As a professional writer, picky editor, and amateur obsessive-compulsive, I try to ensure that everything I write is correctly spelled, formatted, and punctuated, no matter the context or venue. Within reason, of course—I’m not completely insane.
If you’re like me, it’s irksome to hit Return in Messages, say, only to realize that you’ve made a typo or been tripped up by auto-correct. When I do that in Messages, I have to either live with the mistake (if it’s just embarrassing) or correct it with a follow-up message (if it’s actively confusing), both of which I hate having to do. So Apple, while you’re taking Matthew Bischoff’s and John Gruber’s feedback that Messages users want a Mark As Unread option, could you also let us edit our most recently sent messages?
In Slack, on the other hand, it’s possible to edit what you write after the fact. Early on, you could fix a mistake in the last message by pressing the Up arrow in an empty message field to reopen the previous message for editing. That was great, and I was a huge fan. At some point, however, Slack changed the feature so you had to arrow up and then press the E key to start editing. It usually worked, though I sometimes had to hover over the message, click the vertical ellipsis button, and choose Edit Message from a menu. That jangled my inner editor’s nerves.
Happily, an update to the Slack app for the Mac alerted me to the fact that there’s a preference to control this behavior. I don’t know exactly when Slack added this preference (it has been there for quite some time) or how I ended up with the wrong setting when others did not, but if you’re in the same boat and find editing Slack messages to be unnecessarily difficult, twiddle this setting.
In Slack, for each of your workspaces, choose Slack > Preferences > Accessibility. Scroll to the bottom of the window, and in the Keyboard section, select the “Edit your last message” option for how the Up arrow key works. Note that Command-Up arrow will always let you edit your last message, regardless of your settings.
By the way, you can also mark messages as unread in Slack. Option-click the message whose read state you want to reset, and Slack’s New bar will appear above it. Conversely, if you want to mark everything in the channel as read, press the Esc key. Time to catch up, Apple.