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Re-skin Gmail the easy way with Stylish

Bend Gmail to your will with Stylish, a Firefox add-on that lets you skin sites freely.

Gmail redesigned

Stylish, a Firefox extension that lets you make big changes to other people's Web sites with minimal effort, enables one of the cooler Gmail re-skin jobs I've seen. For people who like drumsticks, instead of Gmail's boring, yet supple thigh meat, installing a Stylish plug-in named simply "Gmail Redesigned" lets you turn Gmail's exterior into a gradient and plastic button-filled playground. The best part is that it retains its speed, button placement, and all around "Gmailness" you're grown to love.

Besides your in-box, the add-on skins the compose page, the Google Talk side bar, and entire conversation strings. This is one thing actually improved in the translation, as the color-coding of the conversations (which go from colorless windows to having colored headers) makes it easier to parse through multicontact communications.

The only problems I ran into were small visual quirks. For example, in-box media manager Xoopit (review) works just fine, but retains its old-school Google look and thus sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm assuming any other Gmail add-ons that haven't been integrated into the makeshift style sheet will experience the same thing until special bits of CSS are included to skin them too.

To get going just install the Stylish plug-in here, then restart Firefox. Once you're back up and running, click the download button on this page and enable the new look from the plug-in options menu under Tools --> Add-ons. When you return to Gmail it will be dark and mysterious.

[via Google Blogoscoped]

Gmail Redesigned
Gmail Redesigned lets you skin Gmail to look dark and mysterious while retaining all of its speed and menus. (Click to enlarge) CNET Networks