For more than a billion users across the globe, WhatsApp is the preferred way to communicate. It’s used for everything from communicating with loved ones to conducting business. And if you’re constantly on WhatsApp, you may want to use a bigger screen.
This is where WhatsApp Desktop comes in. WhatsApp Desktop is similar to WhatsApp Web, but it works natively as an app on your PC or Mac. It’s more reliable, faster, and much better than using WhatsApp in a browser.
So, if you’re using WhatsApp Desktop, here are some tips to help you along the way
1. Customize Notifications
By default, WhatsApp will bug you with audio-visual notifications every time you get a message. But thankfully, there’s a way to customize notifications.
Click on the drop-down button next to your profile icon and select Settings. Here, choose Notifications.
The first thing you should do is disable the Sounds option. If you don’t want the message content visible on your Mac (especially useful if you’re in a shared working space), uncheck the Show Previews option. To disable the alerts altogether, uncheck the Desktop Alerts option.
You can also mute WhatsApp Desktop for an hour or a day using the drop-down option at the bottom of the page.
2. Use Emoji Commands
If you’re a serial emoji user, WhatsApp Desktop is a must have. When you’ve selected a chat, press the Shift + Tab keyboard shortcut to highlight the emoji picker and press Enter to open it (this is also where you’ll find GIFs and Stickers).
But you don’t even need to do that. WhatsApp Desktop supports Slack-like emoji autocomplete.
3. Navigate Faster Using the Tab Key
WhatsApp Desktop is designed with the keyboard ninja in mind. And it’s all hinged on the Tab key.
After launching the app, the first Tab press highlights the Search area. The next one highlights the current chat on the list. The one after that highlights the emoji picker and the one after that, the message box. The last Tab press is redundant, as pressing the Enter key from the list view directly highlights the message box.
It’s the first two Tab presses which are the most useful. Whenever you want to jump to a new conversation, just press the Tab button, start typing the name, select it from the list by pressing Enter, and just start typing the message.
Anytime you’re navigating a section, or a top-level element, you can use the Tab key. For instance, after selecting the emoji picker, you can use the Tab key to quickly move over to the GIF section or the Stickers section.
4. Convert Emoticons to Emojis
WhatsApp Desktop supports old-school emoticons and automatically converts them into emojis. So if you’re stuck in the golden days of AOL chat, you can still hold a conversation in emojis on WhatsApp.
Just enter the emoticon like you normally would. All the popular options like :-), :-(, :-p. <3, and so on are supported. When you press the Enter key, they’ll show up as an emoji in the chat.
5. Use Text Formatting
In 2017, WhatsApp added support for text formatting. This means you can now use Markdown-style modifiers to convert text into bold, italics, strikethrough, and underline. Yes, finally a real reason to learn Markdown
You can use the same modifiers here. In fact, it’s so much easier to do on WhatsApp Desktop because modifiers like asterisks and tilde are easier to reach on a full sized keyboard.
To turn text bold, wrap it in asterisks. For italics, use underscores. To strikethrough a message, use tilde keys on both ends. To change the font so it looks like a monospace font, add three backticks on both ends.
If you’re using a Mac, use the Command key instead of Control.
6. Shortcuts for WhatsApp Desktop
WhatsApp Desktop is designed to be used with a keyboard most of the time. And there’s a lot that you can do with just keyboard shortcuts. There’s no need to go looking around in menus.
7. Try ChatMate for WhatsApp (Mac)
If you’re using a Mac, you should try ChatMate for WhatsApp. It’s a third party app that brings a better WhatsApp experience customized for the Mac.