iChat 5 How-tos

iChat Icon

iChat 5: How-Tos: Send Files and Pictures

There is little change from iChat 4 to iChat 5 that comes with Snow Leopard that if you have Updated your Intel Mac computer to Snow Leopard then iChat will be easy for you.

If, on the other hand you have never used iChat before this page and the ones it links to are the places to Start.

First though the Quick Links iChat 5, Pictures and How-tos in the other iChat 5 Section of this site.


Menu For the Different How-to pages



Sending Files and Pictures

Sending files

You can send files by dragging the required file to the Text Chat window at the Text Field point and dropping it there. It also pays to click on the Text Entry field to release the item (take off the blue outline). You can add text to it, as you want, which will appear in the Bubble alongside the File. Then press Enter like sending Text.

The file will appear in the chat as a document type icon with it's name. The file can be of any type: a Word Doc or Text Edit or Movie or Picture. Larger files of several Mbs like large Pics or Movies will take several minutes to Send and appear at the other end.

Sending Pictures

Desktop pic as Pic in chat

Pictures sent this way are treated differently in that they will actually display in the Chats. The size of the display is dependent on the Chat window size but is dynamic so you and your Buddy can drag their respective window bigger and the Pic will expand proportionately. The only limit then is how big you can get the Chat window. If the Chat window exceeds the original size of the pic the pic stops expanding. Pictures with higher pixels resolutions than the 72dpi that a Screen can display will be the hardest to fit in if the pic is also large in area. This picture is my current Desktop Pic and is a 500 x 375 Pixels at 100dpi pic which would normally be about 4 times the size of the actual picture above.

What to do if you get a File or Picture in a Chat .

If it is a File then Double click on it and a dialogue box asking for acceptance will open. The file will then download to your Desktop. Once Pictures are displayed, you can drag it to the Desktop. This Extracts/Saves them to the Desktop

If you save your chats the Pictures and icons of files will still appear and pictures will still be scalable but you can no longer drag them to the Desktop.


There is of course a Menu item to do the same thing.

Also with or without opening a Chat window you can drop the file on a Buddy's name in the Buddy List. However sending a picture this way will not always display in the Chat if a Text chat is going on at the same time. It will get sent as a File.

If you are receiving a File you get a Dialogue box similar to an Chat Invitation with Accept or Decline buttons.

There is yet another way. In iChat 5 if you have a Video Chat in progress you can drag a File or Picture over the Video Chat window and two white dotted outlines appear with the options to Send or Share with iChat Theatre.

NOTES:- You can not send files to multiple Buddies at once such as in a Group Chat or Chatroom.

Pic as Background

Missing the Text Field with a Picture File and dropping in the actual Chat window will make that picture a Background. Small pics will tile to file the space. Other larger pics may only show you a part of the pic. It can be Set or Cleared at the Bottom of the View Menu when the Chat window is the Front one. Once set it will be there for All Subsequent Chats until you change it.



Next - How-to Use the Menus



© Ralph Johns June 2010



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

Information Block

About This Page

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 or Pictures and the alternatives.

Made on Mac Logo
Made on a Mac®