Open the compose box

The Zulip compose box starts off closed by default. There are a number of ways to open the compose box.

All replies are to the message under the blue box.

  • Reply: r or Enter

  • New private message: x

  • New topic: c

You can move the blue box around using the arrow keys, j, or k. You can close the compose box using Esc, or up/down arrow if the box is empty.

Using the mouse

  • Click on any message.

  • Click on New topic, New private message, or Reply at the bottom of the screen.

Why does Zulip close the compose box?

Zulip's model gives more vertical real estate to the message feed when you're reading messages, and allows us to use 1-character keyboard shortcuts such as n for common workflows in reading messages, which make catching up on a lot of messages in Zulip delightful.

This feature sometimes confuses new users, since it's different from how other apps do things. However, once users learn how to open the compose box, they're generally quite happy with Zulip's efficient read/reply/compose workflow.