BBEdit: how to preview Slack messages
I’ve been using Slack quite a bit recently, but I’m still not that confident with its text formatting options. Sure, they’re simple enough, but when I’m on a workspace with a 10-minute editing timeout and I’ve a heavily formatted message to send, there’s plenty of chance I might not get the formatting just the way I want in time.
That got me to thinking there must be an editor that supports Slack’s style of markdown, but I was surprised to see from Slack’s help that in fact, they don’t support regular markdown at all:
Hmm, that’s a bit disappointing. What to do?
This only works if you have access to BBEdit’s advanced features (either you’re still on the trial or you bought a license) as you’ll need the Markup menu and its ‘Preview in BBEdit’ option (Control-Command-P) for this to work.
To use the script, save it (or an alias to it) in BBEdit’s Scripts folder as ‘Slack Preview.scpt’ and assign it a shortcut key in BBEdit’s Preferences:
You’ll find the script available in the menu bar, but it’s going to be more convenient to use the keyboard shortcut. You may also need to muscle-memory the shortcut for opening the Preview window (Control-Command-P) if it isn’t open already when you run the script.
The script will prompt you if that happens:
Finally, here’s a little 1-minute video showing the script in action. You’ll note from the screenshot at the top of this post that I’ve improved the styling a bit since the video was made to more closely emulate the default Slack style, but those of you with better CSS skills than I are welcome to fiddle with that to suit your taste.
So what are you waiting for? Oh, you missed the link to the script? Here you go, then.