One of the most powerful features of Office Communicator 2005 is its ability to report your contact’s availability based on the information contained in the contact’s Outlook calendar. Office Communicator 2005 can indicate when a contact is in a meeting, out of the office, and when the contact will be free. In addition, contacts can add personal notes that provide more information about their whereabouts.
To see status information, you can:
- View the status icon next to the contact’s name in your contact list.
- Onthe View menu, click Show Extended View to display additional information about your contacts.
- Rest the mouse pointer over the contact’s presence status icon to read information gathered from the Outlook calendar and to read the contact’s personal note if one is provided.
- Watch for notifications in the Windows system area when presence status changes occur.
Receive alerts when a contact's presence status changes
With Office Communicator 2005, you can be notified when an unavailable contact becomes available. For example, if you see that your boss’s presence status is In a Meeting, you can receive an alert when her status changes to Online.
To receive alerts when a contact's presence status changes
- In the Microsoft Office Communicator window, on the Actions menu, click Options, and then click the Alerts tab.
- In the Status alerts area, select the Display status alerts for the following contacts check box.
- If you want to receive status alerts only for contacts that you specify, click Tagged contacts only. (For information about tagged contacts, see “Tag a Contact” later in this article.) If you want to receive status alerts for everybody in your Contacts list, click All contacts.
- If you do not want to receive status alerts when your own status is set to Busy or Do Not Disturb, select the appropriate check box. By default, both check boxes are selected.
- When the settings are as you want them, click OK.
Tag a contact
You can set Communicator to notify you when a contact’s status changes to Online.
To receive notification that a contact is Online
- In the Microsoft Office Communicator window, in the Contacts list, right-click the name of the contact.
- Click Tag Contact.
Note Ensure that you have the presence status alerts settings that you prefer.
Change your presence status information
Communicator automatically changes your presence status to reflect the schedule that is saved in your Outlook calendar, what you are doing on your computer, and whether you are on the phone. It can also automatically set your presence status to Away when your computer is idle for a specified period of time. You can also change your presence status information manually.
Unless your presence status is shown as In a Meeting, Out of Office, or Appear Offline, Communicator automatically resets your presence status to Online as soon as activity is detected on your computer, as long as your calendar shows your time as free. In addition, when you are on the phone or are engaged in a voice or video conversation, your presence status changes to In a Call. When you are in a multiparty conversation—using the phone, or while using voice, video, or application sharing—your presence status changes to In a Conference.
To manually change your presence status information
- In the Microsoft Office Communicator window, in the status area, click your name, and then click the appropriate status option.
Change default status settings
By default, Communicator changes your status to Away when your computer is inactive for five minutes. Also by default, when you are running a program in full screen mode, your status is set to Do Not Disturb. You can change these defaults if you want to.
To change default status settings
- In the Microsoft Office Communicator window, on the Actions menu, click Options, and then click the Rules tab.
- In the Status area, in the Show me as Away when my computer has been idle for this time period box, click a time from 5 minutes to 1 hour.
- If you do not want your status to change to Do Not Disturb when you are running a program in full-screen mode, clear the appropriate check box.
Your status will change to Away if any of the following occur before your inactivity time elapses:
- Your screen saver comes on.
- You lock your computer.
Create and view a personal note
You can let others know more about your status by creating a note. To view the note, rest your pointer over the status icon. The icon for a personal note is blue. The icon for an out of office note, which you create in Outlook, is purple.
To create and clear a status note
- In the Microsoft Office Communicator window, click your name in the status area.
- Click Set Note.
- In the Set Note window, type up to 256 characters, and then click OK.
- When the note is active, a blue note icon appears on your name in the Contacts list.
- To clear the note, click the status area next to your name, and then click Clear Note.
You can be signed in to Communicator but appear to your contacts as though you are offline.
To appear offline
In the Microsoft Office Communicator window, click your name, and then click Appear Offline. (To appear online again, click your name at the top of the window, and then click Online.)
Although you will still be able to see the presence status of your contacts, you will not be able to send them instant messages or have voice conversations while your status is Appear Offline.