Change how messages are displayed

When using Slack on your desktop, you can adjust how your messages are displayed by choosing a theme and selecting additional display options if you like. 

Clean vs. compact theme

By default, Slack uses the Clean theme. If you’d like to see more messages at once, you can switch to the compact theme instead.


Clean theme Slack message in clean theme showing the sender's profile picture alongside a messageThe clean theme displays member profile photos beside their messages.


Compact theme Slack message in compact theme showing only the sender's name alongside a messageThe compact theme uses less white space between messages and hides member profile photos.

Change your message display preferences



  1. Click your profile picture.
    A cursor over the profile picture menu in the Slack desktop app.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Click Messages & media in the left sidebar.
  4. Choose either Clean or Compact.

Manage additional options

You can adjust other message-related display settings under Additional options:

  • Display information about who is currently typing a message
  • Show times with 24-hour clock
  • Display colour swatches next to hexadecimal values

It's not currently possible to change message display from the Slack mobile apps, but the app display will scale to match the font size that you set in your device settings.

Want to change your font size? You can adjust your zoom level in Slack to increase or decrease the size of your text. However, it's not possible to change the font.