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Problem: I have a list of unread emails and I'd like to open a bunch in separate tabs, mark all unread as read, then jump around in the tabs I opened to respond to those.

Gmail slows me down because if I control-left-click it opens the email/thread in a new tab and takes me to that tab (chrome). Then I have to click back on the summary view tab. Ideally I'd be able to control-middle-click each message (like regular browser links) to open those messages in a separate tab WITHOUT going to that tab.

I'm trying to switch from thunderbird to Gmail, and I field dozens of emails a day, but have found Gmail to be pretty poor for my productivity.

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This is tied to the Gmail 'View' that you are using. Standard View has an extended feature set and not all clickable links are normal URLs (more akin to a web app). Basic HTML View will render the message links as normal URL's allowing you to use normal click behavior but you will give up a lot (a lot) of functionality and that is likely not a solution for you in your case.

Solution

  1. Install the AutoControl native extension from the Chrome Webstore
  2. Create a trigger for left-clicked links to return focus to the previous tab when in Gmail Inbox message as opposed to the actual Inbox.
      Trigger:      Left CTRL + Tab Opens

      Conditions:   Domain does match exactly mail.google.com
                    Path does contain mail/u/0/#inbox
                    Path doesn't match exactly mail/u/0/#inbox

      Action:       SWITCH TO PREVIOUS TAB

I whipped this up quickly and if you encounter gotchas it may need to be tweaked. Also could be easily extended to add in other folders/labels.

Enjoy!

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