How to set up iChat
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First you'll need to launch iChat from either the dock or the Applications folder.
A dialog window will appear and prompt you to choose an Account Type. Select Google Talk from the drop down menu.
Click Done. A buddy list window should now appear.
Adding people to your buddy list
In order to add a buddy to your list, go to the bottom left of your buddy list window and click on the + button.
From here you may either Add Buddy or Add Group.
Creating Groups could be an effective way to keep your buddy list organized. For example, you may want to create a group for Friends, Family, and Work. Alternatively, if you plan to keep this account for only work-related issues, you might create groups for various departments in your office, i.e. Finance, Marketing, and so forth.
To do this, simply click Add Group... and enter your preferred group name. This is your own personal designation and will not be seen by others.
You can add a person to your buddy list by clicking on Add Buddy...
Enter his/her email address into the box next to Account Name. If you want to classify him/her by group, select one from the drop down list.
Continue entering his/her First name and Last name. Then click Add.
This will send a request for authorization to the individual's account. The individual will receive a notification that you would like to add them to your chat. Once the invitee accepts this request, he/she will appear on your buddy list when online.
In order to begin a chat with someone, simply double click their name from your buddy list and a dialog box with appear. You can type your message and then hit Enter on your keyboard. This will open up and begin a message log between yourself and another buddy.
Setting your status
You may also change the status that appears under your name on others' buddy lists. This can let people know what you're presently doing, if you're busy, or if you've temporarily stepped away from your computer.
If you would like to change your status, simply click on the status that displays underneath your name. A drop down list will appear. Click on your prefered status, or, you may create a custom message. This message will appear under your name on others' buddy lists.
You may change your status back and forth at any time. Usually, if you have gone "Idle" it will automatically set that as your status. Often times when you come back and your computer senses activity again, it will automatically set you to Available or prompt you to change your status from Away.