Google Chat is a great way to stay in touch with friends, family, and coworkers. But what if you need to reply to a specific message in a long chat thread? For the longest time, Google Chat didn't support this functionality, and we had to resort to workarounds. But finally, you can quote and reply to specific messages in the Google Chat web app. Hopefully, the mobile app will soon follow suit.
Use the Quote in Reply Button in Google Chat
Go to chat.google.com on your desktop using your preferred browser.
Then, open any conversation from the navigation bar on the left. You can open the conversation in full screen or pop-up; the functionality works everywhere.
Now, go to the message which you want to reply to and hover over it. A few options will appear on the right. Click on the 'Quote to Reply' (arrow) button to quote the message.
The quoted message will load in the message box. Type your reply and hit 'Enter' to send it.
If you don't want to reply to it anymore, click the 'X' button to delete the quote from the message box.
You can only reply to a single message at a time using this method.
If you want to quote and reply to multiple messages in one go, the workarounds below can still help you achieve it.
Use Backticks to Quote a Specific Message
You can manually use the code block format to quote a message (or even multiple messages). It’s not convenient by any means, but it works.
To manually quote and reply to a specific message, we’ll place three backticks
``` before and after the message.
To start, double-click on the message you want to quote, then right-click on it and select 'copy'.
Now, in the message typing area, type three backticks
``` at the beginning of the message, then paste the message you copied above (the one to quote), and then put three backticks
``` again at the end of the pasted message.
Once you have formatted the message you wish to quote, press
Shift + Enter on your keyboard to add a new line. Press
Shift + Enter again and add your reply to the quoted message.
Enter to send the message. Google Chat will display the quoted messages in a code block (which is not pretty, but serves the purpose).
Similarly, you can quote more than one message by placing them in multiple backticks. You can even add your replies in between two message quotes.
Use a Chrome Extension to Quote a Specific Message in Google Chat
In order to add the feature that will help you quote a particular message, we will install a third-party Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store. In the address bar, type chrome.google.com/webstore and press ‘Enter’.
You will see a search box in the left panel of the Chrome Web Store. Type the extension name "Google Chat thread links & quote reply" in the search box and press 'Enter'.
From the search results, click on the one that reads ‘Google Chat thread links & quote reply’. You can also directly access it from the link below:
On the next page, you will see a ‘Add to Chrome’ button to add the extension to your browser. Click on that button.
A dialogue box will appear on the screen once you click the ‘Add to Chrome’ button. This dialogue box will ask your permission to add the extension to your browser. To allow it, click on the ‘Add extension’ button, and it will add the extension to your Chrome browser.
You can check if the extension is added or not by clicking on the ‘Extensions’ icon just after the address bar. A dialogue box will appear, listing all the extensions installed in your browser.
Using the Chrome Extension to Quote a Message in Chat
Once the extension is added, launch the Google Chat app window and open a conversation in which you want to quote a message. Then, hover the cursor over a message, and you’ll see the option to quote and reply to it.
You can also quote more than one message in a single reply using the extension.
Being able to quote and reply to specific messages in group chats or even in DM threads gives you and everyone else you're communicating with a better way to keep track of the conversation.