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Switch from Slack to Google Chat

Learn the differences between Slack and Google Chat and get best practices for collaboration at work or school.

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What you'll need

15 minutes

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Note: The instructions in this guide are primarily web only. Get switching information for mobile devices

Comparison at a glance


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In Slack... In Chat...*
Open Slack in a browser, mobile app, Mac®, or Windows®
Open Chat in a browser, mobile app, Mac, or Windows
For more details, see Get started with Google Chat.
Send a DM to someone
Send a chat message to a person or a group
  1. On your computer, go to Google Chat.
  2. On the left, under “Chat,” click the name of the person or group you want to message.
    • If you can’t find their name, click New chat or Start a chat .
  3. Enter a name or email address. Suggestions appear as you enter text.
    • Tip: To send a direct message from a work or school account to someone outside your organization, enter their email address.
  4. Click the person you want to message.
    • To create a group conversation, continue to enter people’s names.
  5. When you select everyone you want to include in the conversation, click Start chat.
    • Tip: If you want to send a direct message to a specific person, next to their name, click Start chat , or use the keyboard shortcut ⌘ + Enter / Ctrl + Enter.
  6. Enter a message.
  7. Click Send .

Tips:

  • If you use a work or school account, suggestions include everyone in your organization, even those who don't have Google Chat.
  • To message you back, the message recipient may need to accept your request.
Join a channel
Preview and join a space
  1. Open Google Chat.
  2. At the top left, click Start a chat .
  3. Click Browse spaces. The spaces that you're directly invited to appear at the top of the list. To find a space, enter its name.
    • To preview a space, point to the space name and click Preview. When you preview a space, you can read messages, but you can't participate in the conversation or get notifications.
  4. To join the space, in the preview, click Add or Join.
  5. To open the space, click Open.
For more details, see Get started with Google Chat.
Create a channel
Create a space

You can chat with both people within your organization and with external guests.

 
Edit a message
Edit text in a conversation

Edit a sent message

  1. On your computer, go to a conversation and hover over your message.
  2. Click Edit .
  3. Make your changes.
  4. Click Update.

Delete a sent message

  1. On your computer, go to a conversation and hover over your message.
  2. Click Delete .
  3. To confirm, click Delete.
Add styles and emoji to your message
Add styles and emoji to your text

To add markdown formatting to your Google Chat messages, you can include special characters in the text.

  • To bold text, add asterisks * before and after the text you want bolded.
    For example, if you type *Tuesday*, the chat will display Tuesday.
  • To italicize text, add underscores _ before and after the text you want italicized.
    For example, if you type _every week_ , the chat will display every week.
  • To strike through text, add tildes ~ before and after the text you want struck through.
  • To create an inline code block, add backticks ` before and after the text you want in a code block.
  • To create a multiline code block, add three backticks ``` before and after the text you want in a code block.

You can also click Emoji and select the emoji you want to add.

Leave a channel
Leave a space
  1. On your computer,  open Google Chat or Gmail.
  2. Next to a space name, click More options and then Leave.
  3. Click Leave space.
Delete messages
Delete an entire DM
  1. On your computer,  open Google Chat or Gmail.
    • In Gmail: On the left, click Chat.
  2. On the left, next to the person's name, click More and then Delete conversation.
  3. To confirm, click Delete.
Upload and share files
Upload and share files
  1. On your computer, open Google Chat or Gmail.
    • In Gmail: On the left, click Chat.
  2. Open a conversation.
  3. Enter your message and choose an option:
    • To add an emoji, click Emoji .
    • To send a GIF, click GIF .
      • If you use Google Chat on a work or school account, you may not have the option to send a GIF.
    • To attach a file from your computer, click Upload file .
      • The file is not added to Drive. Other users get the file directly in the message.
    •  To add a link to a video meeting, click Add video meeting .
    • To attach a Drive file, click Integration menu and then Drive ;.
      • When you send the file, you’re notified if someone needs access.
      • With edit access, you have an option to grant access.
      • If you grant access to a space, people who join the space later also have access.
      • If people leave the space, they lose access to the file unless they’re given access individually or through a group.
    • To create a Google Calendar invite, click Integration menu and then Calendar invite .
  4. Click Send .
Search your messages
Search your messages
  1. On your computer,  open Google Chat or Gmail.
  2. At the top, click in the search box that says “Search all conversations” or “Search in chat and spaces.” 
  3. Enter search text and press Enter.
    • Gmail: Under the search box, click Messages.
  4. To open a result, click on it. 
To search your chat messages from Gmail, see Get started with Google Chat.
Manage your notifications
Manage your notifications
  1. On your computer, go to Google Chat.  
  2. At the top right, click Settings .
  3. To turn on notifications for Google Chat messages, under "Desktop notifications," check the box next to "Allow chat notifications."
For more details, see Get started with Google Chat.

Note: The instructions in this guide are primarily web only. Get switching information for mobile devices.  

Related topics

To set up Chat or Spaces, or get troubleshooting help, try these guides instead:


               

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