Send and read messages

In Slack, conversations happen in channels and direct messages (DMs). To start and join conversations, learn how to send and read messages.


Write and send messages

There are two ways to start writing new messages in Slack:

  • Use the   compose button.
  • Type a message in the message field of any channel or direct message.

Desktop

Mobile

Create a message from the compose button 

  1. From anywhere in Slack, click the   compose button next to your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Type the name of a person (up to eight) or channel in the To: field.
  3. Type and format your message in the message field.
  4. Click the  paper plane icon to send your message.


Type a message in the message field 

  1. Click the message field in a channel or direct message.
  2. Type and format your message.
  3. Press Enter to send it.


Add to your message

As you're writing, use the icons below to add to your message:

Select a shortcut  
Format your message  
Mention someone  
Add an emoji  
Add a file  

Create a message from the compose button

  1. From the  Home tab, tap the  compose button at the bottom of your screen. 
  2. Type your message.
  3. Tap the  paper plane icon to send.


Type a message in the message field

  1. Tap the message field in a channel or direct message.
  2. Type your message.
  3. Tap the  paper plane icon to send it.


Add to your message

As you're writing, use the icons below to add to your message:

Select a shortcut  
Mention someone  
Format your message  
Add an emoji  
Take a photo  
Add a photo from your device  
Add a file  

Tip: For more space to compose, tap the  diagonal arrows icon (iOS only) or swipe up on the message field.

Note: If at any point you’re not ready to send your message, it will save as a draft so you can come back to it later. Read more about drafts below.


Create and edit drafts

If you start writing a message and do not send it, it will automatically save as a draft. Use the information below to help you access your draft messages. 

Desktop

Mobile

Click  Drafts in the left sidebar to view all your drafted messages. Hover over any message for more options:

Delete draft  
Edit draft  
Send message  

Tip: If there is an unsent message in a conversation, you’ll see a   pencil icon next to the channel name or direct message in the left sidebar.

  1. From the  Home tab, tap Drafts at the top. 
  2. Tap a draft message to open it.


Read messages

If a channel or direct message name is bolded in your channel list, that means there are unread messages. You can click the bolded channel or direct message to open the conversation and view unread messages.


Decide how Slack manages read messages

Messages in Slack will be marked as read soon after you open a channel or direct message. If you’d like, you can change this preference.


Mark messages as unread

If you need to come back to a message later, you can mark it as unread.

Desktop

Mobile

  1. Hover over the oldest message you’d like to mark as unread.
  2. Click the  three dots icon
  3. Click Mark unread. The selected message, and any others sent after it, will be marked unread.

Tip: You can also hold Alt and click a message to mark that message and any others sent after it as unread.

  1. Tap and hold a message.
  2. Tap Mark Unread. The selected message, and any others sent after it, will be marked unread.