Ralph Johns

iChat Information Pages

Version 4


iChat Icon

These iChat 4 pages are coloured Gray and have the iChat 4 icon on them that was in use at the time, so you know where you are. The icon differs little from the Version 3 version.


iChat (Version 4) How to Start A Chat


This includes 1-1 Text Chats, Group Chats (chatrooms) and Audio Only and Video Chats

Starting a Chat

One to One Text Chats

There are again several ways to start a Text Chat to one Buddy.

They need little in the way of Instruction really

  1. Double Click on the line a Buddy is on in the Buddy List.

  2. Highlight the Buddy and then use the Chat Button at the bottom of the Buddy List. Bottom Buddy List (the "A" icon for text)

    1. Highlight a Buddy then use the Buddies menu.

  3. Go to the File Menu and choose the New Chat option.

    File Menu

  4. Use the Buddies Menu.

  5. Right Click (or Control Click) on a Buddy to get the Contextual Menu to pop up. It will be the Buddies Menu one.

Audio Only or Video Chats

Basically all the same methods apply except that clicking on the relevant Green icon for Audio or Video is more important that clicking the line for the Buddy. The Buddies menu or the icons at the Bottom of the Buddy list allow you to choose Audio only if the Buddy is showing a camera.

Screen Sharing

In iChat 4 you can use iChat to Share your Screen or Share your Buddies screen.

If you Share then you can move around your windows and Files and folders. So can your Buddy if you stop moving your Mouse. They can look anywhere on your Hard Drive that you can. You can talk to each other at the same time. At your Buddies end his own screen becomes like a Picture-in-Picture smaller version and he can click on it to swap between the two. (you do not see his screen if he does this).

If they Share you get to navigate round their computer.

Group Chats/Chatrooms

I have separated this out as there are several options and some important variances to consider.

I will make the distinction between ad-hoc Chats (Group Chats) amongst a group of Buddies and those almost permanent and more public Chats (chatrooms) that may also have links from web sites.

Joining a running Chatroom/Group Chat

You can be invited to join a Group chat by a buddy. The visible Invite that pops up looks no different but it will have obviously have several Buddies appearing down the left of the Chat window as they enter messages.

View Menu

As you can see from the View Menu picture you can "Show Chat Participants". If you use this a pop out drawer will appear to one side of the Chat window.

Which side it appears depends on how close it is to the edge of the screen. When the Drawer is out the Menu item changes to "Hide Participants". Dragging the Chat to where you want and using these two choices can allow you make it appear on the other side. You can then drag the Chat to where it is best for you.



Group Chat window

The "Show Names", "Show Pictures" or "Show Names and Pictures" can be useful in any sort of Group chat to identify who it is that "spoke".

As mentioned before that are Messages, mostly Time Stamps, in the middle of the chat window saying who has joined and who has left. (I over-edited the Grant joining one, hence it looks off-centre).

This Pic is from an old chat as you can see from the date. The participants drawer will show the Current On-Line (or not) State of your Buddies if you open an old chat like this is. So at the time of day I did this Screen Shot most of my Buddies were Off-line.


Go to Chat

Changed. If you know the chatroom name chatroom name you can use the "Go to Room" item in the File menu. This will bring up the Go to Chat dialogue box for you to enter the room name or ID into. In IChat 4 Previous Rooms visited are held in that second drop down and you can Save more regualr Rooms to the list.

It is the same whether it is a friend's room or a more permanent public Chatroom.

Public Chatrooms

There are many chartrooms that are dedicated to Celebrities or Interests and you will find them as being active and with people in them from all over the world most of the time. There are sites that list some of these. One of the more up to date ones is this one. It is a French based site but written in English.

The items listed here have HTML web links included that will open an AIM based IM application. As first choice the HTML code is for AIM to be opened but you can change this with the help of Internet Explorer See the Instructions here. (I have only found that Internet Explorer can do this) If you mouse over a Link most Web Browsers will display the URL somewhere, normally in the bottom bar (See example below) . This will show you some like aim:gochat?RoomName=(RoomName) where the second RoomName I have put in brackets is the name of the room. You can type what you see as the Room Name in the Go to Chat text field if you don't have or don't want to get Internet Explorer. (NOTE the + signs as spaces are important)

Web Link for chatrooms

It is possible to Google for more but if you have children it may pay to look at any Content Filter your Browser or Search engine/site may have. (notice the other listings in the Pic on the left).




Starting your Own Room

This is as simple as typing in your own choice of room name in the New Chat text field. The phrase Empty Chat in the Chat window denotes you have entered/created a room that is not active and you are free to Invite Buddies.

Inviting Buddies is as simple as dragging them to the Participants Drawer and entering an Invite Phrase in the window that pops up. Or you could tell them the room name in a One to One chat or email.

Buddies Menu

Changed. You can also start from The Buddies Menu where, in this partially greyed out version, Invite to Chat is a Group chat, Send Instant Message is a basic One to One chat and there is also now Screen Sharing that can be started from here

This also the same Menu essentially when you Right Click (or Control Click) on a Buddies entry in the Buddy List.


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©  Ralph Johns. Created November 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

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). This section also deals with Starting your Own Room


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.