Formatting Text Chats and Sending Smileys
There are two main ways to do this.
- By the choice of Bubble and Font colour and style in the iChat Preferences > Messages
- From the Format Window.
In addition to this the View menu > Messages Sub menu can change between Balloon, Text, Compact and Boxes.
Method 1. is self explanatory in that you go to the iChat Menu > Preferences and highlight/select the Messages Pane. From there you use the relevant Buttons and Drop downs to select the Font (Style/type), the Font Colour and the Bubble colour that you want to be seen as your Outgoing style. If in the View Menu you have choosen the Text view option the colour choosen for th Bubbles will be a background colour.
In choosing colours go for Light on Dark or Dark on Light to get the text to Stand out and use opposing colours, roughly Yellow with Blue, Green with Red and Magenta/Purple with Orange. See this example of two colours of Text on 216 coloured squares. We are talking here of basic 6 colour Printing techniques. (Of course there are exceptions).
In choosing a Font make sure it follows the basics of:-
- You know most other people will have it.
- That your friends and family can read it.
- That the size works for them at their end as well as you at yours.
This free Font Site has a sample Text entry field
where you can test the font.
I Have Borg9 but in small text it is not so good.That bit reads "I have Borg9 but in small text it is not so good")
Method 2. requires that you highlight a work or letter and then use the Format Menu to bring up the Font and /or Colour Pallets. Generally it is a One-Off use thing. You can also select a Formatting choice before typing. It allows you to make more extensive changes to the Font and colours. It will not change the Bubble colour here so you will have to remember what should work together as you only get to see it in Black on White before it is sent. (in iChat 3 onwards the Text entry also gets coloured as per Formatting choices)
Smileys are very common now. Most people know the basic Keystrokes to create their text based impression in an email or posting on a Discussion Forum. In fact the Apple Discussions recognise when people type :-) and convert as it is posted in to a picture like this
(In fact the complete range can be accessed here)
and are very close to the iChat ver 1 and 2 ones.
In iChat 2 the buttons that iChat 1 had to do some formatting including adding smilies has gone. To Insert an Smiley there is now a grey option button and the end of the Text Entry field and another option in the
to do the same. I will let you play to discover which keystrokes create which Smiley.
iChat coverts the Text version as you press enter and sends a Smiley as well as it being displayed as such in your Window/Bubble.
Sending what you type or have Copied and Pasted is done by hitting the Enter key.
If you Copy & Paste there is a limit to the amount of Text that can be sent in one go. Also the Text Entry field will now expand to view all (most, if you Paste a large block) that you enter.
Plain URLs and text converted to a Link can also be sent. At one time there was some abuse of this so sending plain URLs can be better but it is still worth changing longer ones.
You do this by highlighting a word then use the item in the Edit Menu which brings up a Dialogue box to enter the full URL into.
If you just use the item in the Edit menu iChat will substitue the word "here" for you. (See also the picures on the right).
Both you and your Buddy will display when something is being typed or about to be sent during a 1-1 Text chat. This does not happen in Group Chats/Chatrooms (See the right panel)