I have a text substitution setup within the System Preferences. This works most places within OS X as far as I can tell, but it does not work in Slack. (Their native app for OS X version 1.1.4 - 2814)

Does anyone know why?

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It looks like this is not specific to Slack at all

  • Are you using a slack application (if so what version and name) or a browser (if so what version and name)? – bmike Oct 8 '15 at 23:29
  • Sorry, I should have mentioned that. I'm using the official Slack client for Mac OS X, version 1.1.4 (2814). – jordelver Oct 8 '15 at 23:36
  • If you have Chrome, does it work there? Slack uses the same engine. – 0942v8653 Oct 9 '15 at 0:09
  • No, it doesn't work in Chrome either, so it looks like it's more likely to be a Chrome issue? – jordelver Oct 9 '15 at 8:42
  • Wow, man. I came here because my substitution of shrugs not working in Slack. :) The only difference is that my shortcut is '\/' (two slashes) – okutane May 16 '17 at 16:12

Activate the "Text Replacement" option in the edit menu.

option to activate text replacement

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  • Don't have such menu items for Slack "2.6.1 Direct Download" and macOS Sierra 10.12.4 (16E195) :( – okutane May 16 '17 at 16:17
  • not present in 3.0.5 direct download either. using @tbizzle's answer and restarting client worked. – pennstatephil Feb 20 '18 at 17:20
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    As of Slack 3.0.5, accepted answer seems deprecated. The option in the menu is no longer available. – carrieje Feb 21 '18 at 23:48

Even after following the instructions in the accepted answer, this still did not work for me until I followed these instructions. Basically, run the following in a terminal:

defaults write -g WebAutomaticTextReplacementEnabled -bool true

or to only change Slack's behavior (and not pollute your global domain):

defaults write com.tinyspeck.slackmacgap WebAutomaticTextReplacementEnabled -bool true

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    don't forget to restart the client after doing this- then it appears to work fine! – pennstatephil Feb 20 '18 at 17:21

So, it seems that Text Substitutions have not been implemented in Chrome so I assume that is the underlying problem I'm having with Slack.

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  • @carrieje's answer is correct. You don't have to wait for Chrome to implement anything! – JakeRobb Apr 28 '16 at 14:27

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