Learning the Basics

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Introduction

A Visual Overview of Group Chat

Joining a Chat Room

Sending Messages to a Chat Room

Opening and Reading Chat Room Messages

Searching for Content in the Current Message Area

Searching Chat History

Saving or Printing a Message

Signing Out or Exiting

Introduction

With Group Chat, you can participate in chat room discussions by sending and reading instant messages posted to chat rooms. When you send an instant message to a chat room, you can insert files, emoticons, and links to the Web or to other chat rooms, and long encapsulated text messages called stories. In this section, we will cover the most common tasks that you perform when you use Group Chat.

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A Visual Overview of Group Chat

Before you start joining and creating chat rooms, it is useful to explore Group Chat's user interface (UI) and to understand the terminology used when referencing parts of the Group Chat UI.

The Group Chat user interface consists of the following four main areas.

My Chat shows all filters, all contacts, and all the chat rooms that you have joined.

The Participant List shows the names and presence status of all members currently in the chat room. Names that are shown in bold type indicate that the person is a chat room manager. You can right-click a participant to begin an instant messaging conversation, or to get more details on the participant.

The Message Area shows messages sent to the chat room. For each message, the author, date, and time are included. The message area keeps all previous messages on the screen until the number of messages exceeds the Maximum messages to keep on-screen setting for the chat room. The default is 200 messages. If the chat room is enabled for Chat History, messages are stored on the server and are available through Search.

The Message Entry Area is where you compose messages and send them to a chat room. As you create messages, you can use the Message Entry Area toolbar to set High Importance status on a message, insert Web links or links to other chat rooms, attach documents, add emoticons, or insert stories. Stories are basically long messages that you can encapsulate into what is, in Group Chat terminology, a story.

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Joining a Chat Room

The easiest way to get started with Group Chat is to join an existing chat room. One way to join a chat room is to search for it. For example, you may have heard from a co-worker about a chat room that could be useful to you. To join, you can use the Group Chat Search feature to find, and then join the chat room.

To join a chat room

  1. Click Connect, and then click Join a Chat Room.

  2. In the Search box, do one of the following:

    • Click the Search button (to the right of the Search box) to display a list of chat rooms in a domain. A domain could be one area of your company, it could be the entire company, or, if your server has been configured to permit federation, it could be another company.

    • If you know the name of the chat room, type the name in the Search box, and then click the Search button to the right of the Search box.

    • If you don’t know the name of the chat room, select Include Topic and Description in Search, and then type keywords to help you find the Chat Room.

  3. Under Name, click the name of the chat room that you want to join, and then click Join.

Note: Group Chat members can join a chat room. The chat room creator can also send out invitations to participants to join the chat room. Also note that you will not see "private" chat rooms in search results if you do not have permission to view these.

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Sending Messages to a Chat Room

After you join a chat room you can send messages to the chat room and read messages sent by other people. You can also insert files, Web links, links to other chat rooms, and stories, into messages that you send to a chat room.

To send a message to a chat room

  1. In My Chat, click the chat room.

  2. Type a message in the Message Entry Area at the bottom of the window, and then click Send.

Note: To create a multiple-line message, press SHIFT+ENTER.

Sending a High Importance Message

You can add a High Importance status to messages that you send to a chat room. When you send a message that has a High Importance status, the message is posted in the chat room and by default, an alert is sent to each member of the chat room.

To send a high importance message, create the message that you want to send, click the High Importance button, and then click Send.

When a High Importance message is posted to a chat room, the chat room name in My Chat turns red and the message is shown in red in the chat room. If users have configured their Notification settings to show alerts for High Importance messages, they will see an alert when a High Importance message is sent to the chat room on their desktop.

Insert a Hyperlink into a Message

You can insert Web links into instant messages that you create. When the message is posted to a chat room, the Web link is live in the message so that members of the chat room can click the link to navigate to the Web site.

To insert a hyperlink into a message

  1. In My Chat, click the chat room that you want to open.

  2. In the Message Entry Area toolbar, position the cursor where you want to insert the link, click the Insert a hyperlink button. This will pop up a dialog box.

  3. In the Text to Display field, enter a humanly readable text fragment (for example, Fourth Coffee).

  4. In the Address field, enter a URL (for example, www.fourthcoffee.com).

  5. Alternatively, if humanly readable text is not necessary do one of the following:

    • Type the URL (for example, www.fourthcoffee.com) in the Message Entry Area.

    • Copy and paste the URL from the Web browser to the Message Entry Area.

    • Drag the Web page’s icon from either the Address bar or the Links bar of your Web browser to the message entry area.

  6. Click Send.

Inserting a File in a Message

You can attach files to messages that you send to a chat room. When the message is posted in the chat room, the file name is displayed as a clickable link with a small graphic that indicates the file type and document size. Any member of the chat room can download a file that is attached to a posted message.

You can post any type of file, and anyone on the chat room can either open or save the file by downloading it. However, if you want to open a file, Group Chat must recognize it as a known file type. If Group Chat doesn't recognize the file type, you are prompted to save the file.

To insert a file in a message

  1. In My Chat, click the chat room you want to open.

  2. On the Message Entry Area toolbar, click the Insert file(s) into your message button.

  3. Select the file that you want to insert, and then click Open.

  4. Optionally, add a message to accompany the file.

  5. Click Send.

Inserting an Emoticon into a Message

Emoticons, as shown below, are graphic images that you can use in your messages to communicate feelings and emotions.

To insert an emoticon into a message

  1. In the Message Entry Area, put the cursor where you want to add the emoticon.

  2. On the Message Entry Area toolbar, click the emoticon drop-down menu.

  3. Click an emoticon.

  4. To send the message, click Send.

Sending a Story to a Chat Room

Stories are encapsulated messages that are too long to be posted in a chat room. If you enter more than 500 characters in the Message Entry Area, the message is automatically converted to a story, which you can edit before you send.

To send a story

  1. In My Chat, click the chat room that you want to open.

  2. To create a story do one of the following:

    • In the Message Entry Area, enter the text that you want to send. If the text exceeds the imposed limit of characters, the message is converted to a story.

    • Click the Send a Story button to bring up the Edit Story dialog box. Enter the text into the Message Entry Area in the dialog box.

  3. In the Edit Story dialog box, in the Subject box, type a subject for the story. This text will appear as a clickable link in the chat room.

  4. Click Send.

  5. After the story is posted, anyone on the chat room can view it by clicking the link in the chat room message area, as shown in the following example.

Inserting a Chat Room Link in a Message

You can post links to other group chat rooms in a message. Just drag and drop a chat room from the My Chat panel to the Message Entry Area.

To insert a chat room link

  1. In My Chat, click the chat room that you want to open.

  2. Drag a chat room from My Chat into the Message Entry Area.

  3. Click Send.

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Opening and Reading Chat Room Messages

To open files, links, or stories inserted in a message

  1. In My Chat, click the chat room that you want to open.

  2. If the message contains file attachments, stories, or links, you can click the links to open them

To view a thumbnail of an image inserted in a message

  • Put the cursor over the image file in the posted message.

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Searching for Content in the Current Message Area

Group Chat provides several ways to search for messages or text strings. For example, you can do one of the following:

  • Search for text in the Message Area of the chat room.

  • Use the Search Chat History feature to search for archived messages. Be aware that Chat History might not be enabled for all chat rooms.

To search for text in the message area

  1. Perform one of the following steps:

    • On the Edit menu, click Find.

    • Press CTRL+F.

    • On the Group Chat toolbar, click the Search button.

  2. In the search bar that appears below the Message Entry Area, enter the search criteria. To further refine the search, select the Match Case or Match whole word check boxes.

  3. To search up or down through the message area, click Previous or Next.

  4. To close the search bar, click the red X.

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Searching Chat History

Chat history contains all messages posted to a chat room, whether these messages are still in the chat room Message Area or not. Chat history is not available with IM chat and filters and is available for a chat room only if Chat History was enabled by the Chat Room manager. You can search Chat History for a specific chat room, a specific folder, or across all chat rooms that you have joined.

To search Chat History

  1. Do one of the following steps:

    • To search a chat room, right-click the chat room in My Chat, and then click Search Chat History.

    • To search all chat rooms in a folder, right-click the folder, and then click Search Chat History.

    • To search all chat rooms, on the Connect menu, click Search Chat History.

  2. In the Search Text box, type the text for which you want to search. You can type phrases, words, or partial words. For example, if you are looking for a Microsoft® Office Word document previously posted to a chat room, you can search for “.doc”.

  3. Click Search.

  4. Search results are displayed in the panel to the right.

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Saving or Printing a Message

You can save or print messages that are posted to Group Chat.

To save messages to a text file

  1. In My Chat, click one or more chat rooms.

  2. On the Actions menu, click Save Chat As.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, click a location, type a name for the file, and then click Save.

To print messages

  1. On the Actions menu, click Print Chat.

  2. In the Print dialog box, select the required printing options, and then click OK.

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Signing Out or Exiting

At the end of a Group Chat session, you can either sign out or exit through the Connect menu. When you sign out, Group Chat closes but the program remains active. The Group Chat Login dialog box is displayed, which enables you to sign in to another server.

To sign out

  1. On the Connect menu, click Log Out.

  2. When you are prompted, click Yes to confirm that you want to sign out.

To exit

  1. On the Connect menu, click Exit.

  2. When you are prompted, click Yes to confirm that you want to exit.

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