Work with apps in Slack using shortcuts

Apps connect your tools to Slack so that your team can work together more efficiently. Some apps include shortcuts that you can use to take actions in another service without leaving Slack. There are two types of shortcuts: 

  • Shortcuts that you can use anywhere in Slack
    Find shortcuts that you can use with apps installed to your workspace in the shortcuts menu or search results. For example, you can use the Google Calendar Create event shortcut to create a new calendar event right from your workspace. 
  • Shortcuts that you can use from messages
    Open the  More actions menu from any message to send information from Slack to another service, like attaching a relevant message from Slack to a customer's support ticket in Zendesk. 

Note: If you use shared channels, only members of your organisation can use shortcuts associated with apps installed to your workspace.


Take actions from the shortcuts menu

Once an app is installed to your workspace, any available shortcuts will show up below the app's name in the shortcuts menu. You'll only see apps with at least one associated shortcut in the shortcuts menu. Here's how to take an action from the shortcuts menu: 

  1. From a channel or direct message (DM), click the  Lightning bolt icon to the left of the message field. 
  2. Search for a particular shortcut or app, or select a shortcut from the list. 
  3. Follow the prompts to use the shortcut. 

Animated GIF of the Google Calendar app create event shortcut being used in a Slack workspace


Search for shortcuts

You can easily access shortcuts by searching for the name of an app with a shortcut or the name of the shortcut itself: 

  1. From your desktop, click the search bar at the top of the screen. You can also use a keyboard shortcut to start a search: CmdG on Mac or CtrlG on Windows/Linux. 
  2. Type the name of an app or a shortcut. You'll see a Lightning bolt icon next to any shortcuts in your search results. 
  3. Select a shortcut, then follow the prompts. 

Search results in Slack showing the Google Calendar app and Google Calendar create event shortcut


Take actions from message shortcuts

Some apps offer message shortcuts to help you move work from Slack to a connected app. With message shortcuts, you can create a task, add a comment or follow up on work happening in another service from any message in Slack. 

Desktop

Mobile

  1. Hover over a message in Slack. 
  2. Click the  three dots icon
  3. Choose a message shortcut from the menu. You'll see app names next to shortcuts, so it's easy to make sure that you're sending information to the right place. 
  4. If you don't see the shortcut that you're looking for, click More message shortcuts to view a complete list. 

More actions menu showing available message shortcuts for a Slack message in a channel

The app will post a message in a channel, DM or thread so that your teammates can see that you've documented a task in another tool. 

  1. Tap and hold a message in Slack.
  2. Choose a message shortcut from the list. You'll see app names next to shortcuts, so it's easy to make sure that you're sending information to the right place. 
  3. If you don't see the shortcut that you're looking for, tap More message shortcuts to view a complete list.  

Interested in building an app with shortcuts? Review our documentation on Slack API to get started.