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GMail has recently rolled out a new method of composing a message: the composition appears as a popup stable at the bottom of the screen, and one can look at other mail for reference, say, while composing the mail. Other things have changed about the composition process also.

One (to me unwelcome) change is as follows. Suppose GMail recognizes the name-and-address John Doe <doe@example.com> from past e-mail I've sent, or from my address book. Suppose now I wish to compose an e-mail message to Mary Doe <doe@example.com>. Using the old composition method, this is easy: I edit the "to:" line. Using the new one, any attempt to use doe@example.com as a recipient will result in its getting labeled John Doe <doe@example.com>.

I know of two solutions for this on a case-by-case basis:

  • Use Mary Doe <doe+@example.com> or any other equivalent but not identical address.
  • Add doe@example.com as a contact (if he isn't already) and remove John Doe from the contact information.

Neither appeals to me, and I'm looking for any further possible solutions, either on a case-by-case basis (is there something to press while editing the "to:" line that will make my edits there stick?) or, preferably, as a preference I can set.

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Followup question. – msh210 Apr 12 '13 at 22:27
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Double-click the person tag that appears after you've entered the email address. You'll then be able to edit the name as you want.

Mousing over the tag shows the person card:

addressee card before editing

Double-click the card:

double-click the card

After editing:

after editing

share|improve this answer
D'oh. You're right. +1. But that does not work for removing a name, leaving only the e-mail address, which I should have mentioned as part of my the question. I guess I'll ask it separately. – msh210 Apr 12 '13 at 22:19
...now asked separately. – msh210 Apr 12 '13 at 22:26
Double-clicking doesn't appear to work with inbox.google.com | Compose. Beautiful answer though. It does still work for mail.google.com | Compose. – BobStein-VisiBone May 24 '15 at 1:35
@Bob: well, no. Inbox is a different beast. – Al E. May 24 '15 at 1:36

Works for me in two ways:

  1. by typing the bare address manually and then clicking into the subject or main editor. As long as I don't click again in the "to" field Gmail doesn't try to find the contact.

  2. by typing "NAME" <e@ma.il> or NAME <e@ma.il> and then tab or click in the editor. That manually adds any email + name in any form. I think the key is to type the ´<´ rather than the bare email.

share|improve this answer
Your method 2 works for me; your method 1 does not. +1. But your method 2 does not apply to removing a name, leaving only the e-mail address, which I should have mentioned as part of my the question. I guess I'll ask it separately. – msh210 Apr 12 '13 at 22:22
...now asked separately. – msh210 Apr 12 '13 at 22:27

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