Connecting with Messenger and Communicator in Office 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

Joining Microsoft Messenger is a new business counterpart in Office 2011 for Mac, Microsoft Communicator. Both products offer similar features and interfaces, but each is designed for a different market:

  • Microsoft Messenger: Uses your Windows Live ID (such as your Hotmail e-mail address) to communicate with contacts using public servers. Requires a Windows Live account to sign in.

  • Microsoft Communicator: Designed to use fully updated Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 or later to communicate within a closed business environment. The corporate contact list has been moved from Messenger to Communicator. Communicator supports Microsoft Exchange Global Address List (GAL).

Both Messenger and Communicator offer a variety of ways to communicate, collaborate, and share work. Logging in to either product involves a simple username and password sign-on.

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Managing contacts in Microsoft Messenger and Communicator

The Contact List displays when you open Messenger or Communicator. Starting at the top, you have access to a lot of tools:

  • Add: Displays the Add a Contact dialog.

  • Send: Click the Send button and then choose a contact from the pop-up menu to open a text instant message conversation window.

  • Call: This feature requires speakers and microphones on both ends of the call. Communicator supports PC to phone dialing.

  • Video: This feature requires video camera, speaker, and microphones on both ends of the call.

  • Send File: Click and then choose a contact from the pop-up menu. You see a file Open sheet, which you can use to choose a file or photo to send to the selected contact.

  • Page: Click and then choose a contact from the pop-up menu. If you haven’t set up your mobile message preferences, the Preferences dialog opens. Normally, Page displays the Page message input window. Type a text message to be sent to your contact’s cellphone or mobile device.

  • Mail: Opens your Web browser to view your mail account. Displays how many unread messages you have in your inbox.

Indicating Presence in Messenger and Communicator

The Presence Indicator is a new feature of Office 2011. It has these buttons across the bottom:

  • Send Mail: Opens a new browser window to a new, blank, pre-addressed e-mail message window.

  • Send Instant Message: Opens a conversation window and requests the contact to engage in a text chat session.

  • Voice Call: Sends a request to establish a voice call. This feature requires speakers and microphones on both ends of the call. Communicator supports PC to Phone dialing.

  • Video Call: Sends a request to establish a video call. This feature requires video camera, speaker, and microphones on both ends of the call.

  • Schedule Meeting: Opens a new Meeting dialog in Outlook.

  • Open Outlook Contact: Opens the Contact in Outlook.

  • Add to Contact List: Adds this person to your Messenger or Communicator Contacts List.

  • Phone Number: In Communicator, click to initiate a telephone call.

Instant messaging with Office 2011

When you choose to send an instant message, the Message Conversation dialog opens. The dialog lets you chat using text. You can also use the following features in the Message Conversation dialog:

  • Save: Saves the dialog of your chat. Messenger only.

  • History: Displays the Conversation History window. Messenger only.

  • Open Drawer: Opens the side drawer and displays Contact pictures.

  • Presence Indicator: Click to display the contact’s Presence Indicator.

  • Close Drawer: Closes the side drawer.

  • Input area: Type your message or drag a file into this section.

  • Font: Click to change characteristics of the font you send.

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Reviewing conversation history in Messenger and Communicator

When you click the History button or press Command-O in Messenger, the Conversation History dialog appears. You get the following options:

  • Save as Web Page: Saves the selected conversation in HTML that can be opened in a Web browser.

  • Print: Prints the conversation.

  • Delete: Deletes selected conversation.

  • Search: Find conversations using keyboards.

  • Show/Hide toolbar: Click this little button when your toolbar disappears and you want it back.