Gmail Enhancements: Drag and Drop Images to Text Body
Article by George Norman
On 12 May 2010
What do you do if you have a cool picture you would like to share with one of your friends? You could for example send it by mail to your friend. This meant you had to attach the image to the email, a process that went something like this: you had to first click "Attach a file" -> then you had to look for the file you wanted to attach -> then select it and click "Open". This whole process could prove to be very tedious and did not make for a very pleasurable user experience.

To address this issue, the development team at Google decided to make life easier on the user who wants to attach something to an outgoing email. So last month the option to drag and drop files to Gmail was added – this meant that if you dragged and dropped an image to Gmail, it would be automatically attached to the email.


Google has decided to take things one step further and allow you to insert images in the body of the text. “Today we're launching a feature that allows you to drag images from your computer into a message. You don't have to have the insert image[s] lab enabled for it to work. Just drag the image in, resize it if you want, and send,” announced Software Engineer with Google, Michael Davidson.

The Insert Images lab Davidson mentioned above is a Gmail Labs experiment that Google rolled out back in April 2009. Once you enable "Insert Images", you can add images to the message body – this includes images you have stored locally on your hard drive for example, as well as images available online (add the image’s URL). If you think about it, this recent Gmail enhancement is a combination of the Insert Images experiment and the drag and drop functionality announced last month.

Please note that this feature only works with Google’s own browser, Chrome. Also note that the option to drag and drop files in order for them to be automatically attached only works with Chrome and Firefox 3.6.

Tags: Google, Gmail, Photos, Images, Drag and Drop
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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