Sunday, March 2, 2008

Understanding View Menu

The View menu displays which components of Skype’s interface are visible on your screen. Those that are visible appear with a check mark next to them. You can change the setting by selecting the item from the menu. Selecting a checked item in the menu makes the check mark disappear and causes the respective item in Skype to disappear. If you select an unchecked item in the menu, a check mark appears — and the corresponding item appears.

Wisely, the Skype installation defaults make the toolbar, addressbar, and statusbar all visible (checked). You can remove these elements from view if you want, but why make life more confusing?
  • View Toolbar The toolbar makes it easy to add and search for contacts, conveniently call ordinary phones and set up conference calls, start a text chat or send a short SMS message, send files from your computer to fellow skypers, and look up the profile of one of your contacts or people you are about to call.
  • View Addressbar The addressbar is the location where you can type in a Skype contact name, a regular phone number, or even an Outlook contact name if you have Outlook running. You can find out more about your Outlook contacts later in this section. If you have History Quickfiltering turned on, you need enter only a portion of the name or phone number. Those contacts or phone numbers with portions of text that match your entry are filtered and displayed. This handy feature enables you to locate your contacts easily and quickly.
  • View Status bar The left side of your statusbar shows your current online status. When you click the status icon, a context menu pops up and allows you to change the status from the available options. These options are spelled out a little later. While you’re on a call, the statusbar displays the name of whom you are speaking to. If you’re on a conference call, the statusbar displays that fact. The right side of the statusbar displays how many skypers are online.
  • View Dial Use the Skype Dial tab to assist you in making calls to ordinary phones. This facility is especially useful in placing international calls. Three quick steps are involved:
    • Click the flag symbol or country name to which you are placing a call. This action sets the appropriate country or region code.
    • Enter the local number along with area code.
    • Click the green call button to place the call. There is also a link for calling rates. If you are calling a place of business, you may be prompted to click certain keys such as the pound (#) or star (*) key, or an extension number. Click the dial pad keys as appropriate.

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