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I've run into this a few times; I'll rejoin chat after being away for a while and notice something interesting in the starred section. I'd like to reply directly to the message but there's no reply button. Currently, the only ways to explicitly reply to one of those messages are either:-

  • find the message by scrolling up and looking for it, then click the reply button or;
  • copy and paste the permalink, deleting all the way up to the fragment identifier and adding the colon at the start.

Please add a reply link, even if it just goes in the popup menu it's an improvement.

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I'm surprised we never thought to add this to the userscript. If this is declined for some reason, I'm going to put it in there. – Tim Stone Jun 22 '11 at 23:38

For those willing to go the userscript route, I've now added this functionality to SE Chat Modifications:

demonstration of reply link

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I can't believe this still isn't implemented in the chats by default – Zach Saucier Feb 26 '15 at 16:03

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