Lesson 6: Instant Messaging with Skype


Chatting with instant message

Typing on a laptop

Are you ready to chat? On Skype, instant messaging—also known as IM—lets you send short messages to your contacts so you can chat back and forth in real time.

IM is a great alternative to regular Skype calls—and even email—if you want to ask someone a quick question or simply have a relaxed conversation without picking up the phone.

To IM someone on Skype:

  1. Click the person you want to IM on the Contacts tab.
    Screenshot of SkypeSelecting a contact
  2. The contact's information will open in a pane on the right.
  3. Type a message inside the conversation box, then click the Send button when you're done or press Enter on your keyboard.
    Screenshot of SkypeSending an IM
  4. The other person will receive the message and can reply if online. If the contact is offline, he or she will receive the message after signing in. The area above the conversation box will show your history.
    Screenshot of SkypeViewing your history

You can also IM someone during a call. This can be useful if you want to send a phone number, link, or anything else you would normally write down. All you have to do is click the Show IM button in the call window and type your message.

Screenshot of SkypeChatting during a call

Receiving IMs

So what do you see when someone IMs you on Skype? Sometimes a pop-up, but more often a notification on your computer's taskbar. It may look something like this:

New IM on the taskbarNew IM on the taskbar

To view or reply to the IM, open your Skype window. Then go to the Recent tab, or click the person who sent you the IM on the Contacts tab. Both areas will be marked to let you know you have a message waiting. The same thing happens if you receive an IM while you're offline.

Screenshot of SkypeNew IM in the Skype window