Using Mattermost

Read this document to get familiar with Mattermost. It is used to communicate with XR groups as well as have 1-to-1 conversations.

First Steps

Getting Access

Before you can access Mattermost you first need to sign up to the XR UK Communications Hub. For instructions on how to do that please read this guide.

Once you are on the Hub you can access Mattermost in a few ways:

  1. Click on the Mattermost icon from the Comms Hub main page.


  1. Type into your browser and hit Enter.

Once this is done we recommend adding the page to your bookmarks/favourites so it's easier to find in future.

Mattermost is also available as an app so you can install it to your smartphone or tablet. Please read this document for instructions on how to do this.

Landing Page

When you have logged in to Mattermost you will see a screen that looks a lot like this:



Teams in Mattermost are basically collections of channels. They appear on the far left of your screen (1) and you can click on the icons to switch between them.

You will be added to the UK team by default but your group might use other teams and you will see these too.

Checking who else is in my team

To see the other members of a team, click on the Main Menu (3) and select View Members.

Joining other teams

To join a public team, click on the + sign below your list of teams (1). This will bring up a list of all the other XR public teams you are able to join, including for other countries. Click on one of the list of teams to add yourself.

If you want to be added to a private team (e.g. for your local group) you will need to speak to a Group Admin/Tech Champion who will be able to send you an invite.

Leaving a team

To leave a team, open the Main Menu (3), and then select the option Leave Team.


Channels are just another name for group chats. Every local group/working group set up on the Hub will have several of these channels that you will be added to if you are part of that group.

Joining channels

To join a public channel click on More... below PUBLIC CHANNELS on the left (4). This will bring up a list of all of the public channels in your team. Click on any of these in the list to add yourself.

If you want to join a private channel you should ask someone already in that channel to add you. You could also post a message in that group's reception channel asking to be added.

Leaving a channel

To leave a channel, click on the its name at the top of the screen (not where it appears on the left) and then select the option Leave Channel.

Muting channels

You can mute channels if you want to stop receiving notifications from it but don't want to leave. To do this click the channel heading (at the top of the screen) and click Mute Channel. You can also set whether you want to be notified if someone uses @all or @channel by clicking on Notification Preferences.

Default channels

Every team has two default channels that you will be added to when you are added to the team:

  • Town Square: This is the communal area in each team that should be used for announcements and general XR-related discussions.

  • Off Topic: This is a place where team members can discuss things that aren't directly related to the business of the team (e.g. social activities).

Very Important: Please do not rename these default channels as it will cause a lot of confusion.

It is not possible to leave the Town Square channel. If you want to stop receiving notifications you should mute the channel instead.

Contacting other groups

All XR UK groups on Mattermost have a public 'Reception' channel in the UK team, and their members will be added to them by default (you will probably be in some yourself). This lets rebels from other groups find and speak to them.

To join someone else's reception channel, click More... below PUBLIC CHANNELS (4), find the channel you want to join and then click Join. The channel will then appear next to the other public channels you have joined.

Creating channels

Important: You should not create public channels from inside Mattermost. Instead please get your Group Admin/Tech Champion to do this for you using the Hub.

To create a private channel:

  1. Click on the + sign next to PRIVATE CHANNELS (5)
  2. Enter a name for the new channel (and optional purpose and header)
  3. Click Create Channel

Channel headers

Underneath the channel name at the top of the page is the channel header. It is a useful place to put information about what the channel is for and to store some useful links (e.g. your group's forum or your regular Zoom meetings).

To see all the info click on the channel name:


then click on View Info.

If you want to change what is written in the header click on Edit Channel Header. If you want to add links to this section the process is the same as here.

Sending Messages

You can write messages by typing in the box at the bottom of the screen. To send them hit Enter. The message will be sent to the channel or direct message you are currently in.

Alerting people to messages

If you want a particular person to read a message you are sending, you can tag them by writing '@' followed by their username (e.g. @xrukadmin). This will send them a notification.

Important: You can also use @all or @channel to notify everyone in a channel but please use this responsibly as for larger groups it is rarely appropriate and may annoy people.

Sending direct messages

To send someone a direct message (instead of posting in a channel):

  1. Click the + sign to the right of the heading DIRECT MESSAGES to the left of the screen (6)
  2. Select the users you want to message (up to a maximum of 6)
  3. Write and send your message

All of the direct message conversations that you have had will appear below the DIRECT MESSAGES heading to make it easier to contact them again. Next to each name, an icon shows whether they are online or not. Clicking on a username will display your direct message history with that user. Users you do not need to contact regularly can be removed from this list by pressing the cross to the right of their name.

Replying to messages

It is possible to reply to messages posted in channels or direct messages using 'threads'. These are helpful if you are having multiple conversations at once so people don't get confused about which messages are related to which discussion. To reply to a message in a thread click on the Reply icon:


Reacting to messages

To add a reaction (e.g. a thumbs up or heart icon) to a message click on the Add Reaction icon:


Searching for messages

Use the search box to find messages and replies that match the search terms that you enter. All channels that you are a member of in the current team are searched.

To add a nicely formatted link to your message, write the text you want to show in square brackets immediately followed by the link URL in round brackets. For example:

Check out this fantastic [guide to Mattermost](!

will look like

Check out this fantastic guide to Mattermost!

when sent.

Other formatting tips

Here are a few simple tips to make your message look better:

  • **bold** displays as bold
  • _italic_ displays as italic
  • ~~strikethrough~~ displays as strikethrough
  • ```typewriter style``` displays as typewriter stye
  • >quote displays as


Extra information

Logging out

To log out of Mattermost, open the main menu (3) and then click on Logout.

Changing Mattermost settings

To change settings on Mattermost, open the main menu (3) and click on Account Settings. This will present you with a screen that looks something like this:


Setting your status

To change your status (which can be Online, Away, Do Not Disturb and Offline):

  1. Click on your image/icon at the top left of the screen (2)
  2. Click on the option that you want

Getting rid of annoying messages from 'System'

In your channels you will probably see lots of messages from 'System' notifying you that people have been added to, and left the channel. You can turn these off by:

  1. Open the Mattermost settings (link)
  2. Click Advanced
  3. Set Enable Join/Leave Messages to Off

Other places to find information about Mattermost

Here is useful list of other resources about Mattermost that you might find useful after reading this guide:

  • First Steps on Mattermost

    This is a 16 minute video that talks you through signing up on Mattermost and explaining the basics of how to use it.

  • Mattermost User’s Guide

    This is the official guide to Mattermost. It goes into a lot more detail than this guide but is more complicated and not all of it is relevant to XR.