iChat In Pictures >> Your are in Folder 4_iChat WIndows >> Page: Group Chat
||10 Group Chat
This is a Group Chat at a point just after the Invite was accepted by two of three Buddies.
You can Start a Group chat from the File Menu (Go to Chat and enter a room name to create one). Then visit the View Menu and make sure you have Show Paricipants selected. (Some versions will change to Read Hide Paritcpants to indicate that it is active). This will show the Pop Out Drawer like the picture above. It will defualt to be furthest from the edge of the screen so hiding the drawer and moving the screen enables you to select which side it is On.
As I have several Screen Names and can have them all active in iChat 4 I invited "myself" twice. The appleu3testxx accounts do not respond to Text invites but it does show what happens while you wait for a Buddy to respond.
The + button is so you can invite other Buddies and in Group Chats anyone already in the chat can invite others. It will tell you if a Blocked Buddy is about to enter but will not prevent them from entering and in iChat 4 as Buddies can be Invisible, they show up as Greyed Out Buddies as if they were Off-line.
The whole Chat window can be resized using the bottom right corner with the graduated diagonal bars on it, like other resizing window handles.
Incoming Invite windows are always top right of Screen but the Outgoing Chat will alway be where the last one was. iChat on the whole tends to remember where you put a window fro the next time you use it. The exceptions are all the Incoming invites (Audio, Files, Video, Group and 1-1 Text chats) which always are in the same (individual) place no matter where you drag the accepted window.
You can not send Files or Pictures-in-Chats in Group Chats. You can of course send HTML Links and format your text from the Format window (or Buttons in iChat 1). Smilies also work.
All the Incoming Buddy IMs will be on the left with your IMs on the Right. From the View menu you can decide to show their Pic, Name or both under their IMs. On the whole I find people choose a suitable, readable Font and colours to go with it so that you do not have to Override the Incomming messaages in the Messages Preferences. I have a regular Group chat on Saturday evenings (for me) and sometimes it gets to 15 or more people and most have different colurs and/or Fonts. I also use Pictures and Names so I can follow who said what without any problems.
As you can see from this older example small grey messages appear in the middle of the chat as people come and go as well as time stamps.
I have picked a point in this chat where two Buddies with the same icon are IMing at the same time to show the Names and Pics and Bubble colours help sort who said what.
When you re-open a old group chat like this the Participants drawer will show who is currently On-line or not not who was actually present and active at the time.
If the Chat is not the Front window the iChat icon in the DOCK will display a number much like Mail does about new items. In iChat 4 in the Messages Preferences screen you can set it to watch for your name as well.
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