How to Use Skype Messenger

The “Messenger” feature is one of the most basic ways that you can use Skype.  Basically, it consists of you sending quick text messages back and forth with someone else who is currently using Skype. Here’s a quick rundown of how to use it:

  1. Open your Skype desktop program and log in.

  2. In the Contacts menu on the left-hand side, click on the person you want to send messages to, in order to select them.  In this example, we’re going to message Alyson, our video producer here at Techboomers.  Her status says that she is “Online”, so she will probably answer us fairly immediately if we send her a message (as opposed to Steve, as his status is set to “Away”).  A person’s name will be highlighted when they are selected.

  3. Your main window will change to show you a history of messages (and other activities) between you and the selected person, including the date and time of each action.  The lighter messages aligned to the right are from you, and the darker messages aligned to the left are from the other person (you can also tell because their picture is beside them).

    The buttons in the top-right corner let you do things like call the person, video chat with them, or add another person to the conversation.  We’ll get into how to use those in the Skype Calls and Skype Video Chat tutorials.

  4. For now, we’re just going to send a basic message.  Click inside the box at the bottom that says “Type a Message Here” and type in what you want to say to the person.  When you’re done, click the send button () or press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.

  5. Now, let’s wait for Alyson to send a message back to us.  When the other person is writing a message back to you, you will see the message “[person’s name] is typing…” at the bottom of the message list.  When they click the send button () or press the “Enter” key, their message will display on your screen.

  6. Now, let’s spice things up a bit by adding an “emoticon” to our message.  An “emoticon” is a small, sometimes animated picture that depicts a facial expression or other object to convey information, tone, mood, and so on.

    To add an emoticon to your message, click the emoticon button () to open a list of available emoticons.  When you move your mouse cursor over one, it will show you that emoticon’s animation and, at the bottom of the screen, what the emoticon represents and the shortcut that you can type in to get that emoticon (in the example here, to quickly get a “cheeky” emoticon, type in a colon followed by a “p”, like this:  “:p”).

    Click on the emoticon to add it to the message that you’re currently typing.

  7. Clicking the send other button () allows you to send things other than just text messages.  You can send:

    – a picture as a message
    – a computer file that the other person can download
    – a video message to the other person
    – information for one or more of your Skype contacts, so the other person can contact them, too

  8. When you click Photos or Send File, it opens a file explorer where you can navigate to the picture or file that you want to send, click on it to select it, and then click Open.

    If you send a picture, it will count as your message.  If you send a file, though, the other person has to accept it, and then it will be transferred to their computer.

  9. If you click Send Video Message, a new screen will come up where you can see yourself in your webcam.  Click the record button () to start recording your message, and then click it again to stop (or it will stop automatically after 3 minutes).

    Once you’re done recording, you can click the play button () that will appear at the bottom of the video to review it.  If you’re okay with it, click the send video message button ().  Otherwise, click the cancel button () to re-record the message, or stop sending it altogether.

  10. If you click Send Contacts, a pop-up list of your contacts will appear.  Click the check boxes next to the contacts that you want to send to the other person, in order to mark them.  Then, click the Send Contacts button.

And that’s pretty much everything that you can do using Skype Messenger!