How to get more out of Slack with the slash command
How to get more out of Slack with the slash command
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Find out how to be a Slack ninja with slash commands.

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Image: Slack

More about Mobility

You are a Slack master. Or so you think. After using the service (on either the desktop or the mobile app), you have reached a level of communication and collaboration you’ve never before experienced.

But, there’s always more to be had. Although, to some, Slack might be nothing more than a regular means to send and receive messages or participate in threads, it’s got a lot more to offer than that. How much more is just a slash away.

By slash, of course, I mean the / character.

This is the slash command. When used, it instructs Slack that whatever follows is a command. So as I illustrated in the
How to send direct messages from anywhere in Slack
tutorial, if you type /msg, what follows that will send a direct message to a specific user. This slash command is msg.

There’s much more.

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How to use slash commands in Slack

Every slash command works on both the mobile and desktop versions of the Slack app. As of this writing, there are more than 25 slash commands built in to the Slack app. Although each command functions with a slight variation, they all have one thing in common—they are preceded by the / character. Below is a collection of some of the more useful slash commands and how they are used.

  • /away TIME (where TIME is either an actual or period of time): Toggles your away status.
  • /active TIME (where TIME is either an actual or period of time): Toggles yourself as active.
  • /dnd TIME (where TIME is a description of time): Allows you to start or end a Do Not Disturb session.
  • /invite @USER #CHANNEL (where USER is a username and CHANNEL is the name of a channel): Allows you to invite a user to a channel.
  • /join #CHANNEL (where CHANNEL is the name of a channel): How you join a particular Slack channel.
  • /leave #CHANNEL (where CHANNEL is the name of a channel): Used to leave a specific channel.
  • /me TEXT (where TEXT is a message): Prints out a message within a channel in italics.
  • /mute CHANNEL (where CHANNEL is the name of a specific channel): Allows you to mute and unmute a specific channel.
  • /remind @USER #CHANNEL to WHAT WHEN (where USER is a username, CHANNEL is the name of a channel WHAT is what you want to remind the user or channel of, and WHEN is a time): Allows you to send a reminder (at a specified time) to either a user or a channel.
  • /search TEXT (where text is a string of text): Allows you to search messages and files within Slack.
  • /star: Allows you to start the current message or thread.
  • /status TEXT (where TEXT is a string of text): Allows you to set or clear your status.
  • /topic TEXT (where TEXT is the topic to be set): Allows you to set a topic for a channel.
  • /who: Lists members of the current channel (up to 100).

The above list of slash commands will probably include one or more that you’ll start using on a regular basis. If you want to truly become a Slack ninja, you’ll add at least some of them to your daily usage.

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