Introducing Communicator for Mac

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Communicator for Mac 2011 provides new ways to communicate with coworkers and contacts in your network, whether they're down the hall or around the world. You can connect with people by using multiple modes of communication, such as phone, instant message, e-mail, conference call, or video call. Communicator is tightly integrated into Outlook, and works seamlessly with other Office for Mac 2011 applications, such as Word and PowerPoint — the familiar applications that users employ daily.

Determine at a glance who is available to chat

Communicator offers new status options to more accurately reflect whether someone can communicate with you at that time. The status options are set automatically based on your Outlook calendar or your login status, or you can manually set your status from your Communicator window.

For information on status options, see Online status options in Communicator, Set your status option, and Set preferences for your presence information.

Send an instant message

To communicate with someone in real time, you can send an instant message. During an instant message conversation, you can also add audio and video to your conversation.

For more information, see Send and receive instant messages.

Start an audio conference call with one or more contacts

All that you need to make and receive phone calls in Communicator is a microphone and speakers, or a headset. With the click of a button, you can call anyone in your Communicator contact list. You can also call an outside number by entering the number on the Communicator keypad. When you receive an audio call, an alert appears in the bottom right of your computer screen, where you can accept or decline the call.

You can also start a conference call by inviting multiple contacts to your conversation.

For more information, see Make an audio call in Communicator.

Start a video conference call with one or more contacts

You can use Communicator to make video calls to contacts in your network, or conduct video conference calls by inviting multiple contacts to join the conversation. During a video call, you can use Communicator to send files and text messages. To use video calling, you must have a webcam, a microphone, and either speakers or headphones. If your computer does not have a built-in webcam and microphone, you can purchase a Mac-compatible device to attach to your computer.

For more information, see Make a video call in Communicator.

Share your desktop with one or more contacts

You can start a desktop-sharing session at any time during a conversation. For example, if you have a document, slide deck, or application that you want to present to others in the conversation, you can start a desktop sharing session. When you start the desktop sharing session, all participants can see the tasks that you perform on your desktop. The Conversation window is available while you’re sharing your desktop, so you can continue an instant-messaging conversation while you are sharing your desktop.

For more information, see Share your desktop.

Communicate directly from the context of your task

Communicator is integrated with Office for Mac 2011, which allows you to collaborate with your contacts by starting a conversation from other Office applications, such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. While you are working, you can hover over a status icon to see the contact card for your contact. The contact card shows the presence status for the contact in more detail, and gives you several communication options, such as sending an instant message, or starting an audio or video call.

For more information, see View a contact card.

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