Keyboard accessibility in Slack

If you rely on your desktop keyboard to get around, we have shortcuts to help you navigate from one area in Slack — like links, buttons, and message input fields — to another. You can be just as efficient without ever touching a mouse!

Tip: Read more about all of Slack's keyboard shortcuts.✨

 

Accessibility shortcuts

Here you’ll find a list of shortcuts to help you move from one element to another. You’ll know an element is in focus when it’s surrounded by an outline.

 

Mac

Windows/Linux

Action Mac keyboard
Move focus to the next element* Tab
Move focus to the previous element* Shift   Tab
Move focus from messages in a channel or DM**  or
Move focus to the next section*** F6
Move focus to the previous section**** ShiftF6
Take action or "click" on buttons Spacebar
Take action or "click" on links Enter
Close windows, menus or the message field Esc


*If using Slack in a browser, you may need to configure Tab to move focus in your OS settings first.
**If using a screen reader, you may need to toggle the virtual cursor.
***If using Slack in a browser, use F6.
****If using Slack in a browser, use ShiftF6.

Action Windows or Linux keyboard
Move focus to the next element* Tab
Move focus to the previous element* Shift   Tab
Move focus from messages in a channel or DM**  or
Move focus to the next section*** F6
Move focus to the previous section**** ShiftF6
Take action or "click" on buttons Spacebar
Take action or "click" on links Enter
Close windows, menus or the message field Esc

 

*If using Slack in a browser, you may need to configure Tab to move focus in your OS settings first.
**If using a screen reader, you may need to toggle the virtual cursor.
***If using Slack in a browser, use CtrlF6.
****If using Slack in a browser, use CtrlShiftF6.

Note: If you don’t have a menu open or you’re not typing a message, Esc marks messages as read.


Using your keyboard in Slack

With these shortcuts in hand, let’s put them into practice. Here’s how to accomplish a few of the most common actions in Slack for desktop:

Mac

Windows/Linux

📖  Read messages in a channel or DM
  1. Press F6 to move to the message window.
  2. Press  or  to navigate between individual messages.
    Or use any of these keys:

    Page up or Page down to move up or down.
    Home to go to the oldest message.
    End to go to the most recent message.

    Spacebar to scroll through messages.
    FnShift to scroll to the start of the previous day's messages.
    FnShift to scroll to the start of the next day's messages.

✍🏼  Interact with messages in a channel or DM

  1. Press F6 to move to the message window.
  2. Press  or  to navigate between individual messages.
  3. When focused on a message, press Tab to scroll through links, attachments, or the  More actions menu.
  4. Press Enter to make a selection. 

💬  Navigate message threads

  1. Press F6 to move to the message window.
  2. Press  or  to choose which message you want to view.
  3. Press  to open the thread pane.

    Use these keys to get around:

    Page up or Page down to move up or down.
    Home to go to the oldest reply.
    End to go to the most recent reply.

🔄  Switch to a channel or DM

  1. Press F6 to move to the channel list on the left.
  2. Press Tab to navigate to the channel or DM.
  3. Press Enter to make a selection.
Tip: You can also jump swiftly between channels and DMs with the quick switcher — just press K.
📖  Read messages in a channel or DM
  1. Press F6 to move to the message window.
  2. Press  or  to navigate between individual messages.
    Or use any of these keys:

    Page up or Page down to move up or down.
    Home to go to the oldest message.
    End to go to the most recent message.

    Spacebar to scroll through messages.
    ShiftPage Up to scroll to the start of the prior day's messages.
    ShiftPage Down to scroll to the start of the next day's messages.

✍🏼  Interact with messages in a channel or DM

  1. Press F6 to move to the message window.
  2. Press  or  to navigate between individual messages.
  3. When focused on a message, press Tab to scroll through links, attachments, or the  message actions menu.
  4. Press Enter to make a selection. 

💬  Navigate message threads

  1. Press F6 to move to the message window.
  2. Press  or  to choose which message you want to view.
  3. Press  to open the thread pane.

    Use these keys to get around:

    Page up or Page down to move up or down.
    Home to go to the oldest reply.
    End to go to the most recent reply.

🔄  Switch to a channel or DM

  1. Press F6 to move to the channel list on the left.
  2. Press Tab to navigate to the channel or DM.
  3. Press Enter to make a selection.
Tip: You can also jump swiftly between channels and DMs with the quick switcher — just press CtrlK.

 

Set your ↑ up arrow key preference

One of the keyboard shortcuts that helps you navigate Slack is pressing the up arrow shortcut from an empty message field. You can adjust your preferences to have this keyboard shortcut perform one of these actions:

  • Move focus to the last visible message in the conversation you’re viewing.
  • Edit the last message you sent in the conversation you’re viewing.

With either option, you can press (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows/Linux) to edit your last message in the conversation you’re viewing. To select the behavior for the ↑ up arrow shortcut, use the steps below.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Choose Accessibility & display.
  4. Under Keyboard, select an option.