Ralph Johns

iChat Information Pages

Version 2


iChat Icon

These iChatAV (Version 2) pages are coloured Green and have the iChat 2 icon on them that was in use at the time, so you know where you are. The icon differs from Version 1 by having the camera logo added.

iChatAV (V. 2) How To's: Links to Individual Pages


These pages are about iChat 2 and How-to do certain (most) things.

This will mean more pages to the site but I believe that people prefer the individual nature of instructions rather than picking their required info out of a generic set. I have yet to decided to create stand-alone pages as the original single page for all seemed to take to long to load.

The first few pages deal with the basic feature common to all version of iChat including iChat 1 so if you have visited that page this will look exactly the same. I have tried to make sure I have caught all the changes that have been made to the Layout or operation of iChat 2 compared to iChat 1, so some pictures and info is in fact different. The Video and Audio Stuff will be referred to in some pages but will generally follow with it's own page.

For Video chats Apple set the Spec standard at a G3/600mghz computer, close to the middle-ish of the Bubble shaped iMacs and coloured "Clamshell" iBooks (but not the very early ones)

The Menu at the top will contain everything but may change from page to page.

A note on closing windows:- iChat has to be Quit from either the iChat Menu > Quit item or the Pop Up if you Click and Hold on the icon in the DOCK. Using the Red Button on the Buddy List window will hide it and will not Log you out of AIM or Rendezvous depending which one you do it to. Using the Red Button on Chat window of any sort will end the Chat and not shut down iChat.

To be clear, using the Red Button does not Quit iChat as it does in some Applications. It closes the window involved and if that is a Chat it will be ended.

About this Set of How-tos

The dividers below denote the separate pages.

As well as the titles and links in the Areas Covered section I have intra-page links to Apple and AIM subtypes. You need a name first really. So it seemed a good place to start. The Apple one is further subdivided into .mac and MoblieMe. To drive home the point that this potentially allows the creation of three Screen Names based on a users real name I have stated so specifically. (they don't have to be based on your Real Name)

In other versions of the OS the new MobileMe service will cause an update to be run if you go to System Preferences > .Mac but this does not seem to happen in Jaguar (10.2.x) or in Panther (10.3.x) and is noted at the bottom of the Screen Name section.

It is followed by a section of running iChat for the first time as well as Alternatives if you clicked through the Start Up Screens without entering any details. You can use this to add second or more Screen Names although you can only log in with one at a time.

I also pay particular attention to the Server Settings button as part of this section as it can be useful for some routing devices.

Next we have Adding Buddies. Within the section are the various methods such as from the Buddy List and from the Buddies menu without a chat started and with a chat started. It also mentions Adding a Buddy from a Group Chat.

Not listed in the Areas Covered list is an item on the Buddy Info card called up by right or Control-clicking on a Buddy in the list. This is where Corrections and Alternative choices can be sorted.

I look at Ordering the Buddy list as iChat 2 includes the use of Groups in the Buddy List for the first time.

This is followed by how to Start a Chat which also includes Direct Chats and A/V chats.

Group chats take longer to describe and form a separate section looking at joining and starting your Own. I make the distinction between Group chats with friends and Chatrooms/ Public Chats. (these in fact the same thing but Public ones can sometime be accessed by web page links)

Having started a Text Chat the next step you may want to consider is formatting the chat with different colours and fonts. This includes adding Smilies to the Chat as you go and whether to use the Standard Speech Bubbles or plain text.

This section has the info on how to actually send that IM when typed and formatted. I also note that the Speech Bubbles appear when you or your Buddy are getting ready to send something.

Many iChat functions are able to be done from the Buddy List itself or the Menu items and nowhere is this more plain than when sending Files and Pictures.

The Menu Page is subdivided, each into it's own part
Video (Or Audio) Menu
Format and
not forgetting of course, Help.

The Preferences Page section is similarly divided:-
Accounts with a bit on the Server Settings button
Video Preferences

I have then included a long page on items that are specific to Audio and Video Chats. This looks again at the Menus involved in controlling the camera or Microphone and the exceptions to Cameras that might be needed now External iSights are no longer available.

©  Ralph Johns. Created October 2008

Information Block

This site is about iChat from Version 1 through to iChat 4.x.x

It has a mixture of basic info and problem solving help.

The sections below will change for Specifics about info on the page on view

If you find these pages helpful please Donate to help keep them up to date

About This Page

Put simply, this set of How-To pages contains everything I can think of about doing things in iChat. This is the Index of these pages.

I have done the usual and presumed you know nothing and started where you have to with iChat - in getting a Screen Name.

More info about what is on each page is briefly described in the lower main panel.


Confirmed to work with Win/IE 5.5 and later (should work in 5.0, but not confirmed), Firefox 2, Safari 3, Opera 9, iCab 3.02 and later, Mac/IE 5, Netscape 6 and later

Old browsers (IE version 4 or earlier, Netscape 4 or earlier) should only see a text-based page which, while not the prettiest option, is still entirely usable.