Slack - a communication tool

My favorite shortcuts

I often say: Premature optimization is the root of all evil. and this is true. Nevertheless, I will talk today about optimization. The optimization of work environment or, in other words, efficiency is very important. Who doesn’t want to work faster? Do the work and have more time for yourself? For sure, I want. So, today I will share some tips and keyboard shortcuts for Slack.

In my prevous aticles, I already talk about other tools which can impove your efficiency like: Guake, VS Code, Sublime Text Editor or even Git. Now is time for Slack. Slack is the communication tool and since the remote work is more popular those days, the meaning of communication tools is even more visible and important. Becasue of that it’s good to know tips and tricks which can speed up you work. I will focus on 2 things: the nice and usefull commands and shortcuts.

Slack commands

  • /remind - by writing, for example, the command /remind me about meeting at 12:00, you can create a reminder on Slack which will remind you (or someone else) about an important meeting (or something else) on a specific day or time. A similar thing you can do on any message sent to you. Very useful you don’t need to worry about missing something just let Slack know what you want to remember.
  • /dnd + time - turn on the do not disturb mode. If you put time directly after the command, you won’t need to set it in the modal window. After setting it, you will see the z letter on your status icon
  • /active and /away - show or hide your presence on Slack. When you use the /away command, you will see that your status icon is no longer green. After the /active status icon will change to green.
  • /collaps and /expand - Gifs and images distract you? Using the /collaps command, you can hide all gifs, links, and so on. It leaves you only the text. If you want your additional content back, use /expand.
  • /msg + user name - allows you to send a direct message (DM) to any user or channel. You don’t need to be in the right window. You can do that from any place you are.
  • /mute and /unmute - you can mute or unmute any channel or direct message.
  • /save - view all saved messages. To see any important message in that list, you can choose a message by clicking the Bookmark icon in the right top corner of the message.

Other options

  • When you prepare a message, you can send a message later for a specific user or channel
  • Slack connect - Slack allows you to invite someone for a Slack event this person is outside of your organization
  • Integration with other tools - you can connect your Slack with Trello, Google Calendar or Google Drive, and even more tools. It depends on what you use.

Slack keyboard shortcuts

I think Slack did a great job preparing their shortcuts. You can use them and forget about the mouse completely.

Keyboard shortcuts list

The most important shortcut, at least in the beginning, is:

  • Ctrl + / - shows list of all availables keyboard shortcuts

Menaging workspaces, panels and sidebars

  • Ctrl + [1..9] - move between workspaces by theirs numbers
  • Ctrl + Shift + [ - move to previous workspace (this one is not working for me)
  • Ctrl + Shift + ] - move to next workspace (this one is not working for me)
  • Ctrl + Shift + D - show/hide sidebar
  • Ctrl + . - open/close right panel (for example with threads)
  • Ctrl + K or Ctrl + T - move to the selected conversation (DM or channel)
  • Ctrl + J - jump to not read messages
  • Ctrl + Shift + A - show list of unread messages
  • Ctrl + Shift + T - show list of threads (by using arrows you can move between them)
  • Ctrl + Shift + K - show list of all direct messages (DM)
  • Ctrl + Shift + M - show list of mention & reactions
  • Ctrl + Shift + S - show list of saved elements/messages
  • Alt + ↑,↓ - move to previous/next direct message or channel
  • Alt + Shift + ↑,↓ - move to unread previous/next direct message or channel

Message tricks

  • Ctrl + N - prepare and send new message (first select people or channels, then Tab or Enter and you can write your message)
  • or Ctrl + ↑ - edit last message (when input is empty)
  • Ctrl + Shift + \ - react to last message or message with focus
  • +: + [emoji name] - add emoji reaction to last message in the channel (when input is empty)
  • Ctrl + Shift + Enter - create a snipet
  • Ctrl + U - upload file


  • F6 - focus on next section (by clicking multiple times you can change focus)
  • Shift + F6 - focus on the previous section

When you already have a focus on the selected message, you can do:

  • R - add reaction to selected message
  • E - edit message
  • T or - open thread
  • - move to message above (when input is empty)
  • M - set reminder about selected message
  • A - save in/remove from saving items
  • S - share
  • P - pin/unpin
  • Delete - delete


  • surround text with * - get bold text
  • surround text with _ - get italic text
  • surround text with ~ - get crossed out text
  • surround text with ` - get code text
  • use ``` - get a block of code
  • > - get quote text

Instead of markdown, you can also use keyboard shortcuts like in text document edition tools. For example, Ctrl + B will do the bold text. It depends on your Slack setups.

  • Crtl + G - search in the whole workspace (keep in mind that Slack have nice search options which will display to you when you start searching)
  • Ctrl + F - search in current conversation


  • Ctrl + Shift + Y - Set a status
  • Page Up/Page Down - scroll up/down