Formatting Messages

General Formatting

Slack hasn't yet released an input block which includes the formatting options you're accustomed to, so for the time being, messages must be formatted using their special markup notation. The basics are are covered below.

Check out Slack's help page for more examples.

  • Bold

    Surround your text with asterisks.

  • Italics

    Surround your text with underscores.

  • Strikethrough

    Surround your text with tildes.

  • Inline code

    Surround your text with single sticks.

  • Code block

    Surround your text with triple sticks.

  • ```a
  • Blockquote

    Use a > character at the start of a new line.

  • Bulleted Lists

    • Begin each line with a dash and a space.

    - a
    - b
    - c

For the time being, there is no way for Slack apps to produce actual bullets, meaning dashes will be rendered as dashes.

To produce a true bullet, you can paste this character into your message:

  • Numbered Lists

    • Begin each line with an number, a period, and a space.

    1. a
    2. b
    3. c
  • Links

    Slack will make a it a clickable link if you paste the URL, but you can use a cobination of <, |, and > to format URLs.

  • <|happybara>

Tag/mention a user in Nightowl messages (e.g. @dave)

There are ways to mention people and channels, though unfortunately the text inputs Slack provides don't allow for the same native experience you're used to.

Since Slack won’t prompt and complete the mention of a user or channel, so if you want to mention @dave, you will need to type it out in full.

Mentioning users with spaces in their names will not work this way.

To mention a user with a space in their name, you will need to find their user ID, e.g. UA1A1A1A1 and format it as follows using the <, @, and > characters.


User IDs start with W instead of U in Enterprise Grid workspaces.

An easy way to check users are mentioned correctly is to send yourself a BCC message.

We are looking forward to Slack eventually releasing text inputs that perform like the one you are used to, especially for emojis.

Images/files in Nightowl messages

Another alternative is to upload the file in the File Browser (located in the top left corner of your desktop Slack client window) and then click Share. After the modal pops up, instead of sending a message with your new file, you can click Copy Link and then use that URL in your message. When the message is posted, Slack will load or preview the file for the recipient.