Gmail adds drag-and-drop attachments, invitations

The latest Gmail tweaks have gone live and adding files to email drafts is now as simple as dragging and dropping.

Gmail

Google has introduced a couple of usability updates aimed at making its Gmail service easier to use.

The changes, which have bypassed Google's labs section to go live immediately, allow Chrome and Firefox users to drag-and-drop attachments up to 20MB in size straight from the desktop onto an email, instead of having to resort to Gmail's attachment tool.

The second new feature sees the introduction of a link alongside the existing Attach a file link allowing users to add Google Calendar invitations into emails.

The drag-and-drop feature is likely to prove especially popular. Drag a file from the desktop or another folder onto the draft email's subject line area and the Gmail layout will switch to display a green 'Drop files here to add them as attachments' message, with releasing the files automatically seeing them uploaded in the background while you continue with other tasks.

Previously, Gmail users had to click on the Attach a file link, then use a file explorer to locate files, with the option to select multiple files often proving intermittent.

It works with Chrome and Firefox 3.6 on both Windows PCs and Macs, emulating the similar system seen in Wave for uploading photos and other media. In a Google blog post announcing the update, software engineer Adam de Boor promised it would be enabled for other browsers as soon as they supported the feature.

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