'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Slack has become the de facto standard for team/staff/family collaboration and communication. Not only is Slack easy to install and use, but it also offers plenty of features to empower your day-to-day interactions and work activities.
Most people make use of the basic features of Slack, such as discussions, threads, direct messages, and file sharing. But did you know there's another tool that can help make you a master of Slackdom?
That tool is slash commands.
Also: Self-messaging on Slack sounds lonely, but it's my best productivity hack
What is a slash command? To put it simply, it's a command that begins with the / (slash) character. When you type the / character, it immediately informs your Slack interface (be it the desktop or mobile app) that what follows is a command (hence the name 'slash command'). Why do this? It saves you the time of hunting for threads or settings or other things in Slack.
Let's find out how this process works and the types of commands you can use with it.
In its most basic form, a slash command looks like this:
Say you want to send a quick message to a Slack channel. For example, you've completed TaskA and you want TeamX to know it's ready. For that, you'd type:
/msg #TeamX TaskA is complete
On desktop, using /mute brings up a pop-up which allows you to quickly mute a noisy channel or group thread.
On mobile, type /mute and return inside a channel to mute it. You can also mute it by typing /mute #channel.
What if you need to set a reminder to do something later? Slack has you covered with a slash command. For example, you need a reminder to call your mother every day at 3pm. For that, we'll use the remind slash command, like so:
/remind me to call my mom at 3 p.m. every day
Using either /away and /active instantly enables you to toggle your status as, you guessed it, away or active -- without you having to click into your profile to change your status.
On the desktop, using /dnd brings up a "Pause notifications until..." pop-up window where you can set how long you'd like to banish disruptions.
On mobile, type /dnd 11:30, for example, if you want to pause notifications until 11:30.
Getting the hang of it? I thought you might. But what about other handy slash commands? Here's a short list I've pulled together of the most useful slash commands:
Also: The best collaboration apps: Top team tools
Finally, if you find yourself unsure of what all slash commands can do, just type / to reveal an entire list of the available slash commands for your workspace.
And that covers the basics of using slash commands in Slack. Once you get the hang of this handy feature, you'll find Slack to be a far more efficient and powerful tool for your communication and collaboration needs.