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 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?