21.5. Making a List

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21.5. Making a List

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21.5. Making a List When you start iChat, your buddy lists automatically appear (Figure 21-2). If you don't see them, choose the list you want from the Window menu: Bonjour, Buddy List, or Jabber. (Or press their keyboard shortcuts: -1, -2, or -3.)

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  1. 21.5. Making a List When you start iChat, your buddy lists automatically appear (Figure 21-2). If you don't see them, choose the list you want from the Window menu: Bonjour, Buddy List, or Jabber. (Or press their keyboard shortcuts: -1, -2, or -3.) Adding a buddy to this list entails knowing that person's account name, whether it's on AIM, Mac.com, or Jabber. Once you have it, you can either choose Buddies Add Buddy (Shift- -A) or click the + button at the bottom-left corner of the window. Down slides a sheet attached to the Buddy List window, offering a window into the Address Book program (Chapter 19). Tip: As you accumulate buddies, your Buddy List may become crowded. If you choose View Show Offline Buddies (so that the checkmark disappears), only your currently online buddies show up in the Buddy List—a much more meaningful list for the temporarily lonely. Figure 21-2. Left: Click the + button to add a new buddy, either by choosing from your address book or from scratch (by clicking New Person). If you've used AIM before, you may find that you've already got buddies in your list. AIM accounts store their buddy lists on AOL's computers, so that you can keep your buddies even if you switch computers. Right: Is your Buddy List taking up too much screen space? Use the options in the View menu to lose the buddy pictures and other chunky icons to streamline the window. If your chat companion is already in Address Book, scroll through the list until you find the name you want (or enter the first few letters into the Search box), click the name, and then click Select Buddy.
  2. If not, click New Person and enter the buddy's AIM address, .Mac address, or (if you're in the Jabber list) Jabber address. You're adding this person to both your Buddy List and your Address Book. 21.5.1. Broadcasting Your Status Using the pop-up menu just below your name (Figure 21-3, right), you can display your current mental status to other people's buddy lists. You can announce that you're Available, Away, or Drunk. (You have to choose Edit Status Menu for that one; see Figure 21-3, left.) Better yet, if you have music playing in iTunes, you can tell the world what you're listening to at the moment by choosing Current iTunes Track. (Your buddy can even click that song's name to open its screen on the iTunes Store, all for Instant Purchase Gratification.) For some people, by far the juiciest option is a new one in Mac OS X 10.5: a status called Invisible (available for .Mac and AIM accounts only). It's like a Star Trek cloaking device for your onscreen presence (Figure 21-3). Great for stalkers! Figure 21-3. Left: Choose Edit Status Menu from the pop-up menu at the top of the iChat buddy list to set up more creative alternatives to "Available" and "Away." Right: Your edited list of status messages is now available. The most interesting one is Invisible. It lets you see your friends online, but they can't see you—great when you're too busy to chat with annoying barely-acquaintances, but want to keep an eye out for a particular pal. You can still send and receive messages anyone on your Buddy List. 21.5.2. Sorting and sizing your friends In View Sort Buddies, you can rearrange your buddies as they're listed in the Buddy lists: • By Availability. Your available pals move to the top of the list, sorted alphabetically by last name. Unavailable buddies (marked by red dots and visible Away messages) get shoved to the bottom. • By First Name, By Last Name. Just what you'd think.
  3. • Manually. This option lets you drag your friends up and down your Buddy List in order of your purely personal preferences, regardless of the alphabet. Tip: In View Buddy Names, you can chose to see your friends listed by Full Names, Short Names (usually the first name), or by Handle (IM screen name). If your Buddy List is showing screen names ("jdeaux444") mixed in with proper names ("Johann Deux"), it's because you haven't recorded the real-nameless people's real names. Click a buddy's name, choose Buddies Show Info, then click Address Card and fill in the person's first and last names. Once you get a lot of people piled on your list, all with their buddy pictures and audio/video chat icons, you may feel like iChat is taking up way too much screen real estate. If you want a more space-efficient view of your buddy list (like the one shown on the right in Figure 21-2), go to the View menu and turn off Show Buddy Pictures, Show Audio Status, or Show Video Status. You can turn off Buddy Groups here as well, if you'd prefer to see your buddies in one undivided list.  
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