The integration of Google Chat with Gmail was made available to everyone only a fortnight ago. Still, Google Chat is scoring top marks in terms of features and functionalities.
Though Google has left the free users of Gmail, craving for more by keeping some features exclusive for the Workspace users. There are still plenty of things coming in the free user’s way.
It doesn’t matter if you are using Google Chat for work or for personal use. What does matter is how efficiently you are using it. Now, with these tips and tricks, you can bet your last dime that you will be efficient.
Quote and Reply to a Specific Message using Multiline Code Block
This here is the most basic and the most needed feature to communicate effectively on Google Chat. Alas, the feature to reply to a thread has been reserved for the Workspace users. There is still a workaround for the majority.
Use Backticks to Create a Code Block
To manually quote a message, first, copy the message in your chat box you want to quote and place three back-ticks
``` as a prefix and suffix to the message.
After adding the quotes to the message press
Shift+Enter, and type your reply to the message. Then, press
Enter to send.
Use a Chrome Extension to Automatically Create Code Blocks
Well, if you use Chrome, your life is going to get a bit better.
Download and install the Google Chat thread links & quote reply extension from the Chrome Web Store. And after adding the extension, simply press the ‘quotes’ icon to quote and reply to a message.
Text formatting can be very useful in many situations. Whether you want to emphasize any text of importance or show correction of word by striking it. This comes in real handy.
Inline Code Snippet
Insert a single backtick
` as a prefix and suffix to enter an inline code snippet. Similarly, you can also use it to highlight any inline text. Though not meant for that, the feature will still serve your purpose.
There are 3 kinds of text formatters supported by Google Chat, which are :
You just need to add simple prefix and suffix for the sentence or a word you want to format as per your requirement.
Bold the text by enclosing the text in typing area in asterisks
*, before and after the desired length of text.
Italicize the text by enclosing the text in typing area in underscores
_, before and after the desired length of text.
Strikethrough the text by enclosing the text in typing are in tildes
~, before and after the desired length of text.
Combine Text Formatters
You can also combine multiple text formatters to achieve a better text formatting for specific use cases.
Find a Message Sent by You
Basically, this feature can search for a keyword entered by you specifically only in the messages that are sent by you. This feature might not be needed as much as others. But this one can prove to be a very powerful one when you require it.
To use this, enter the keyword you want to search for in the search box from Google Chat home screen. Next, click your account icon to search for it in only the messages sent by you.
Find a Message from a Specific Contact
Being able to search and filter results contact-wise is bliss. This feature enables you to narrow down your search parameter drastically to save the hassle of manually scrolling through hundreds of messages from the search results.
To use this, enter the keyword you want to search for in the search box from the Google Chat home screen. Next, click the contact icon to search for it in only the messages sent by them.
Find Your Mentions
This nifty feature can be very utilitarian when you want to search for messages directed at you. Rooms or chat groups can be overwhelmingly active and may present a scenario where you might a miss a message or you just forgot what task did someone asked you to do. Whatever the scenario, this feature will never fail you.
To use this, enter the keyword you want to search for in the search box from the Google Chat home screen. Next, click on the ‘@’ icon to search for the messages mentioning you.
Quick Emoji Shortcuts
Well, there is obviously nothing new in inserting emojis. That being said, the new is in ‘how-to’ insert the emoji.
The Good Old Emoticons Automatically Convert to Graphical Emojis
For all the uninitiated, emoticons were a thing before emojis came into being. The Google is still letting us ride the nostalgia train by letting us converting some of the text based emoticons to unicode emojis.
Simply type in an emoticon (if you can remember) in the chat box and google will convert it to a matching emoji.
Note: There are only a handful of emojis that can be inserted this way, as the old counterpart were also very limited in number due to being a text-based pictorial representation.
Use Emoji Shortcodes to Quickly Type and Insert Emojis
You can also summon a floating emoji picker while typing, by simply pressing
: succeeding with the description of the emoji you want to insert.
Quick Tip : You can also type numerical following a
: to bring up emojis relevant to it.
Set a Preferred Emoji Skin Tone
Somehow we all have developed preferences on the skin tones of our emojis, and it is equally important to us that we use that specific skin tone wherever we are inserting an emoji. Well, you can also set your preference in Google Chat as well.
To change skin tone for emojis on Google Chat. Click on the ‘Emoji’ icon from the chat window, and click on the teardrop icon to pick an emoji colour of your preference.
Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Google has done an amazing job incorporating keyboard shortcuts site wide. Be it Gmail, Chat, or Meet. Google has incorporated shortcuts for all the basic tasks pertaining to these websites respectively.
However, it’s a bit cumbersome to remember all of them. Also, same shortcuts can perform different functions on different websites. Thus Google has a standard shortcut for all the websites.
To bring up the shortcut helper, press
You can also disable some shortcuts by pressing the ‘Disable’ option from the overlay pane.
Save Important Chat Messages by Forwarding to Inbox
There can be situations where you might require a message in Google Chat to revisit later. Though you can always search for it from the search box, you will have to rummage through the search results as well.
Though Chat is missing the ‘save message’ feature found on IM nowadays. It has the next best thing – ‘Forward message to inbox’. It will forward the desired message to your inbox for safekeeping and easy access for later viewing.
Hover over the message you want to forward from the chat window. Next, click on the ‘Forward to inbox’ icon.
Turn Message History Off/On
There may arise a situation where you do not want to keep chat history for a specific person. Now, deleting messages manually might be doable but is highly non-productive. Especially, when Google Chat offers you an option right out of the box to do the job for you.
Click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots) from the corner of the chat pane and click the ‘Turn off history’ option from the list. This will delete the messages in 24 hours, starting from the time they were sent.
Note: Only those messages would be deleted which were sent after the history has been turned off. Messages present in the chat before turning off history would not be affected.
Declutter your Chat List by Hiding Conversations
One can also hide conversations on Google Chat without deleting them. However, once hidden you cannot manually unhide them. Though the chat would reappear when the other person messages you.
To hide a conversation, click on the kebab menu (three vertical dots) present on the far right side of the chat name of the person on the sidebar. Next, click on ‘Hide conversation’ option from the list.
Google Chat Rooms for Team Work
Every time we have to collaborate with an external resource on a project, more often than not we find ourselves downloading yet another app for keeping track and collaborating. Though it’s not unfeasible but sure adds up to the pile of different apps essentially performing the same operation.
Well, Google Chat Rooms is the answer to collaboration problems for this pandemic-stricken work-from-home scenario. Rooms possess amazing flexibility and extensible features like local and cloud file sharing, tasks, Google Meet integration, all of this along with a mammoth capacity of 8,000 people per room.
Easy File Sharing with Rooms
Since we already talked about how Google has up-the-ante with the whole Google Chat package, Rooms is one of the most power-packed features that has enabled users to do Share local files or files from their drives as well.
Moreover, Rooms will automatically update your drive file sharing setting to let everybody in the Room access it. Say bye-bye to ‘request access’ notifications. This is not all, you can also create a file on the fly with the ‘create file’ option.
Assign and Keep Track of Tasks in Google Chat Rooms
Well, with power comes responsibility; Literally. This killer feature will enable a proper task delegation with a set deadline to the assignee. What’s more, is you can add a description specific to the task as well to minimize the scope of error as much as possible.
Find Shared Files in a Swish way
Since you there will be a lot of file sharing on Google Chat. Be it in a personal thread or Rooms. It is just about time, a situation arises where you have to look for a specific file shared. Either you want to download or just view it one more time. We politely ask you to use this tip next time.
Type the name or a part of the file name in the search bar you want to search for. Next, click on the type of file you are searching for, from the available options to narrow down the search results.
Change Room Name and Emoji
We know this barely qualifies for a trick, but this is more of a need-to-know feature. Since you are here learning all the advanced features, it is imperative that you know the basics too. As this is pretty elementary and self-explanatory, you can just take a look at the screenshot below to know more about it.
Tap on the name of the Room from the top section of the screen. Then, click on the ‘Edit name & emoji’ option.
Add Shared Files to your Drive
There are numerous files being shared in the files and more often than not they are of important nature and one needs to revisit them. Though you can search the files from the search box, it can get real tiresome real fast if you need to access a file multiple times a day.
Well, there’s a simpler and much better way to access the file. From the ‘Files’ tab of Google Chat Room, you can add any file to your drive. No more searching and sorting.
To add a file to your drive. Go to ‘Files’ tab of the room and locate your file. Next, click on the ‘Add to Drive’ icon.
Open a Shared File in Side-by-Side View in Chat
Rooms’ exist to serve effective communication and collaboration, and side-by-side view of a shared file and chat window cannot display it much better. When in use, all the Rooms member can collaborate in editing the document and will also be able to communicate on the related matter through the chat window.
To open a file in side-by-side view, locate the file in chat and click on the ‘Open in chat’ icon to open the document and also have the chat window pinned on the side.
Reduce Notifications from Chat Rooms
Rooms have the ability to become the single source of annoyance if the members are high in number and they don’t shy away from messaging. This can make you pull your hairs out since your phone won’t shut up.
Though, Google did not leave any stone unturned. ‘Notify less’ is just the perfect option for you as it will only notify you when someone mentions you specifically.
To only receive notifications when you are mentioned. Click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots) situated beside the Room name on the sidebar. Next, click on the ‘Notifications’ option from the list.
Now, click on the ‘Notify less’ option to only receive notifications when you are mentioned. Next, click on save to confirm your changes.
Turn off all Notifications for any Chat or Room
You can also completely turn off notifications for a particular Room, group, or person. However, Google will send you a mail for any unread mentions.
Just like the above step, click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots) situated beside the Room name on the sidebar. Then, click on the ‘Notifications’ option from the list.
Next, click on the ‘Notifications off’ option and hit save to confirm your changes.
Minimize Google Chat Room Window
Does it feel too much work to shift windows again and again, when conversing in two Rooms at the same time? Well this tip will save you the hassle for reaching to side bar again and again change Rooms.
To minimise the chat window of a particular room, click on the inwards arrow icon from the chat window.
Pin Important Chats to Quickly Access Them
You might feel why such a simple things is present in the list. Well, as they say, solution for the greatest of the problem lies in the simplest of the things. Similarly, when you have plethora of groups and Rooms, it can get pretty hard to keep track of your important groups or Rooms.
To pin a Room, group, or chat click on the kebab menu (three-vertical-dots) situated right next to the Room name and click on the ‘Pin’ option from the list.
Resize a Chat Window
Well since we have told you how to minimize a window. I guess the responsibility of showing you how to resize a chat window also falls on our metaphorical shoulders as long messages on a small chat window are definitely going to hamper message viewability.
On a minimised tab of a particular Room, hover your mouse on the top, side edge or the vertex of the window. Once you see an upward arrow icon, click and hold your mouse button and drag upwards or sideways to resize the window.
Well, these were all the tips and tricks for Google Chat. Now go, share your intricate knowledge about Google Chat to your friends and colleagues!