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iChat 4: Group Chat Windows

TMO Quick Tip - iChat 4: Group Chat Windows

by , 7:30 AM EST, November 5th, 2007

In Tiger, having several iChat conversations open at the same time means having several chat windows open, too. In Leopard, you can group all of those open chats into a single window without using any special plug-ins or add-on applications.

Here's how:

  • Launch iChat. If it isn't already in your Dock, check in the Applications folder.
  • Choose iChat > Preferences.
  • Select the Messages tab.
  • Check Collect chats into a single window.

Leopard's iChat can group chats in a single window.

If you already had more than one chat window open, you may have to restart iChat before the change takes effect.

Now all of your open chats will appear in a single window. You can select a chat by clicking on a participant's name in the left column, and the chat with them in the right column. iChat will let you know if someone in a different chat sends you a message, so you don't have to worry about jumping between chats just to see if someone typed something.

iChat's grouped chat view.

Tiger users that want to clear up some Desktop space by grouping chats in a single window can check out Chax from Kent Sutherland. Chax includes some extra features that enhance iChat's functionality, but for now the iChat plug-in isn't Mac OS X 10.5 compatible.

Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

if you have tips or tricks to share, or Mac-related questions you want answered.

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