Categories Windows Vista

Digsby, configuration and use of instant messaging accounts — Part 2/4


This second part on Digsby social software addresses the instant messaging aspect. From creating an account — Gtalk in this example, to the use of the different services, no aspect will be overlooked.

The features of Digsby are presented through the following chapters:

Creating an instant messaging account

To create an instant messaging account, click on the menu Tools | Preferences... or right click on the tray-icon and choose Preferences... . The following window appears:

Capture d'écran - Digsby, configuration des préférences
Screenshot of screen — Digsby, configuration of preferences

By clicking on the button Add IM Account, Digsby offers the following choices:

Capture d'écran - Digsby, ajout d'un compte de messagerie instantannée
Screenshot — Digsby, adding an instant messaging account

For our example, we will select Google Talk but the principle is the same regardless of the type of account; only a few settings can change depending on the type of account.

Capture d'écran - Digsby, configuration d'un compte GTalk
Screenshot — Digsby, configuration of a GTalk account

Nothing very complicated, just enter the Google ID and password. The option Auto login is necessary if you want this account to be automatically logged in when opening Digsby; it’s pretty convenient. The advanced options are pre-filled and there is little reason to change them. To finish creating the account click on the button Save.

Capture d'écran - Digsby, paramétrage des préférences
Screenshot — Digsby, settings of preferences

An account can be changed or deleted by clicking on the links Edit and Remove visible when the mouse cursor hovers over the desired account.

It is also possible to change the order of appearance in the main window by selecting an account and dragging it above or below the previous one. This feature does not bring much for instant messaging accounts, but little is useful for e-mail accounts.

For an automatic connection of this GTalk account to the launch of Digsby, check the box that precedes the account. To finalise the account creation, click on the button Done.

Automatically, the Google account will connect to GTalk and retrieve contacts online or offline:

Capture d'écran - Digsby, liste de contacts
Screenshot — Digsby, contact list

The above screen is named Buddy List. It contains all contacts regardless of the protocol used.

Group management

It is possible to create groups (right-click on the background, validate “Add Group” and enter the desired name) and order contacts by simply “click/move”. To manage groups, right-click on the group to manage and validate one of the menus “Add contact”, “Rename Group”, “Delete Group” or “Add Group”.

Actions on a contact

By passing the mouse over the contact nickname, a window opens and offers some contextual actions in addition to contact information (pseudo, email address, status, quote):

  • IM': open the conversation window;
  • Files': exchange files, if the protocol permits;
  • Email: write an email directly in a Digsby window;
  • SMS: send an SMS if the protocol allows.

Right-click opens a popup-menu contextual:

  • Buddy Info : display a window with the elements and actions described in the previous point;
  • Send IM : open the conversation window;
  • Send File : exchange files if the protocol permits;
  • Send Email : write an email directly in a Digsby window;
  • Send SMS : send an SMS if the protocol permits;
  • You would have Cats : show the conversation history window (with a calendar). The data will only be displayed if conversation history is enabled (“Preferences”, “Conversation”, “Conversation Options” item, Log IM conversations to hard drive checkbox);
  • Alert Me When... : display the list of possible audio and visual notifications (“Contact Sign On” and “Contact Sign Off” for examples);
  • Rename : change — locally — the nickname of the contact;
  • Block : block the contact to no longer be requested by the latter;
  • Delete : delete the contact from the “Buddy List”;
  • Remove authorisation : delete the permission granted to appear in the contact list. It is possible to re-submit the request via Resend authorisation and Re-request authorisation accessible by a right click on the contact stored in the Offline group (this feature seems reserved for GTalk).

Theme

It is possible to change the overall theme of this main window in the Preferences, heading Skins, item Skin Applications.

Using Instant Messaging Accounts

To converse with a contact, use one of the actions described in the previous paragraph or simply double click on its nickname in the Buddy List. The following conversation window will appear:

Capture d'écran - Digsby, fenêtre de conversation GTalk
Screenshot — Digsby, GTalk conversation window

General actions

The actions presented in the previous paragraph are: Info to view contact information, IM to go back to instant messaging, Email to write an email (an email account must be configured in advance) or Video to launch a video conference via webcam. Some of these actions depend on the protocol used.

Actions on the message

The toolbar allows you to:

  • Change the font and its size;
  • Bold, italic or underlined;
  • Change the color of the text and the background color of the input area;

Default text style

Preferences allow to define a specific text style for all conversations and applicable by default. To do this, go to the window Preferences, heading Conversations, item Text Formatting, then configure the desired format and click on the button Done to apply. If a conversation is already started, it will be necessary to close the window and restart it to take into account the configuration changes made.

Format of conversations

Message formatting can be changed by selecting a choice from a fairly large formatting list. This list is available in the window Preferences, heading “Skins”, item “Conversation Theme”.

Management of conversation windows:

It is possible to group all conversation windows into one; conversations being repeated in tabs. This option is available via the Preferences, heading Conversations, item Window options, choice Group multiple conversation into one tabbed window.

Example of an email writing screen directly in the instant messaging window:

Capture d'écran - Digsby, rédaction d'un courriel Gmail
Screenshot — Digsby, writing a Gmail email

Possible actions

  • Add or remove recipients via the drop-down list to the right of To: ;
  • Edit your sender email address via the drop-down list to the right of From: ;
  • Enter the subject of the email in the field Subject ;
  • Enter the text of the message in the main area of the window;
  • Edit in Gmail : view the Gmail webpage to write the email. For an account POP, this action is renamed in Edit ;
  • Send : send the message;

6 comments

Leave a Reply to JPDouet Cancel reply

  • jpdouet

    Good morning @guymauve.

    I just watched Adium which actually is an instant messenger multi protocols like many others (meebo, imo.im, Pidgin...) but Digsby goes further, waiting for the rest of the article...

    CDT

  • JPDouet

    Bonsoir,

    I just did a webcam test (which I hadn't been able to do before). It turns out that this feature uses Adobe Flash Player and goes through a provider named “TokBox”. It is possible to create an account on this one but it does not seem mandatory for use with Digsby.

    Once the contact is connected, the 2 videos are displayed in the same non-redimentable (damage) window. The video quality is at the rendezvous (it depends on the webcam resolution and the speed of the ADSL line) and the sound is “faiblard” despite deep settings. To be checked later.

    This feature does not yet compete with Skype that I use regularly and that I find more successful. Nevertheless, it can be useful for troubleshooting or for those with an occasional need.

    CDT