Direct messages, explained

Chat rooms and comments are great for getting all kinds of work done. But when it comes to conversations that are more private or more pressing, direct messages are here for you.


Starting a direct message conversation

Head over the compose button in the top right corner of the screen. Click it, then select New Message.


Or go to Chat on the navigation pane then click New.

Next, add a recipient (or two, or three, or as many as you like).
Type your message, hit “Send,” and your conversation has begun. It'll show up in a tab at the bottom of the window, and the person you're chatting with will be notified accordingly.


Using the controls at the top of the tab, you can (from left to right):

  • Collapse the chat tab, so that only the name of the person you're chatting with is showing, and you have more room to do you work. (To uncollapse the tab, just click on it again.)
  • Expand the chat to full-screen.
  • Close the chat.

Other ways to start a direct message conversation:

  • Click the "New" button in the chat sidebar
  • Click on an @mention of someone in a document.
  • Click the "Message" button on someone's profile.


Chat notifications

Chat notifications work a little differently than other notifications in Quip. Only the following chat actions will badge the notification bell:

  • When someone starts a conversation with you.
  • When someone @mentions you in their conversation with you.
  • When someone likes one of your messages in the conversation.
  • When someone reads the very first message that you've sent them.

Note that ordinary chat messages that don't include a mention won't go into the bell menu. Instead, a notification will appear in the chat section of the Quip sidebar. You can read more about how the sidebar works below.

If you have desktop notifications enabled, or if you're using the Quip mobile app, you'll be notified through those channels about any new direct messages you receive.

If you need to cut down on the noise, you have a few options available to you:

  • Change the notification settings. In the Chat menu of a direct message conversation, you'll see an option for “Advanced,” and within that an option for “Notification Settings.” Select that and you'll see some options to stop being notified about new messages.
  • Mute the conversation. From the Chat menu, select “Delete Conversation.” Don't worry, you don't actually have to delete it—you'll be given the option to simply mute it, which stops notifications about the chat and removes it from your Updates feed.



Your chat sidebar

Over on the left side of your screen, you've got a sidebar that gives you easy access to lots of different Quip features, including chats you're participating in.

Note that you can collapse and expand your sidebar to suit your particular sidebar needs. When it's expanded, you'll see a list of the people you chat most frequently with, as well as any conversations in which you have unread messages (the number of unread messages will appear in blue):

Clicking on any of those names will take you to your conversation with that person.

When your sidebar is collapsed, your chats look a little different.


Clicking on the chat bubble pops open a drawer of your most recent chats, including a preview of the last message sent.

If you have unread chats, the chat bubble will be badged with the number of unread messages. The conversations those unread messages are in will be marked with a blue dot.

To view only those chats where you have unread messages, click the filter button at the top of the chat drawer (it looks like a little funnel). 


Deleting a conversation

If muting isn't enough for you, you can delete a chat entirely. From the Chat menu, select “Delete Conversation,” then select either of the delete options from the ensuing dialog:

  • Delete for me simply removes you from the conversation. Your chatting partner will still have access to the chat history, but they'll be notified that you left.
  • Delete for everybody removes everyone from the conversation, and no one will retain access to the chat history.

Editing already-sent messages

Make a typo? Paste the wrong link? No problem. Just hover over the message or comment you want to edit, click the edit button, fix your mistake, then click the check mark to save. 


Shortcut: If the message you want to edit is the last message you sent, just hit the up arrow. You'll go straight into editing mode. 

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