The Ultimate Guide to Skype Tips & Tricks


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47 ways to improve your Skype experience.

Learn how to…
Manage your contacts, use secret emoticons, master in-call controls, stop annoying pop-ups, create keyboard shortcuts, protect your privacy, backup your Skype data
…and much more

Presented by Zaplee

Published in: Technology
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The Ultimate Guide to Skype Tips & Tricks

  1. 1. Presents... Windows Desktop Client v1.0 © 2013, Zaplee Inc.
  2. 2. This eBook is brought to you by…. Zaplee turns Skype into a complete business phone system The fastest, easiest and most cost effective way to set up a company switchboard! Tony Ridley, Intelligent Travel Check us out at…
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS CONTACTS 1) Customize contact names 2) Remove contacts 3) Create contact groups 4) Remove a contact from a group 5) Permanently save groups 6) Categorize contacts into lists 7) Share contacts 8) Import contacts 9) Backup Skype contacts 10) See if contact is really offline 11) Hide offline contacts AUDIO & VIDEO CALLING 12) Share screens 13) Create custom keyboard shortcuts 14) Make audio conference calls 15) Make video conference calls 16) Drop an individual from a conference call 17) Master the in-call controls 18) Forward calls to a phone CHAT / IM 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) Find chat commands Change font / resize font Resize the “Send a Message” box Create a black cat sighting Break your pencil 24) 25) 26) 27) 28) 29) 30) 31) 32) 33) 34) 35) 36) Use hidden emoticons Insert line breaks Turn words blue View chats in separate windows Search chats Edit / delete sent messages Create a group chat Leave a group conversation Stand out in a group chat Set up keyword alerts Back up your chat history Send SMS messages Add international flags ANNOYANCES 37) Disable notifications 38) Stop Skype from launching automatically 39) Disable promotions 40) Turn off emoticon animation 41) Remove Skype watermark 42) Stop accidentally calling people PRIVACY 43) 44) 45) 46) 47) Hide your typing indicator Disable Skype Wi-Fi Hide your online status Block spam calls Delete instant message history
  4. 4. Contacts
  5. 5. Contacts CUSTOMIZE CONTACT NAMES Right click on the contact name you’d like to change and select “Rename” from the menu. Type in the custom name you want to use and hit enter. REMOVE CONTACTS Right click on the contact name and select “Remove from Contacts” from the menu. A dialog box will pop up asking you to confirm. Click the “Remove” button to complete the process. CREATE CONTACT GROUPS Click on the icon above your contacts list to create a group (Shortcut: ctrl + n). A light blue box will appear at the top of the chat pane. Drag and drop the contacts you’d like to add to the group into this box. The blue shading will disappear after you add your first contact.
  6. 6. Contacts REMOVE A CONTACT FROM A GROUP If you want to remove a contact from a group, first select the group from your contacts list. At the top of the chat pane, right click on the contact you’d like to remove and select “Remove person from this group”. PERMANENTLY SAVE GROUPS Unless you save them, groups will only show up in your “Recent” list. Here’s how to save a group to your “Contacts” list: Right click on the group and select “Save Group in Your Contacts”. You’ll have the opportunity to customize the name of the group before you save it.
  7. 7. Contacts CATEGORIZE CONTACTS INTO LISTS If you want to create lists of contacts (e.g. Friends, work, family) go to “Contacts” in the top menu bar and select “Contact Lists” and then “Create New List”. A text box will appear in the contacts list – enter the name you’d like to use for this list and hit enter. To add a contact to a list, right click on the contact and select “Add to List”. Finally, choose the list you’d like to add this contact to in the sub-menu on the right. SHARE CONTACTS If you want to share a contact with someone, first start a chat with the person you want to send a contact to. Next, drag and drop the contact you want to share into the “Send a message” box in the chat pane. IMPORT CONTACTS Skype lets you import contacts directly from a variety of programs including Facebook and Microsoft Outlook. Start by going to “Contacts” in the top menu bar and selecting “Import contacts”. A pop up window will appear where you can select the program you want to import from and then select which contacts to include.
  8. 8. Contacts BACKUP SKYPE CONTACTS You can back up your Skype contacts to a file by going to “Contacts” in the top menu bar and selecting “Advanced” and then “Backup Contacts to File”. Your contact list will be saved as a “.vcf” (aka Vcard) file. SEE IF A CONTACT IS REALLY OFFLINE OR JUST INVISIBLE Ever wanted to know if your friends are really offline or just have their status set to “Invisible”? Here’s how you can tell: Send your friend a chat message. If a gray “waiting” circle appears to the right of the time stamp, they are really offline. If the chat message goes through, they are still online. Of course, just because they are online doesn’t guarantee that they’re sitting at their computer. HIDE OFFLINE CONTACTS Skype has a setting that will automatically hide your contacts that are offline. To activate this setting go to the “Contacts” menu and select “Hide Contacts Who”. Choose “Are Offline” from the sub-menu on the right.
  9. 9. Calling
  10. 10. Calling SHARE SCREENS During both video and audio calls you can share screens with the other caller. Click on the “+” button and select “Share screens”. A small rectangular box will pop up in the corner of the screen that displays your call status and gives you a button that stops your screen share. Screen sharing is free for 2-person calls, but for conference calls at least one person on the call must have a “Premium” account. CREATE CUSTOM KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS The first step is to enable keyboard shortcuts by going to the “Tools” menu and selecting “Options”. Click on the “Advanced” tab and select “Hotkeys”. Check the box at the top that says “Enable keyboard shortcuts”. To customize a shortcut check the box next to the action you’d like to customize and click the “Change selected shortcut” button below the hotkeys box. A pop up window will appear that lets you select your custom shortcut. Note that every shortcut must include at least one of the following keys: Shift, Ctrl or Alt. To add other keys to your custom shortcut, click in the blank text box and hit the key you’d like to use.
  11. 11. Calling MAKE AUDIO CONFERENCE CALLS Skype is capable of making audio-only conference calls with up to 25 participants. Conference calls with other Skype users are free. Calls that include outside phone numbers require Skype credit. To make a conference call, start by clicking on the group you’d like to call in your contacts list (see tip #2 for instructions on creating groups). Then click the “Call group” button at the top of the chat pane. MAKE VIDEO CONFERENCE CALLS Skype can make video conference for up to 10 participants. At least one person on the call must have a “Premium” account for this feature to work. To start a video conference call, select the group you want to call from your contacts list (see tip #2 for instructions on creating groups) and then click the “Video Call” button. DROP AN INDIVIDUAL FROM A CONFERENCE CALL To drop an individual from a video or audio conference call, place your mouse over the person’s picture and click the red icon. You must be the host of the call in order to drop someone.
  12. 12. Calling MASTER THE IN-CALL CONTROLS A. Click to see the contacts pane. Click again to hide it. B. Click to see the chat pane. While on a call, you can send instant messages to any of your contacts, including other participants in the call. C. This button lets you turn your webcam on and off during video calls. When your webcam is turned off, the camera icon will have a red line through it. D. You can mute and un-mute your microphone by clicking this button. When your microphone is muted, the icon will have a red line through it. E. Click the “Plus” button to reveal these options: + Take a picture (Video calls only) – this option will take a picture of the incoming video feed. + Send File – lets you send files to the other participants in the call + Send Contacts – Share + Share screens + Add people to this call + Show dial pad F. Click here to end the call G. Use this button to adjust your speaker volume and check your call quality information. H. Click to view your call full screen. Click again to exit the full screen view.
  13. 13. Calling FORWARD CALLS TO A PHONE Skype can forward calls to your landline or mobile phone. You’ll need to buy Skype credit or have a subscription plan to use this feature. Set up call forwarding by going to the “Tools” menu and selecting “Options”. Click the “Calls” tab and select “Call forwarding”. Next, click on “ Call Forwarding Options”. Check the box next to “Forward my calls to”. Select which country your phone number is in by clicking on the flag icon. Finally, enter your phone number in the box to the right and click the “Save” button at the bottom of the window.
  14. 14. Chat / IM
  15. 15. Chat / IM FIND CHAT COMMANDS To see Skype’s chat commands, type the following into the “Send a message” box… /help /help A list of commonly used commands will appear along with a link to a comprehensive list. If the list doesn’t appear, the version of Skype you are using is not supported. Updating to the latest version will solve this problem. CHANGE FONT / RESIZE FONT Here’s how to customize your font… 1) Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Options”. 2) Click on the “IM & SMS” tab and choose “IM appearance”. 3) Click the “Change font” button. 4) Make the changes you want click and “Ok”.
  16. 16. Chat / IM RESIZE THE “SEND A MESSAGE” BOX To resize the “Send a message” box, hover the cursor over the edge of the box. The cursor will change from position. to when you’re in the correct Click and drag the border to the desired size. You can resize both the height and width of the box. CREATE A BLACK CAT SIGHTING Hold down the “c”, “a” and “t” keys simultaneously for 2 seconds and this friendly black cat will show up in your chat: Since this was created to let the recipient know that a actual cat may be doing the typing, pretty much any combination of 3 or more keys will work. Using C-A-T is just easy to remember. BREAK YOUR PENCIL Push down any 3 neighboring keys together (e.g. D-F-G) and you’ll see a quick animation of 2 hands breaking a pencil. Don’t blink – it disappears quickly.
  18. 18. Chat / IM
  19. 19. Chat / IM
  20. 20. Chat / IM INSERT LINE BREAKS IN LONG MESSAGES Hold down the “Shift” key and press “Enter” to add a line break to your message without sending it. MAKE A WORD TURN BLUE Type “” before a word, without leaving a space, and it will turn blue. VIEW CHATS IN SEPARATE WINDOWS If you have multiple chats going at once, it might be helpful to put them in separate windows. Here’s how to do it: In the “View” menu, select “Compact View”, then double click on the contact name of each chat you want to open in a separate window.
  21. 21. Chat / IM SEARCH CHATS You can search for words in your current or previous chats by holding down the “Ctrl” key and pressing “F”. The “Find” box will appear about the “Send a message” box. Enter the word you want to find in this box and hit “Enter”. You can then scroll through every use of this word by clicking on “Next”. EDIT / DELETE SENT MESSAGES EDIT LAST MESSAGE To edit last message you sent click the “Up Arrow” key. The message will re-populate the “Send a message” box and be shaded in yellow. Make the edits you want and click “Enter” to re-send. EDIT OLDER MESSAGES Right click on the message you want to edit and select “Edit Message”. Make your changes and hit “Enter”. DELETE MESSAGES If you wrote something that you regret, right click on the message and choose “Remove Message”. Cross your fingers that the other person never read it!
  22. 22. Chat / IM CREATE A GROUP CHAT To start a group chat, click on the group in your contacts list (see tip #3 for instructions on creating groups) to highlight it and type your message in the “Send a message” box. Your chat has begun! LEAVE A GROUP CONVERSATION Has the engineering team taken over a group chat to tell Star Trek jokes? Beam yourself out of there with this handy trick: Right click on the group in your contacts list and select “Leave Conversation”. STAND OUT IN A GROUP CHAT During rapid-fire group chats it’s easy to lose track of who is writing what. You can quickly identify yourself in your chat message by typing “/me”. Skype will automatically convert “/me” to your profile name, which will show up in the chat text in a light gray font. Even if it’s a little awkward to refer to yourself in the 3 rd person, this trick will help you stand out from the crowd.
  23. 23. Chat / IM SET UP KEYWORD ALERTS Keyword alerts are useful in a variety of situations. For example, if you are included in a group chat, but only part of the conversation requires your attention. Here’s how to set them up… 1) Click on the group in your contacts list to highlight it. 2) Go to the “Conversation” menu and select “Notification settings” 3) Select the radio button marked “Notify me only if these words are mentioned” 4) Enter the words you would like to be notified of in the text box, separated by spaces. 5) Click the “OK” button Skype will notify you if any of these words are mentioned in this particular conversation. To make sure they are impossible to miss, Skype highlights them in yellow.
  24. 24. Chat / IM BACK UP YOUR CHAT HISTORY Here’s how to backup your Skype chat history: 1) Open the run window (hold down the key and press “R”) 2) Type this command into the window and press enter: %appdata%Skype 3) Open the folder with the same name as your Skype ID 4) Find the file named “main.db” (your chat history) and save it to your backup location SEND SMS MESSAGES Although this is a paid service, sending a message via Skype can be a real timesaver, especially if you have to type a long message. Also, depending on local rates, it can be cheaper than sending texts internationally. The only drawback is that you cannot receive SMS messages on Skype. So, if you’re expecting a response include your mobile phone number as one of the recipients, so a “reply to all” response will reach you. To send an SMS message, open up the drop-down menu below the “Send a message” box that says “via Skype” and change the setting from “Skype” to “SMS”. Type your message and click “Send” just like you would for a Skype chat message.
  25. 25. Chat / IM ADD INTERNATIONAL FLAGS You don’t have to go to a UN meeting to see International flags…you can add some to your next chat with these commands.
  26. 26. Chat / IM
  27. 27. Chat / IM COMMAND: (flag:US)
  28. 28. Chat / IM
  29. 29. Chat / IM
  30. 30. Annoyances
  31. 31. Annoyances DISABLE NOTIFICATIONS Tired of being notified every time your Uncle Mort gets online? Turn off those pesky notifications! Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Options”. Click on the notifications tab and uncheck any notifications you want to get rid of. STOP SKYPE FROM LAUNCHING AUTOMATICALLY If don’t want Skype to launch automatically every time you start up your computer then change this setting to prevent it from happening: Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Options”. In the “General settings” tab uncheck the box next to “Start Skype when I start Windows”. DISABLE PROMOTIONS Skype lets you turn off the promotions that appear below the contacts list. In the “Tools” menu, select “Options”. Click on the “Notifications” tab and then on the “Alerts & messages” sub-tab. Uncheck the box next to “Promotions” and click the “Save” button. For the changes to take effect you need to sign out of Skype and sign back in.
  32. 32. Annoyances TURN OFF EMOTICON ANIMATION Do you find an emoticon dancing the robot to be distracting? Permanently freeze those emoticons by changing this setting: Go to the “Tools” menu and select “Options”. Click the “IM & SMS” tab and select the “IM appearance” sub-tab. Uncheck the box next to “Show animated emoticons” and click the “Save” button. REMOVE SKYPE WATERMARK If you’re bothered by the Skype watermark in the corner of your video calls, you can remove it with a few clicks of the mouse: In the “Tools” menu select “Options”. Go to the “Advanced” tab and uncheck the box next to “Show Skype watermark during calls”. Click the “Save” button and you’re done. STOP ACCIDENTALLY CALLING PEOPLE! Ever clicked on a contact and suddenly realized you were calling them? Chances are you accidentally double-clicked on that contact (Skype’s default setting is to start a call anytime you double-click on them). Turn off this “convenience” feature by going to “Tools” menu and selecting “Options”. On the top right, uncheck the box next to “When I double-click on a contact start a call”.
  33. 33. Privacy
  34. 34. Privacy HIDE YOUR TYPING INDICATOR If you don’t want the people you’re instant messaging with to see when you’re typing, you can turn off the typing indicator: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) In the “Tools” menu, select “Options” Click on the “IM & SMS” tab and then the “IM settings” sub-tab Hit the “Show advanced options” button on the right Uncheck the box next to “Show when I am typing” Click the “Save” button DISABLE SKYPE WIFI If you have purchased Skype credit and are concerned about accidentally logging on to paid Skype Wifi, you can turn this feature off. In the “Tools” menu go to “Options”. Click on the “Skype Wifi” tab and then uncheck the box next to “Enable Skype Wifi”. Click the “Save” button to close the window. HIDE YOUR ONLINE STATUS If you don’t want the world to know when you’re jumping online, you can hide your Skype “presence” by changing this setting. In the “Tools” menu, select “Options”. Next, click on the “Privacy” tab. Uncheck the box next to “Allow my online status to be shown on the web”.
  35. 35. Privacy BLOCK SPAM CALLS Stop telemarketers and other time-wasters from calling your Skype account by updating this privacy settings: In the “Tools” menu, select “Options”. Next, click on the “Privacy” tab. On the right hand side, under “Allow calls from…” click on the radio button next to “people in my contacts list only”. If you only want to block an individual contact, right click on their name and select “Block This Person”. DELETE INSTANT MESSAGING HISTORY If you decided to Instant Message all your friends after attending a bachelor party, you might want to delete your IM history. Here’s how to do it: In the “Tools” menu, select “Options” and click on the “Privacy” tab. Press the “Clear history” button on the right side of the window.
  36. 36. Questions? Comments? Send us a message...