Leopard: Screen Sharing Sans iChat

The version of iChat included with Mac OS X 10.5 sports some pretty cool features like the ability to share your screen remotely with another Leopard user. If you arenit interested in using iChat for screen sharing, however, you arenit out of luck. You just need to know where to find the hidden Screen Sharing application.

iChatis screen sharing option.

Leopard includes a screen sharing application called, coincidentally, Screen Sharing. Itis the tool iChat uses when it initiates a screen sharing session for you, but you donit have to launch iChat to use it. You can find it by navigating to System/Library/Core Services.

Use Screen Sharing to share your screen without using iChat.

Just Double-click Screen Sharing to launch it, and then enter the IP address of the computer you want to share screens with. You can also drag Screen Sharing to your Dock for easy access, just be sure to leave the original where you found it because thatis where your Mac and iChat expect it to be.

Also, keep in mind that if you arenit sharing screens with someone on your local network, youill need to make sure that the computer you want to connect to is actually reachable on the Internet. That means the remote computer either needs to be connected to the Internet outside of a firewall, or if behind a firewall, port forwarding should be on and set to route the sharing connection request to the appropriate computer.

If you arenit sure how to enable port forwarding on your Internet router, be sure to check the instruction manual since different vendors handle the process in different ways.

Of course, part of the elegance in using iChat to initiate a screen sharing session is that it negotiates the trail through the Internet and routers and handles the under-the-hood technical process so you donit have to. For the people that donit want to use iChat, or want to control exactly which ports they open on their routers, Screen Sharing is safely tucked away and waiting for you.

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