Getting started with Zulip

Welcome to Zulip! Like any new tool, mastering Zulip will take some time, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never want to use another chat service again.


Read our guide to streams and topics to familiarize yourself with Zulip's conversation model.

If this is your first time using Zulip, we recommend starting with the web or desktop experience.

Set up your account

Basic workflows

A few basic workflows are useful when getting oriented.

For reading

  • Use the left sidebar (or the n key) to review messages thread-by-thread.
  • Use the down arrow key () to move the cursor to the next message.
  • Use the End key to mark all messages in the current view as read.

For writing

  • To reply to a message, click on it, or use r or Enter to reply to the message under the blue box.
  • When starting a new conversation, remember to start a new topic. Don't overthink it; the first 2-3 words that come to your mind are probably fine. Using topics may take some attention at the beginning, but after a few days of using Zulip it will feel like second nature.
  • It is totally normal to have 5 conversations happening in a stream at the same time; each on its own topic. So don't worry about interrupting; each conversation has its own space.
  • It is totally normal for conversations to last many hours or days, even in busy streams. Don't worry about replying long after a message is sent; everyone will see your reply in context.