Create and Send an Instant Message

You can start an instant messaging session with a single contact or multiple contacts. After you start an instant messaging session, you can invite other contacts to the session to create an IM conference.

Office Communicator 2007 supports rich text in instant messages, so you can specify font type and font characteristics, such as bold, underline, italics, and color. You can also insert emoticons and paste text and tables that you copied from other Microsoft Office applications, such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

What do you want to do?


Send an instant message to a single contact

  1. In the Contact List, double-click a contact name, type a message and then press ENTER. If the contact is not in the Contact List, type the person’s name in the Search box and then double-click the name in the Search Results pane.
  2. In the Conversation window, type your message and then press ENTER.

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Send an instant message to a group (more than one contact)

You can send an instant message to multiple contacts that you select in the Contact List. You can also send an instant message to a contact group or to a distribution group.

To send an instant message message to a group

Do one of the following:

  • To send an instant message to a distribution group or contact group, right-click the group name in the Contact List, click Send an Instant Message, type a message, and then press ENTER.
  • To selectively choose members of a group, expand the group in the Contact List, and then hold the CTRL key to select contacts. Right-click the last contact you select and then click Send an Instant Message. In the Conversation window, type your message and then press ENTER.

 Note   When you start an instant messaging session involving three users, you start an IM conference and the Conversation window displays conferencing buttons. For more information, see Conferencing and Collaboration.

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Send an instant message to AOL, Yahoo, MSN, or Windows Live Contact

If your company supports Public IM Connectivity, you can have IM conversations with contacts who are using AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and Windows Live instant messaging services.

  • In the Contact List, double-click the AOL, Yahoo, MSN, or Windows Live contact to whom you want to send a message. If you cannot easily find the contact in the Contact List, type the contact's URI (Uniform Resource Identifier, usually the contact's e-mail address) name in the Search text box, and then double-click the contact's name in the Search Results box.

 Important   The ability to connect with IM contacts outside your organization may not be supported. Contact your system administrator to see if Public IM Connectivity is supported.

 Note   For more information, see Add contacts outside your company.

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Send an instant message with High Importance

You can send an instant message invitation with a High Importance flag. The High Importance flag appears in the IM invitation and helps the IM recipient decide whether to engage in the conversation.

Set a message to High Importance

  • In the Contact List, double-click a contact, and then in the Conversation window, click the View more options button (in the upper-right corner of the Conversation window) and then click High Importance .

When you send the message, the High Importance flag appears in the recipient's instant message invitation.

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Add a space between paragraphs in an instant message

  • To add a space between paragraphs in an instant message, type a paragraph, hold the CTRL key and press ENTER, and then type the next paragraph.

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Format your message by changing font, font size, style and color

You can format a single word or even a single character in the message entry area. You can bold, italicize, strikethrough, or change the font, font color, or font size of a selection of words or letters. You can also set text format options that persist for all IM sessions or you can make changes that last only as long as the IM session.

Format message text for all IM conversations

  1. In the Office Communicator title bar, click the Menu button, click Tools, and then click Options.
  2. Click the General tab, and then click Change Font.
  3. In the Change Your Font or Text Color dialog box, format the text the way you want it, and then click OK.

Format message text for the current IM session

You can make changes to message text format during an IM session. You can also format selected pieces of text to be different fonts, colors, italic, bold, and so on. Changes made to the font format will persist only for the length of the current conversation.

  • To selectively format message text (for example, make a word bold) in the Conversation window, select the text that you want to format, then click Change Your Font or Text Color. Make the changes you want in the drop-down dialog box and then click in the Entry area to close the dialog box and accept the changes. The selected text is now formatted according to your changes. Also, any text that you type after making the formatting changes will be in the new format.
  • To generally format message text, click Change Your Font or Text Color in the Entry area, and then make the formatting changes you want in the drop-down dialog box and then click in the Entry area to close the dialog box and accept the changes. The selected text is now formatted according to your changes. Any text that you type after making the formatting changes will be in the new format.

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Add emoticons to an instant message to convey feelings

Words cannot always express how you feel, so you can add graphic images called emoticons to your messages to express your feelings and emotions.

  1. In the Conversation window, in the Entry area, click the place where you want to add an emoticon, and then click the Select an emoticon button in the Entry area.
  2. Click an emoticon to add it to the message and close the drop down list by clicking the Entry area in the Conversation window.

 Note   AOL and Yahoo Messenger users will see a text representation of the emoticon rather than the graphic image.

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Copy and paste in an instant message

Office Communicator 2007 supports Rich Text Format (RTF), so you can copy text from another Microsoft Office application, including Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint, and paste it into an instant message. You can also copy rich text from the Conversation window and paste it into an Office application. When rich text is pasted from an Office application into an instant message, or from an instant message to an Office application, Communicator keeps the original formatting intact, including the cell borders of an Excel spreadsheet.

Copy text from an instant message conversation

  1. In the Conversation window, in the Message area, select the text you want to copy, right-click the text, and then click Copy.
  2. You can paste the text into any Office application and the text format is retained.

Paste text into an instant message

  1. In an Office application, copy the text you want to paste into an instant message.
  2. In the Conversation window, in the Entry area, right-click where you want to paste the text and then click Paste.

 Note   You cannot paste graphics or objects into the IM entry area. Only text is allowed.

Find previous conversations with a contact

Office Communicator 2007 provides a Find Previous Conversations feature. With this feature, you can right-click a contact in your Contact List, and then click Find Previous Conversations to open Outlook and return a list of all conversations with the contact, whether IM, phone, audio/video, or conference conversations.

To find previous conversations with a contact

  • In the Office Communicator Contact List, right-click a contact, and then click Find Previous Conversations.

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View old instant message conversations

Communicator provides the option to save a copy of your instant message conversations in the Outlook Conversation history folder in your Outlook mailbox. By default, this option is turned off.

To view the Conversation History folder

  • In the Office Communicator title bar, click the Menu button, point to Tools, and then click View Conversation History.

View the Conversation History folder

  • Open Outlook, and then in the mailbox, click the Conversation History folder.

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Applies to:
Communicator 2007