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 Screen_Shot_2016-07-21_at_5.01.17_PM.pngThe Clean theme displays member profile photos beside their messages.


Compact theme Screen_Shot_2016-07-21_at_5.00.59_PM.pngThe Compact theme uses less white space between messages and hides member profile photos.

Tip: You can change the colour of your teammates' display names when using the Compact theme. Try typing /colour @displayname 3EB890 – or any six-digit HTML colour value. 🎨

Change your message display preferences



  1. From your desktop, click on your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu. 
  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.

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.

A word on accessibility: We’re committed to making Slack inclusive for everyone. We’re working to improve accessibility, so stay tuned! Send us a note if you have questions.