Slack Markdown Formatting

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I changed my Slack configuration to use markdown only because darn it I’m good at markdown and now it sort flows right off the fingers. It even got me a little more real estate back with the missing font buttons along the top of the message bar. Everything seemed to work until this morning when I tried to add a link to the message.

Here’s the configuration item if you’re curious to start.

Slack configuration for markdown.

Slack Configuration

Once you’ve enabled that two things are going to happen:

  1. The text you write will no longer auto-render as you type it.
  2. You’ll be able to use markdown for everything.

Unexpected Perks

The first one I wasn’t expecting, but it’s actually very cool. I would be typing something with a bit of code like this:

Hey I was working on reponamee and

By the time I got to “and” I’d realize I made a mistake and my muscle memory would backspace the extra ‘e’ off of ‘reponame’ but now everything I type at that point is in that damned code block because it’d already rendered it. I learned quickly that I could click into the code block, backspace what I wanted, and then go back to my regular text and keep going, but what a pain.

The second one was the reason we’re here: writing all the things in markdown because I already use it with Obsidian for all my notes so it wasn’t a stretch to use it here. I also have some pretty nice shortcuts in Alfred to make it quick and easy (dynamic inputs let you insert text and then move the cursor around afterwards). So cool.

But this morning I was talking to my team and wanted to include a link. And rather than generating my beautiful link to the text I wanted, it sort of puked and put the markdown out without rendering it.

Hey folx, I found a thing [at this site]( and it is absolutely glorious!

Well, that was unexpected. After goofing around and trying it in messages to myself with more and more of the URL shaved off I discovered the culprit was the period at the very end of the text I was trying to highlight:

“enter some free text.”

If I hadn’t included the period, it would have worked perfectly fine. So, an odd edge case that they’ll have to work out at some point. But, moral of the story: if you’re going to use Chrome’s link to highlight feature that generates that long URL, make sure you don’t include any periods.


This works beautifully:

I discovered the [$REPLY shell variable]( and it's amazing.

This does not:

I discovered the [$REPLY shell variable]( and it's amazing.