Reading strategies

In Zulip, streams determine who gets a message. Topics tell you what the message is about. If you are not yet familiar with Zulip's topics, we recommend first reading about streams and topics.

This article details a few ways to efficiently read through messages in Zulip.

Topic by topic

Like your email inbox, for most users, Zulip works best if you read it topic-by-topic.

Finding a topic to read

From Recent conversations

Use the Recent conversations view to get an overview of all the ongoing conversations. This view is particularly useful for catching up on messages sent while you were away.

  1. Open Recent conversations from the left sidebar or by pressing the Esc key.

  2. The filters at the top help you quickly find relevant conversations. For example, select Participated to narrow to the topics you have sent messages to.

From the list of streams

In the left sidebar, you can see the streams you are subscribed to, along with unread message counts for each stream.

  1. Click on the name of a stream in the left sidebar. You will see a list of the most recent unread topics in that stream.

  2. The initially shown list of topics usually has what you need, but you can click on more topics underneath to see additional topics.

Older topics disappear from the left sidebar, but you can always find them by clicking more topics or by using search.

Reading topics

  1. Open Recent conversations from the left sidebar or by pressing the Esc key.

  2. Click on the name of a topic in the Topic column.

  3. Read the topic, scrolling down with the mouse or by pressing PgDn.

  4. If the topic is not of interest, you can mark all messages as read by jumping to the bottom with the Scroll to bottom () button or the End shortcut.

  5. You can then click on another topic in the left sidebar, use the N key to go to the next unread topic, or go back to the Recent conversations view.

  1. Click on the name of a stream in the left sidebar. You will see a list of the most recent unread topics in that stream.

  2. Click on a topic in the left sidebar.

  3. Read the topic, scrolling down with the mouse or by pressing PgDn.

  4. If the topic is not of interest, you can mark all messages as read by jumping to the bottom with the Scroll to bottom () button or the End shortcut.

  5. Click on the next topic in the left sidebar, or use the N key to go to the next unread topic.

  6. To go to older unread topics, use the N key or click more topics to view.

Stream view

Sometimes it's useful to scroll through all the messages in a stream, especially in situations where you just want a general idea of what's going on.

  • Click on a stream name in the left sidebar, and scroll using your mouse, the arrow keys, End, or page up/down.

  • Click on a topic to narrow to messages from that topic.

You can also search for a stream by clicking on STREAMS in the left sidebar, or using the Q keyboard shortcut.

All messages

The All messages view is a feed of all the unmuted messages you have received, which combines stream messages and private messages. It's a great way to see new messages as they come in.

You can configure All messages to be the default view for the Zulip web app.

  1. Open All messages from the left sidebar or with the A keyboard shortcut.

  1. Tap the All messages tab in the upper left corner of the app.

Starring messages for later

You can star messages that you've seen and would like to reply to later.