Sunday, January 27, 2008

Gmail 2 Firefox Extension for New Gmail

Welcome Gmail users! If you see a message in Gmail that reads:

Certain Greasemonkey scripts may interfere with Gmail

Here's what to do. Uninstall the original version of the Better Gmail Firefox extension by going to the Add-ons dialog in Firefox's Tools menu. Then, install the new version, Better Gmail 2, available for download below. From here on in, Better Gmail 2 updates will happen automatically though Firefox—this is a one time manual switchover, due to Google's recent set of big changes to Gmail. Our apologies for the inconvenience. Thanks for using Better Gmail!

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. 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

Version: 0.3.2

Updated: January 26, 2008

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.

Note: Mozilla Add-ons may not have approved the extension's latest version, which is always posted here first.)

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.)

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 ( from asking you to install software on your computer." Click the "Edit Options" button and allow 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.

Credits: Better Gmail is a compilation of user scripts written by several Greasemonkey scripters. The full list of Better Gmail user scripts and their authors is as follows:

  • Add Row Highlights

    Highlight message rows as you roll over them.

    By stasnikiforov

  • Attachment Icons

    Adds attachment filetype icons.

    By Moktoipas

  • Folders4Gmail

    Lists labels in a folder-like hierarchy.

    By Arend v. Reinersdorff

  • Force Encrypted Connection (https)

    Forces encrypted https:// connection to Gmail.

    By Mark Pilgrim

  • Gmail Blue

    By Pascal Herbert

  • Google Reader Integration

    Adds Google Reader subscription access to sidebar and below message list.

    By jesses

  • Grays and Blues

    By CyberCPA

  • Hide Invites Box

    Hide the Gmail invites box on the sidebar.

    By stasnikiforov

  • 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

  • One Click Conversations

    Click the person icon next to each conversation to find other messages from the sender.

    By Jeffrey Keen

  • 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.


  • Version 0.3.2: Updated Folders4Gmail, Macros, and Google Reader Integration; Removed Hide Spam Count, Macros Sewpafly and Quota Graph, which are not yet compatible with Gmail's recent code changes.

  • Version 0.3.1: Fixed and restored Gmail Compose To script; Changed default help key text for Sewpafly Macros mod to h.

  • Version 0.3: Removed Compose To (no longer works in new Gmail); Added One Click Conversations, Hide Invites Box, Google Reader Integration, Rollover Highlight Messages, the Gmail Blue Skin and Grays and Blue Skin; Added Skins tab.

  • Version 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.

Known Issues

  • 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.

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 installed.

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.

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.

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