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Slack Text Formats: Bold, Quote, Strikethrough + More!


Jaeyou Park

Marketing Associate - 23 Oct, 2018


Slack has quickly become the instant messaging platform of choice and main form of communication for businesses. One of the difficulties of operating almost exclusively using text is that it's so much harder to read and understand the tone. However, changing the formatting of your text can add clarity and emphasis to your messages.

No longer will corporate messages make you sound like a robot - using Slack text formats, they can sound cool and even fun! Formatting your Slack messages with bold, italic and strikethrough, while adding quotes, inline code and lists will liven up your messages and reduce misunderstandings.

Formatting your Slack messages

Formatting messages in Slack is easy! You can bold, italic, strikethrough, quote, make code blocks, lists and more. There are two ways to format your text, depending on whether you're using Slack for desktop in Shift or the mobile app.

As you type: On desktop and mobile you can format your messages as you type by using symbols around your text, *like so*.

Keyboard shortcuts: Also on a desktop, you can use keyboard shortcuts to alter Slack text formats. For example, to make word bold, simply select the word and use your system shortcuts.

Note: You can also use multiple formats in the same selection of text. For example: you can bold and strikethrough the same word!

Here are few of the Shift team's favorite Slack message formats:

How to Bold Text in Slack

In order to highlight text to capture a readers' attention within your Slack messages, you may want to bold certain portions of text.

slack text format bold

To bold text in Slack, use *asterisks* around your text to make it bold.

Mac: ⌘ + B
Windows: CTRL + B

How to Use Italics in Slack

Use Italics when you want to emphasize a certain word or phrase.

slack text format italic

To make your text italic, use _underscores_ around your text to italicize it.

Mac: ⌘ + I
Windows: CTRL + I

How to Strikethrough Text in Slack

For text that you want to strike or cross out, use strikethrough.

slack text formats strike through

To strikethrough text in Slack, use ~tildes~ around your text to strike it out.

Mac: ⌘ + SHIFT + X
Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + X

How to Add a Quote in Slack

To ensure that the right person gets credit you may want to quote some text within your message.

slack text format quote

To quote text within your Slack message, add angled brackets (>) before your text to quote it.

Mac: ⌘ + SHIFT + >
Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + >

How to Format Text Inline in Slack

Posting inline is a good way to post a code block or snippet or to color text, such as making certain words red.

slack text format inline

To format inline code, use backtick symbols (`) around your text.

`To format one line`
```To format blocks of text```

Mac: ⌘ + SHIFT + C
Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + C

How to Make Lists in Slack

Lists are helpful for making Slack messages with multiple steps or points easier to read. You can do bullet lists or numbered lists.

slack text format list

To format a list, simply begin your message with a number or bullet (•).

Press Shift + Enter to create a new, pre-formatted line.


For numbered lists:
Mac: ⌘ + SHIFT + 7
Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + 7

For bullets:
Mac: ⌘ + SHIFT + 8
Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + 8

How to Underline, Highlight or Create Small Text in Slack

Unfortunately, it is not possible to format text in Slack messages to underline or highlight. To emphasize text that you're hoping to underline or highlight, we would recommend using bold or italics. You are also not able to change font size in Slack, so making small or tiny text within your messages is not possible.

How to Add a Custom Emoji to Slack

Check out our related article about adding a custom emoji to Slack to learn how you can spice up your messages even more.

Want to really up your Slack game?

Now that you know how to format messages in Slack, you're ready to take your Slacking to the next level. Use Shift to manage Slack, Gmail, Google Drive, WhatsAppFacebookTrello, and hundreds of your other favorite tools in one easy to use desktop app. Claim your Shift coupon code for 10% off and try Shift today!