How to Add a MacBook Buddy - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

“Will you be my buddy?” sounds a little personal, but in the MacBook Messaging world, a buddy is anyone with whom you want to chat using instant messaging. Messages keeps track of your buddies in the buddy list. You can also add them to your Contacts database or use the AIM entry in a Contacts card to generate a new buddy identity.

To add a buddy, display the Buddies window by pressing cmd+1 and follow these steps:

  1. With the Buddies window visible, choose Buddies→Add Buddy (or click the Add a New Buddy button at the bottom of the Buddies window and choose Add Buddy from the pop-up menu, or press cmd+Shift+A).

    Messages displays a sheet where you can enter the instant messaging account information for your new buddy.

  2. Do one of the following:

    • To create a buddy entry from a Contacts card that has an IM username: Click the down-arrow button next to the Last Name box to display the Contacts list. Click the entry to select it.

      As a shortcut, you can also click in the First Name box and then type the person’s first name or click in the Account Name box and type the person’s IM account name.

    • To add a new person who’s not already in your Contacts database: Type the person’s IM account name.

  3. Click Add to save the buddy information.

Even when you add a new buddy and that name appears in the buddy list, don’t be surprised if the name actually fades out after a few seconds. That action indicates that the person is offline and unavailable. You can tell when a person is available if his or her name appears with a green bullet in the buddy list.

You can also specify a number of actions that Messages should take if a buddy logs in or out of instant messaging. To display these actions, click the desired buddy’s entry in your buddy list and then press cmd+Shift+I. (From the menu, choose Buddies→Show Info.) Click the Alerts button and then, from the Event pop-up menu, choose the event that should trigger the action.

Select the desired check box to specify whether Messages should play the sound that you select, run an AppleScript, speak an announcement, or animate the Messages icon by “bouncing” it in the Dock.

Click the Address Card button on the Info dialog to enter or edit the person’s

  • Real first and last names

  • Nickname

  • E-mail address

  • Phone number

  • Instant messaging address

  • Buddy picture

The View menu offers a number of neat options to help you organize and customize your buddy list. You can sort your buddy list by first name, last name, or availability, and you can choose to display full names, short names or handles (nicknames). You can also toggle the display of offline buddies.