Frequently Asked Questions

In this article


Most Common Questions

ShowWhere is the Communicator phone dial pad?

With Voice Mail systems or conference calls, you are often asked to either enter a PIN or make a selection by entering a number. To enter a PIN or respond to automated voice systems, you need to either enter numbers from your phone dial pad or the Communicator dial pad. If you are UC-enabled, the dial pad is available to you during and after the connection. While a call is being connected, the dial pad is available in the Call Control area on the right side of the Conversation window.

After the call is connected, the dial pad is available in the Call Control area on the left side.

You may not have an on-screen dial pad if you are using the Standard Communicator install, or if you are using Communicator to control a standard (PBX) phone. In such deployments, the prexence of a dial pad depends on your Remote Call Control (RCC) gateway implementation. For more information, see your system administrator. If you do not have an on-screen dial pad, you must enter numbers (such as PINs and voice menu selections) directly on your physical telephone.

ShowHow do I set up an archive of my messages and conversations?

By default, Office Communicator 2007 saves all incoming and outgoing IM conversations in an Outlook 2007 Conversation History folder in the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client mailbox, so you can review previous conversations.

For information about viewing saved conversations, see How do I view my archived messages and conversations?

If your conversations are not being saved in this Outlook archive, and you want to set up an archive for future conversations, do the following:

  1. Verify that you are using Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.
  2. In the Office Communicator title bar, click the Menu button, point to Tools, and the click Options.
  3. On the Personal tab, select the Save my instant message conversations in the Outlook Conversation History folder option, and then click OK.

ShowHow do I view my archived messages and conversations?

By default, Office Communicator 2007 saves all incoming and outgoing IM conversations in an Outlook 2007 Conversation History folder in the Microsoft Outlook messaging and collaboration client mailbox, so you can review previous conversations. Thus, the features discussed in this topic require integration with Outlook 2007. Also, the View Conversation History and Find Previous Conversations commands may not be available, depending on how Communicator 2007 is configured in your organization.

Any attempt to establish an instant messaging conversation is considered a conversation and causes an item to be stored in the Outlook Conversation History folder. For example, if you send an instant message to someone that does not respond, the conversation item is still recorded in the Conversation History folder. Further, if you answer an IM invitation or you are part of an IM conference, the item is stored in the Outlook Conversation History folder.

To view your Conversation History, in the Office Communicator title bar, click the Menu button, point to Tools, and then click View Conversation History. Communicator activates Outlook 2007 and displays the Conversation History folder. You can then use Outlook 2007 to sort or arrange conversations or to search for a conversations by keyword or contact.

To find a previous IM session for a specific contact, in the Office Communicator main window, right-click the contact whose previous IM session you want to view, and then click Find Previous Conversations. (Note that this command is only available if you have had a previous IM session with the contact.)

For information about setting Conversation History options, see How do I set up an archive of my messages and conversations?

ShowWhy can't I set my presence status to "In a Meeting"?

By default, your Presence status is tied to your Outlook calendar. Consequently, if a meeting is currently scheduled in your Outlook calendar, your status automatically appears as In a meeting in Communicator.

You can not manually change your status to In a meeting. Instead, use the Busy presence status.

ShowWhy can’t I set my presence status to "Appear Offline"?

Some companies remove the Appear Offline state because it can hamper presence predictability. For example, if a significant number of users set themselves to this mode, the value of presence in Communicator would be greatly reduced. However, by changing the level of access for individuals, you can control what people see. For example, if you do not want to be disturbed by the majority of people, you can set yourself to Do Not Disturb, and then grant certain people permission to interrupt you even in this state by assigning them to the Team access level.

ShowHow do I view and show presence with public IM (MSN and Yahoo) clients?

Office Communicator is configured to support public instant messaging (IM) connectivity, so you can add instant messaging contacts from AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and the Windows Live™ network of Internet services to your Office Communicator Contact List. When you add a public instant messaging contact, you can communicate with the contact using instant messaging. Communicator calls (Voice over IP, or VoIP calls), video calls, and audio/video conferencing, however, are not supported modes of communication with public instant messaging contacts.

The best practice for adding a public instant messaging contact is to use the Outlook Contacts folder to add their home, mobile, and other phone numbers. This enables you to call the contact using Communicator’s click-to-call feature.

  1. In Office Outlook, open the Contacts folder, and then click New.
  2. In the Full Name box, enter a name for the contact. Entering information in the Company, Job title, and File as boxes is optional.
  3. Under Internet, enter an e-mail address for the contact, and then fill in the following boxes:
    • Display as     The name that you want to appear in the Communicator Contact List.
    • IM address     The IM address of the contact. If this field is not filled in, you cannot add the contact to the Communicator Contact List. (If the contact does not have an IM address or if you do not know their IM address, enter a fictitious address as a placeholder, such as username@msn.com, and then replace it later with the correct address.)
  4. Enter phone numbers for the contact using the E.164 format of country code, area code, and local number with no hyphens. For example, a U.S. number might look like: 14255550101, where 1 is the country code, 425 is the area code, and 5550101 is the local number.
  5. Save the contact.
  6. Open Office Communicator, and in the Search box, type the name you entered into the Display as field in Outlook. The contact name will appear in the Search Results box.
  7. Drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. You can now have IM conversations with the contact. You can also click the phone button to the right of the contact’s name. Communicator calls are not supported for public IM contacts, but you can make calls to the contact’s home, business, or mobile phone numbers.

ShowHow do I login if I've lost my password?

Your password for Office Communicator is the same password that you use to login to Windows. If you recently changed your Windows password, try the new password when logging in to Office Communicator.

If you still do not have the correct password for logging in to Office Communicator, check with your system administrator. If you are unsure how to contact your administrator, call your company's internal support desk.

ShowHow do I add contacts from outside my organization?

A contact outside the company (not listed in the company directory) can be:

ShowWhy do I see the Exchange Connection error in Communicator?

The “Exchange Connection” error in Office Communicator appears when Communicator cannot contact Microsoft Exchange to get calendar information, such as when a contact is free. There may be problems with the Exchange Server to which you are connected. When you see the “Exchange Connection” error, try to schedule a meeting through Outlook and see if free-busy information is available for contacts. Contact your system administrator if you see if a discrepancy between the free-busy information in Outlook and Communicator.

ShowHow are contacts sorted in the Contact List? Can I re-sort them?

By default, Communicator sorts contacts in each group in the Contact List first by availability, and then alphabetically. Available contacts (those that can be contacted) have either the Available or Busy presence status. The Recent Contacts group is an exception, and sorts contacts top-to-bottom according to those contacts with whom you’ve most recently communicated. To change the way contacts are sorted in the Contact List, select the Change View button in the Communicator window, and then select Sort Contacts by Availability. This option moves contacts with Away, Unavailable, and Unknown status into groups, leaves contacts with Busy or Available status in their groups, and then sorts the contacts alphabetically.

ShowWhat happened to the menus that were available in Office Communicator 2005?

The menus have been replaced with a user interface that makes virtually all Communicator tasks easily accessible. With Office Communicator 2007, frequently performed tasks, such as starting an instant message or placing a phone call can be accomplished from the Contact List by right-clicking a contact and selecting a menu option. You can also select the Menu button in the Communicator window to view additional menu items.

ShowHow do I configure my Live Meeting account?

  1. Launch the Live Meeting client, click the Menu button in the Live Meeting Title bar, and then select Open User Accounts. (The first time you run Live Meeting, the User Accounts dialog box appears automatically.)
  2. Enter your Live Meeting login information or portal URL.
  3. Click Test Connection to verify.

Questions About...

ShowManaging Contacts

ShowDo I have to use the Add Contacts menu to add contacts to my Contact List?

No. For contacts within your corporate network, you can simply type the person’s name or e-mail address in the Search box, and then drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. By default, Communicator will search your corporate directory and your Outlook Contacts folder.

ShowHow do I add federated contacts to my Contact List?

Office Communicator and Office Communications Server 2007 support the ability to federate (connect) with other organizations, enabling you to add contacts from those organizations to your Contact List. When you add a federated contact to your Contact List, you can communicate with the contact using any of the communication modes that are supported by both organizations. For example, if both organizations support Communicator calls, video calls, and audio/video conferencing, then you can use those modes of communication for communicating with the federated contact.

  1. In the Communicator Search box, type the e-mail address or IM address of the contact.
  2. Drag the contact name from the Search Results box into the Contact List. Federated contacts in your Contact List display the federated icon to the right of the contact's name.

ShowHow do I add phone numbers for federated contacts that are in my Contact List?

To add a phone number for a federated contact, request that the contact elevate your access level to Team or Personal.

Alternatively, you can delete the contact from your Contact List and then add them through your Outlook Contacts folder.

  1. Open Communicator, right-click the contact's name, and then click Remove from Contact List.
  2. In Office Outlook, open the Contacts folder, and then click New.
  3. In the Full Name box, enter a name for the contact. Entering information in the Company, Job title, and File as boxes is optional.
  4. Under Internet, enter an e-mail address for the contact, and then fill in the following boxes:
    • Display as The name that you want to appear in the Communicator Contact List.
    • IM address The IM address of the contact. If this field is not filled in, you cannot add the contact to the Contact List. (If the contact does not have an IM address or if you do not know their IM address, enter a fictitious address as a placeholder, such as username@msn.com, and then replace it later with the correct address.)
  5. Enter phone numbers for the contact using the E.164 format of country code, area code, and local number with no hyphens. For example, a U.S. number might look like: 14255550101, where 1 is the country code, 425 is the area code, and 5550101 is the local number.
  6. Save the contact.
  7. Open Office Communicator, and in the Search box, type the name you entered into the Display as field in Outlook. The contact name will appear in the Search Results box.
  8. Drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. You can now have IM conversations with the contact. You can also click the phone button to the right of the contact's name. Communicator calls are not supported for public IM contacts, but you can make calls to the contact's home, business, or mobile phone numbers.

ShowWhat functionality is provided for communicating with federated contacts?

With Communicator, you can communicate with federated contacts using the communication modes that are supported by both companies. For example, if your company and the federated contact’s company support audio/video conferencing, then you can conduct audio/video conferences with the contact. If both companies support full audio and video capabilities, you can place and receive Communicator calls and video calls.

ShowHow do I know which companies are federated with my company?

Check with your system administrator to determine if a person’s company is federated with your company.

ShowHow do I add an outside contact that is not federated or a public IM contact to my Communicator Contact List?

To add a contact outside the company that is not federated or a public IM contact to your Contact List, use the Outlook Contacts folder to add their home, mobile, and other phone numbers. This enables you to call the contact using Communicator’s click-to-call feature. With outside contacts that are neither federated nor public IM contacts, you can call the contact’s phone numbers, but you cannot communicate through instant messaging, place Communicator calls or video calls, or conduct Communicator audio/video conferences.

  1. In Outlook, open the Contacts folder, and then click New.
  2. In the Full Name box, enter a name for the contact. Entering the Company, Job title, and File as boxes are optional.
  3. Under Internet, enter an e-mail address for the contact, and then fill in the following boxes:
    • Display as     The name you want to appear in the Contact List.
    • IM address     The IM address of the contact. If this field is not filled in, you cannot add the contact to the Contact List. (If the contact does not have an IM address or if you do not know their IM address, enter a fictitious address as a placeholder, such as username@msn.com, then replace it later with the correct address.)
  4. Enter phone numbers for the contact using the E.164 format of country code, area code, and local number with no hyphens. For example, a U.S. number might look like: 14255550101, where 1 is the country code, 425 is the area code, and 5550101 is the local number.
  5. Save the contact.
  6. Open Office Communicator and then, in the Search box, type the name you entered into the Display as field in Outlook. The contact name will appear in the Search Results box.
  7. Drag the contact from the Search Results box into a group in the Contact List. You can now have IM conversations with the contact. You can also click the phone button to the right of the contact’s name. Communicator calls are not supported for public IM contacts, but you can make calls to the contact’s home, business, or mobile phone numbers.

ShowHow do I add “phone-only” contacts to my Contact List?

Office Communicator does not provide a way to directly add a “phone-only” contact to your Contact List. Use the instructions provided in How do I add an outside contact that is not federated or a public IM contact to my Contact List?

ShowWhy can’t I add a contact from my Recent Contacts to my Contact List?

The contact may be a “phone-only” contact that is not in your company directory. Either you called the contact or the contact called you. Communicator does not allow you to directly add a contact that is not in your corporate directory. Use the instructions provided in How do I add an outside contact that is not federated or a public IM contact to my Contact List?

ShowWhat communication modes are supported with public instant messaging contacts?

With Communicator, you can send and receive instant messages from messenger clients from AOL, Yahoo, MSN, and the Windows Live™ network of Internet services. Communication with public IM contacts is limited to instant messaging. File transfer, Communicator calls, video calls, and audio/video conferencing are not supported with public IM contacts.

ShowHow do I resize columns in the Contact List?

You cannot specifically adjust individual column widths in the Contact List, but you can resize the width of the Communicator window as desired and the columns will adjust accordingly.

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ShowUsing Presence

ShowWhat are access levels and how can I use them?

Access levels allow you to control who can see your presence information, and how much of it they can see. For example, with access levels, you can assign your closest co-workers to the Team level, so they can see your mobile phone number, while other contacts in the Company, Public, or Blocked levels cannot. For more information about assigning access levels, see Control Access to Your Presence Information.

ShowWhat do the Inactive and Busy (Inactive) presence buttons mean?

  • Inactive (green/yellow button) means the contact is online but has not interacted with his or her computer or phone device within the past five minutes (by default). The contact’s status is transitioning from Available to Away. To change the time value, click the Menu button, click Tools, click Options, set the value under Show me as Inactive when my computer has been idle for this many minutes, and then click OK.
  • Busy (Inactive) (yellow/orange button) means the contact is in a meeting or has set her status to busy, but has not interacted with her computer within the past 15 minutes (by default). The contact’s status is transitioning from Busy to Away. To change the time value, click the Menu button, click Tools, click Options, set the value under Show me as Away when my status has been Inactive for this many minutes, and then click OK.

ShowWhy doesn’t my Out of Office note show up in Communicator after it set it?

Calendar information (free/busy, meeting subject and time) and the out of office (OOF) note can take as long as 30 minutes to propagate through the Presence system. In addition, you must be running the Communicator client on a device that can connect to Exchange in order for this information to propagate.

ShowHow does presence affect incoming calls when I am on the phone?

The following table shows incoming call behavior for various presence states.

If your presence is: Your state is: An incoming call:
Available Available Rings on all devices that are running Communicator, and a call alert appears on your computer. If the call is not answered, it goes to Voice Mail by default.
Inactive Inactive Rings on all devices that are running Communicator, and a call alert appears on your computer. If the call is not answered, it goes to Voice Mail by default.
Busy Inactive Busy (Inactive) Rings on all devices that are running Communicator, and a call alert appears on your computer. If the call is not answered, it goes to Voice Mail by default.
Busy Busy (In a Meeting or in a Call) Rings on all devices that are running Communicator, and a call alert appears on your computer. If the call is not answered, it goes to Voice Mail by default. If you accept an incoming call while you are on the phone with another contact, the current call is put on hold. You can click the resume button to return to the original call.
Do not disturb Do Not Disturb Goes to Voice Mail. However, calls from contacts in the Team access level ring all devices that are running Communicator, and a call alert appears on your computer.
Away Away Rings on all devices that are running Communicator and a call alert appears on your computer. If not answered, the call goes to Voice Mail.
Offline Offline By default, all incoming calls go to Voice Mail.

ShowHow is Location set and how does it work if I have Communicator running on multiple devices?

Location must be set manually for each device that is running Communicator. To set your Location, click your Presence button, click Current Location, and then select a Location or select Create a Custom Location. Contacts with Team or Personal access level will see the location from the most recently active device that is running Communicator.

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ShowMaking Phone Calls

ShowCan I make a phone call without adding someone to my Contact List?

Yes. You can type a person’s telephone number in the Search box and then double-click the name in the Search Results box to place the phone call. You can also search for the person by name, and then click ENTER to place the call.

ShowWhat is the difference between Remote Call Control and Unified Communications?

Office Communicator is typically configured for either Remote Call Control (RCC) or Unified Communications (UC). With RCC, Communicator is integrated with your company’s PBX phone system and, while you use Communicator to place and receive calls, forward calls, and control calls, the audio still flows through your traditional desktop phone.

With UC, also known as Enterprise Voice, the traditional PBX phone is replaced with Office Communicator and an IP phone or USB audio device connected to your computer. UC audio flows through your computer or through a USB device attached to your computer. UC offers advanced telephony features including:

  • Place calls from inside or outside the firewall.     Users can participate in IP voice sessions that traverse network address translators (NATs) and firewalls. Users working from home or remotely can call the enterprise from anywhere an Internet connection is available, without incurring long-distance charges or resorting to a virtual private network (VPN).
  • Call-forwarding rules.     Communicator 2007 offers robust call forwarding settings that can be easily configured. Users can set calls to be forwarded to another user, number, or device; simultaneously ring an additional number; or redirect unanswered calls to another number, contact, or Voice Mail.
  • Add subject and importance to a call.     Users can add a conversation subject and an importance flag to an outbound Communicator call, enabling the recipient to quickly determine the reason for the call, as well as its urgency.

ShowHow do I know if Communicator is enabled for Remote Call Control or Unified Communications?

To determine if you are RCC-enabled or UC-enabled, click the phone button for any contact. If you see a Preferred Calling Device option, you are RCC-enabled. If you do not see a Preferred Calling Device option, you are probably UC-enabled. However, if you do not see the Preferred Calling Device option and are not UC-enabled, you may be configured for Standard Client Access License (CAL). See your system administrator for details.

ShowWhat is a Communicator call and why would I want to choose it?

A Communicator call is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) call to contact’s devices that are running Office Communicator.

  • A Communicator call placed to a UC-enabled contact rings all of that contact’s Communicator-enabled devices, such as desktop computer, laptop computer, cell phone, and IP phone. UC-enabled users can place Communicator calls to federated contacts to bypass the PSTN network and make VoIP-only calls.
  • A Communicator call placed to an RCC-enabled contact rings all of that contact’s Communicator-enabled devices, but the phone that is integrated with the PBX system will not ring. A Communicator call can be used by an RCC-enabled user to bypass the PBX phone system and place a call directly to a Communicator contact.

ShowWhat can make a Communicator call to an outside contact fail?

Communicator is a secure, corporate communications solution. Communicator calls are VoIP calls that require the recipient to have the capability of accepting the call. Making a Communicator call to an outside contact—whether a public IM contact or an outside “phone-only” contact such as a friend, family, or co-worker—is not supported. For an outside contact that is not federated, call the contact using the traditional PSTN/PBX or mobile phone number.

ShowWhat phone numbers are valid for calling contacts?

Communicator follows the E.164 standard for phone numbers. E.164 is an international numbering plan for public phone systems in which each assigned number contains a country code, an area code, and a subscriber number.

An E.164 number can contain as many as 15 digits. Examples include:

+14255550101
Number Description
1 Country code for United States
425 Area code for Redmond, Washington
5550101 Subscriber’s local number
+442075551234
Number Description
44 Country code for United Kingdom
207 Area code for London
5551234 Subscriber’s local number

You can enter phone numbers in several places in Communicator and Outlook. As a rule, you should use the E.164 standard and include the + before the number. As a best practice, use only the + and numeric characters when entering phone numbers, because the defined normalization rules will format the number for you. Acceptable phone number formats are controlled by normalization rules defined on the Office Communications Server. If Communicator will not accept a phone number, contact your system administrator.

ShowCan I call numbers such as 1-800-TAXI with Communicator?

Yes, you can enter 1-800 numbers and numbers with alphabetic characters into the Search box. Phone numbers entered in the Search box are normalized and the alphabetic characters are converted to numbers to place the call.

ShowWhy can I enter alphabetic characters in the Search box but not in the New Number or Edit Phone Number dialog boxes?

Normalization rules, defined in Office Communications Server, are applied differently to phone numbers entered into the fields in the Edit Phone Number or New Number dialog boxes. Alphanumeric characters are not supported in the Edit Phone Number and New Number dialog boxes.

ShowWhat happened to Location-based forwarding? Is it no longer available in Communicator?

PBX systems today are increasingly providing “twinning” where they provide a VoIP call, as well as an RCC call, which allows you to answer the call on your computer directly (using attached USB devices, telephony devices, headsets) or from your PBX phone.

In addition, with Communicator 2007, you can answer calls directly from your laptop, regardless of your location, provided you are signed in to Communicator. You can also make outgoing calls from your laptop using your corporate network .

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ShowMaking Video Calls

ShowCan I make a video call to a non-Communicator user?

Video calls to outside users are only supported for federated users. Video calls to users outside the corporate directory, for example friends and family, or to public IM contacts such Windows Live, MSN, or Yahoo! Messenger contacts are not supported.

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ShowUsing Conferencing

ShowWhat’s the difference between "Share Information Using Live Meeting" and "Meet Now using Live Meeting Service"?

Share Information Using Live Meeting starts Live Meeting and connects selected contacts in the Contact List to Office Communications Server. If contacts are already in a Communicator conference, they are connected to the same Office Communications Server being used by the existing conference. Meet Now using Live Meeting Service uses the sender’s “Meet Now” meeting on his Live Meeting service account.

You typically use Share Information Using Live Meeting if all of your conference participants are internal, such as peer employees and federated partners. Common scenarios include conference meetings with team members and strategy meetings with partners. You use Meet Now Using Live Meeting Service if your conference includes external users, such as clients and personal contacts. Commons scenarios include sales calls and customer training sessions.

ShowWhy doesn’t the Live Meeting icon always show up in the Conversation window?

When people are participating in a one-to-one phone call or IM, they typically prefer to take notes on their own. Therefore, the Live Meeting icon is only shown when more than two people are in the conversation. If you want to activate Live Meeting for a two-person conference, right-click a name in the Contact List, and then click Share Information using Live Meeting.

ShowIf I'm running Office Communicator 2007, can I have a Live Meeting conference with contacts who are running Communicator 2005?

No. Live Meeting conferencing between Communicator 2007 and Communicator 2005 (or Windows Messenger 5.1) is not supported. The Communicator 2007 contact who initiates such a conference will eventually receive a timeout message.

ShowCan I have a Live Meeting conference with a public instant messaging contact?

No. Live Meeting conferences with public IM contacts are not supported. If you are in an IM session with a public IM contact, and you escalate the session to a Live Meeting conference, you will eventually receive a timeout message.

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Applies to:
Communicator 2007