Is there a way to do nested bulleted lists with the new Slack markdown / formatting tools?

E.g. I tried this

 * something
   * nested something
 * something else

but it doesn't render it as

  • something
    • nested something
  • something else

I couldn't find info regarding this on their help page

  • Have you tried using <ol> to create an ordered list, then a <li>, followed by an <ol> to create a sub-list? Also, "Tip: When you copy and paste text in markdown from another source into Slack, you can quickly apply formatting by pressing (Mac) or (Windows/Linux)." So you could use a markdown editor to get your <ol> and/or <ul> Nov 26, 2019 at 14:19
  • @spikey_richie I'm not sure what you mean. Can you use html tags in Slack messages?
    – radoh
    Nov 26, 2019 at 14:23
  • Those aren't HTML tags, they're markdown. markdownguide.org/basic-syntax Nov 26, 2019 at 15:17
  • Actually, scrap that. My bad. Nov 26, 2019 at 15:17
  • Does this answer your question? Slack multi-level bullet point or numbered list
    – amaidment
    Jan 5, 2021 at 12:54

7 Answers 7


February 2021 update:

Slack officially added support for indented lists

Format your messages with indented lists

When formatting your messages in Slack, you can now indent up to five lines in ordered and bulleted lists. ...

enter image description here

As a workaround, I turned off automatic formatting - since it irritated me anyway - and then I can use the plain old

* something
  * nested something
* something else

which renders with asterisks as it appears here - but since I need the nested structure more than the fancy bullets, it's better than nothing.

EDIT: 🤦‍♂️ I just realized you can very simply do this using the actual bullet • character

• something
  • nested something
• something else

it will look pretty good in Slack too:

enter image description here

Inserting the • character is very simple using Compose key on Linux:

<Multi_key> <period> <equal>            : "•"   enfilledcircbullet # BULLET

(AltGr + . + =)

  • Combine your answer with Giuliana's answer and everyone is happy! :D Apr 20, 2020 at 7:56
  • 1
    @AdrianLynch I just realized there's even simpler way :D edited my answer, without the need of emojis
    – radoh
    Apr 20, 2020 at 11:06
  • 1
    For Mac users, the command is ⌥ + 8 to type a bullet point character.
    – SgtPooki
    Oct 23, 2020 at 18:21
  • For windows it's Alt + 0149 on the numpad. If you don't want to disable auto-formatting on slack, you can place the char, space, then Ctrl+Z. Or use an AutoHotkey script to do all that, and use any custom shortcut you want for the job, including adding spaces in the beginning (something like a second-level slack bullet shortcut) Dec 11, 2020 at 17:41
  • Windows users, try WinCompose for similar any-special-character-typing capabilities.
    – Brad Turek
    Dec 18, 2020 at 19:36

Here's a suggestion for indented messages in Slack:

Add a custom emoji that's just a transparent image (ex: https://cdn.hipwallpaper.com/i/7/29/4Udi3l.png) and use it to indent your messages (if you want a bullet per se, you can always use another emoji like :black_small_square:)

enter image description here

  • 1
    wow nice, that's a pretty cool workaround 😀👍
    – radoh
    Apr 8, 2020 at 12:26

Is there a way to do nested bulleted lists with the new Slack markdown / formatting tools?

No official way, but hopefully soon. https://twitter.com/slackhq/status/1247310565493616653 (mirror 1, mirror 2):

We don't support nested bullets at the minute [...], but we're hoping to support nested bullet points properly in future.


When you create a post, you can have nested bullet lists. You need tor press - or *, then <TAB> key to increment your level:

enter image description here

Unfortunately, it does not work with messages.


Tabs did not work for me as of the time of this posting. I use the "Format messages with markup" option in Slack so I don't have the text formatting toolbar.

I can't even add a tab character, as it just moves cursor focus to the send button. I copy/pasted tabs in, and that didn't seem to work either, but I found an obvious solution.

Just add four spaces in front of the * to indicate nested lists. For example:

* item
    * nested 
        * nested nested

Results in:

Slack nested list example


You can do this by adding :blank: emoji and :dot: emoji I've set this up in two minutes: my-custom-slack-nesting

blank image^^^ (can you see it???) There-is-a-blank-image-here

Dot image^^^ enter image description here


2022 update

One way:

  1. Type an asterisk *
  2. Press space, then
  3. press tab

Another way:

  1. Create a bullet point:

enter image description here

  1. Press tab to indent it


  • The indent must be created before adding text to the bullet
  • Information from here

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