In Kiwi for Gmail, Compose a New Email From Anywhere on Your Mac Desktop
Posted March 22, 2016 in Tech Tips
Illustration of Message-Compose Window

And RYAN SHETLEY Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder
ZIVE, INC. maker of Kiwi for Gmail

Kiwi for Gmail has many cool features which take advantage of the possibilities enabled by using Gmail through a dedicated desktop app on your Mac rather than in a traditional browser window. One of the coolest and most convenient features is our message composing window.

A simple shortcut allows you to bring up an email compose window from wherever anywhere you are on your the Mac desktop, provided Kiwi for Gmail is already running. Here’s how that works …

Say that you’re reading a web page. Or playing with numbers about your business in a spreadsheet. Or writing a new chapter of the Great American Novel in a word-processing program. Or filling data into an income tax program — ouch! (For our international readers, April 15 is the USA’s annual income tax filing day, so a lot of Americans are calculating their taxes.)

Whatever you’re doing, let’s say you need information from a friend, family member, or colleague. Or you want to tell them something. So you want to write an email message to them.

With Kiwi for Gmail, there's no need to fumble for a web browser window. Instead, simply do this:

Press CTRL + OPT + CMD + M by holding all four keys down at the same time.

Presto! Kiwi brings up a window asking you which Gmail account you’d like to use for your message. Scroll to the account you prefer, or enter a number — one through six — to indicate the account you want. And again … Presto! Kiwi opens a compose window in that account.

You can easily use your mouse or trackpad to move the Kiwi for Gmail compose-message window right next to the window you’re writing about. Easy!

Why CTRL + OPT + CMD + M?

We chose it because it’s available in virtually all Mac setups. It’s unlikely you have a program already using that combination, so there’s no conflict. It’s easy on the fingers, but you’re unlikely to press it by mistake. And it continues a pattern set by one of our favorite apps, Evernote. In that app, the user invokes a new note by pressing the same combination to create a new note, except “N” instead of “M.” So Evernote users will understand the combination already.

How can you remember the combination? We think something like this becomes automatic after a short while. But in the meantime, think three fingers on the left hand next to each other and then “M” — for “Message.”

Remember, “M” — for “Message." 

CTRL+OPT+CMD on the left hand, three fingers next to each other. And “M” for “Message.” Press all four at the same time. 

You’ll also find that we made the compose window just the right size. We chose this width for two reasons: (1) It’s wide enough to show sentences and paragraphs in the email you’re writing with a natural-feeling number of line breaks, and (2) it’s narrow enough to allow you to comfortably place the compose window next to another window that you’re writing about.

You cannot do this — well, not very easily — using Gmail in a browser.

Don't forget, you need to have Kiwi for Gmail already running in the background.

Thanks for using Kiwi for Gmail!

Let us know what you think of the compose window feature in Kiwi by leaving a comment below. Do you have other questions about Kiwi for Gmail? If so, post to Facebook, or tweet us @KiwiforGmail, or write to our product support team via an email to You may also enroll as a Beta tester for our impending new version.