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Inbox by Gmail adds email formatting for the web version of the service

Inbox by Gmail adds email formatting for the web version of the service

by AshwinAugust 29, 2015

Google has announced a new feature for its new email service, Inbox by Gmail.


When I saw new feature, I mean it is new to the service itself, and not something unique.

Without further ado, let me reveal what the good news is, Inbox by Gmail now supports email formatting in its web version of the service. It’s strange isn’t it, an email service, and a modern one at that, and one from Google, which owns the most popular email service, Gmail, did not have this basic feature. See what I did there?

The Inbox team at the Mountain View company announced on Google+ that

formatting is now available in reply on the web. Try it out at

Now, don’t let that sentence fool you. You can of course use formatting options for new emails, drafts, etc as well.

Inbox by Gmail also supports keyboard shortcuts for formatting text. And these shortcuts work on PCs and Macs, since it is a server side change added to Inbox.

Keyboard Shortcuts in Inbox by Gmail:

Use the following key combos to insert the corresponding text format option:

  • Numbered List: Cmd/ Ctrl Shift 7
  • Bulleted List: Cmd/ Ctrl Shift 8
  • Bold: Cmd/Ctrl B
  • Italics: Cmd/Ctrl I
  • Underline: Cmd/Ctrl U
  • Links: Cmd/Ctrl K

One thing is for certain, Inbox will never replace Gmail, especially at this sail-paced rate at which it is rolling out features. It is possibly because Inbox’s user base is trivial, when compared to the masses who use Gmail. On the contrary I think the low adoption rate for Inbox could be the dearth of features itself.

It is worth noting that Inbox by Gmail lacks several basic features. One such missing feature, is “Mark as read”, which power users would prefer. One notable flaw in Inbox is that it does not detect folders well, at least for me. It still show the “Promos” tab (which contains ads in Gmail),  months after I deleted it, in Gmail. And you can’t delete the three primary tabs, which does spoil the experience a bit.

Windows 10 users will not be able to use Inbox by Gmail, in the default browser, Microsoft Edge, as the service only works with three browsers on desktops: Google Chrome , Apple Safari , and Mozilla Firefox. I believe it will only take off when Google adds support for Internet Explorer/Microsoft Edge, and also add options for attaching files from Google Drive, Signature support and more.