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Slack introduces Canvas, a document viewer integrated into your chat program.

Photo Credit: Slack

Slack’s new Canvas feature is excellent since I barely need to describe it. Slack-based Google Docs. Create a canvas, add items, and share it with everyone. Every Slack channel has a canvas; you may create and share as many as you want. That’s it!

Canvas, introduced last year by Slack, is rolling out to all users today. I’ve been testing an early version for a few days, and it’ll be one of my most utilized Slack features. In addition, they may be Slack’s best organizing tool.

Slack is a mess. Slack is a messaging service. Therefore everything happens via chats. Even if you force people to thread everything, you’ll wind up with a million threads that start with “Question, will thread details” and “Okay, so I was thinking.”

Slack aspires to be a storehouse for all your company’s information, papers, data, and workflows—and it is!—but it needs too much scrolling and searching to discover what you need.

Canvas is a collection of Slack items. They can contain text, photographs, videos, Slack applications, links, polls, etc. Slack’s rich connections and media appear on canvases and as cards. YouTube videos play inline. Canvases can accomplish whatever Slack does, but they’re kept in a document that’s easier to discover and organize. You may embed a canvas within a canvas. Canvas-caption.) If your firm uses Slack sufficiently to have bug report buttons and slash commands for multi-step workflows, those function in a canvas too.

Canvas is a collaborative document-creation tool but not a Google Docs rival. For one, you can only build lists and headers using it. Google Docs work better with multiple cursors and overlapping updates on a canvas.

Slack’s SVP of product, Ali Rayl, argues Google Docs is still relevant. Canvas moved in early testing. “The first thing we’re seeing is that it’s in Slack, and there’s something about having this kind of flexible space in the product already.” It’s not the most capable text editor, but it’s certainly the fastest method to distribute an onboarding paper or style guide to your coworkers.

Huddles, Slack’s in-app audio and video chat, are convenient, so I use it more than I imagined. Rather than abruptly inserting a Zoom link, huddles seem like fast calls. A canvas is the easiest method to create a team mood board with links and photos.

Canvases manage sharing and permissions better than Google Docs since Slack is used. You may share a fresh canvas with anybody in your company or a channel, giving everyone access. You can only share with Slack users, though. (Most documents benefit from this.) Slack threads for canvas comments are searchable. Share a canvas with someone, and their name goes blue.

Slack canvases are becoming freeform collaborative workplaces like Google Docs and Miro. They also improve Slack’s pins and bookmarks. Per-channel canvases will be popular for that reason. Rayl explains, “We have wanted this surface in our products since day one. Pins and bookmarks were “We’ll do this until we build that surface.” Rayl suggested that bookmarks and pins may disappear.

Slack looks and functions like a chat program, but it has never been that. Slack’s resemblance has made it tougher to store data. Canvases won’t replace document processes, but they’re wonderful for storing things you’ll find again. It clarifies Slack. I’m unpinning everything.

 

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