Old Compose Brings Back Gmail’s Old Editor

About a year ago, Google switched all of its Gmail users over to the new compose window it had announced in 2012. Instead of getting what was essentially a full-screen text editor for your emails, Gmail now opened a smaller window in the bottom-right corner of the screen and hid all of its advanced editing features. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Google is never going to bring the old compose screen back, but if you are a Chrome or Firefox user and you still think the old version was better, you can now install the Old Compose extension to get it back.

Old Compose, which was developed by Gregory Brooks, Eugene Leychenko and Ansel Santosa, comes in two modes: the classic Gmail editor mode that faithfully recreates the old Gmail experience and a slight spruced up version that tries to improve on the original design. I’ve been using the extension for a while and have settled on the classic Gmail editor, but that’s probably a matter of personal preference more than anything else.

Old Compose isn’t actually all that new, but the team today relaunched a new version because Google kept breaking the existing extension the team developed shortly after Google switched to its new compose experience. Those days should now be over.

If you want to give it a try, the updated extension is now available on the Chrome Web Store and Mozilla’s add-on site for Firefox users.