A bunch of tips to make Slack even awesomer

Seriously, Slack is the cat’s bananas. I’m in three teams so I’ve had plenty of time to poke around and learn some handy tricks, like these:

  • Set an unread point – Hold Option/Alt and click a message to set an unread point. When you open that channel or DM on another device, you’ll auto-scroll to it (unless you’ve changed this behavior in Preferences > Read State Tracking).
  • Mark a channel or DM as read – Esc.
  • Mark everything in Slack as read – Shift + Esc will mark everything in Slack (or the current team if you’re on multiple) as read.
  • Quickly edit your last message – Up arrow takes you to your last message in the current channel or DM and starts editing it.
  • Add new themes – If the defaults in Preferences > Sidebar Theme don’t float yer board, you can customize your theme there or download a bunch from third-party sites like SlackThemes.net. I’m a fan of Hoth and Tron. Note: if you’re in multiple teams, themes are per-team (should help with identifying which team you’re in). Thanks to commenters, you cannot add or edit themes on mobile (yet), but themes you add on desktop appear on mobile.
  • Pin important items in channels – Click the gear next to a message on desktop and choose “pin to (channel)” (I can’t find this on mobile yet). It’s like bookmarking important items, which now appear under the (i) button > Pinned Items. I can see this being useful for everything from noting important, timely messages, to crafting a channel as onboarding for your company (especially useful since old messages are editable).
  • Catch up on recent mentions – Click the @ button in the toolbar on desktop, on mobile it’s the hamburger menu > Recent Mentions. Easy way to review all channel messages that mention or directly mention you.
  • Easy emoji – You can call in a clever auto-complete emoji panel simply by typing a colon (:) and a letter or two. You can then arrow around and hit Return to use the one you want. This includes any custom emoji you add.
  • Visualize colors – If you type a color hex code (#005164) into a channel, it will display a small watch of that color (thanks David Morton!).
  • Slash commands – My most used is ‘/collapse’ which closes all open previews in the channel (Thanks @conigs!). Slack has a whole bunch of ’em.
  • Switch channels easily – Option + Up/Down arrows (Alt on PC) to move to next/previous channels. (thanks Ash Furrow!)
  • Switch channels by typing – Command-T opens a dialogue to take you to any channel – just start typing its name. (thanks Ash Furrow!)
  • Skip to the next unread channel – Hold Opt-Shift-Up/Down arrows) and Slack will skip straight to the next or previous channel with an unread message. (thanks Trevor Filter!)
  • Switch teams on Mac – Each team gets a Command-[number] shortcut. Command-1 for your first team, Command-2 for the next, and so on.
  • Switch teams on mobile – In Slack for iPhone and iPad, use three finger swipe left and right to cycle through your teams. (thanks Eduardo!)

Some useful options you can toggle

  • Preferences > Advanced
    • Cycle through typed history with up/down arrows. If you still want an easy way to edit your previous message, use Cmd-Up/Down.
    • Only autocomplete when @ is used. This will stop Slack from trying to autocomplete all the things.
  • Preferences > Media & Links
    • Here you can prevent Slack from auto-expanding previews for hosted files, links to things on supported services like Google Drive and Basecamp, and web links.
    • You can also enable previews for uploaded media larger than 2MB.

That’s about all I got. Did I miss any good ones?