How to send direct messages from anywhere in Slack

With Slack, you can send direct messages from any text area location. Find out how this is done in either the mobile or desktop app.

How to send direct messages from anywhere in Slack

If Slack is your tool of choice for collaborating and communicating with teams, chances are you spend a fair amount of time using the Slack app or desktop client. Wouldn't you like to make the interaction with that app a bit more efficient? You can. If you happen to send a lot of direct messages to team members, there's a trick you can use to make that task consume less time.

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What you'll need

In order to make this work, you'll need the following:

  • A Slack account
  • An assigned workspace
  • A user (or multiple users) to message
  • Either the Slack mobile (Android/iOS) or desktop app 

Note: This can also be done from the Slack web interface.

How to send a message in the Slack app

First and foremost, when I say you can send a message from "anywhere," what I really mean is anywhere within the Slack app that has a text entry box. This means you can send a direct message from the Direct Messages window, a channel, a thread…. anywhere.

So how do you do it? 

Locate a text area and type the following:


Where USERNAME is the name of the recipient. So a message could look like:

/msg @olivia nightingale Classes start *this week*. Are you ready?

Once you've typed the message (Figure A), either hit Enter on your keyboard or click/tap the Send button.

Figure A


A direct message typed from within an unrelated thread.

You can also send a direct message to multiple users, like so:


Where USER1/USER2 are usernames of the recipients and MESSAGE is your message.

Of course, reading your direct messages does require you to head over to the Direct Messages window, but the sending of those messages can happen anywhere.

Although this isn't a deal maker/breaker feature, it certainly will go a long way to help make Slack a more efficient collaboration tool. 

Also see


Image: iStockphoto/oatawa