled. Both cannot be enabled at the same time.
Better Gmail Q&A
What version of Better Gmail should I be using?
If you can see a link on the top right of your Gmail that says
“Older Version,” you are using the NEW Gmail interface and should use
Better Gmail 2. Otherwise, you are using the old version of Gmail and
should install the original Better Gmail.
Why did you split Better Gmail and Better Gmail 2 into two separate extensions?
The user scripts Better Gmail includes either support the new Gmail,
the old Gmail, or both. Since Gmail’s upgrade to the new interface is
not linear—not all users have it, and users who do can opt out of using
it with the “Older Version” link—it made sense to maintain these two
extensions separately instead of overloading a single interface with
lots of “old only” and “new only” information. Presumably Gmail users
are interacting with one version of Gmail, so you can pick which Better
Gmail you need.
Should I uninstall the original Better Gmail after I install Better Gmail 2?
Yes—if you’re not accessing a Gmail account using the older
interface, there’s no need to keep the original Better Gmail extension
Will the original Better Gmail ever go away?
When Google phases out the older version of Gmail, we will halt
development on the original version of Better Gmail and only support
Better Gmail 2.
Why does Better Gmail 2 have so few options compared to the original?
Most script and style developers have not yet gotten around to
updating their scripts for the new version of Gmail. Therefore, Better
Gmail 2 has a LOT fewer features than Better Gmail. As developers
update their scripts, I will update Better Gmail 2.
Where did all those cool skins go?
Sadly no Gmail skins I could find were yet compatible with the new
version of Gmail. If there’s a skin you’ve tested with the new Gmail
and want to be included with Better Gmail 2, please post it in the
What can I do to help get Better Gmail 2 as robust as the original?
Contact the script developers, tell them how much you love and
appreciate their work, offer to support them however they need, and ask
them to update their scripts for the new Gmail interface. In the
original Better Gmail’s About tab or on Better Gmail’s homepage, click on any user script to visit its homepage and contact the developer.
Bug reports and feature requests: Got a favorite Gmail
Greasemonkey script you’d like included in Better Gmail? A bug, a
critique, a suggestion? Leave a comment here. Newcomers, here’s how to get a comment login.