Friday, 1 August 2008

Spice up you Gtalk

Here are some little known/ unknown tricks for all you Gtalk users out there. You'd know many of them, but there are lots more that you don't too..


Text Formatting:
1) Bold: Enclosing text within asterisks (*) makes it appear in bold face.
So the next time, try *GTH !!* instead!
2) Italics: Enclosing text with underscores(_) italicizes the text.
Ergo '_Abbey sale_' would be easier to comprehend than just 'Abbey sale'!

Shortcuts:
Here is a list of really handy shortcuts.
  • Windows + ESC: Open Google Talk (if it's minimized, or in the tray)
  • ALT + ESC: Minimize the current window
  • ESC: Close the current window
  • TAB: Switch between multiple chat windows
  • CTRL + I: Same as TAB
  • SHIFT + TAB: Same as TAB but in reverse order
  • CTRL + TAB: Same as SHIFT + TAB
  • CTRL + Mousewheel up/down: Change the font-size in the typing window
  • F9: Open Gmail to send an email to your friend
  • F11: Start a call with your friend
  • F12: Stop the current call
Mozilla firefox addon:
In case you'd prefer to chat from your browser (read Firefox) itself (because you are either too lazy to login into gmail just to chat or you cant install Gtalk on your office computer) then grag the gTalk Sidebar addon. This nifty little fellow launches as a sidebar (by pressing Alt+g) in the browser window itself and lets you chat conveniently (and clandestinely). Shortcuts for the chat window tabs are the same as those of Firefox. Having Google Toolbar makes signing in that much more hassle free.

Themes:
There are a number of themes and addons available out there. Mytheme is the one that I use and really love using! It lets you change the chat window background and has got tons of really cute and adorable smileys.[Don't forget to check out all possible smileys listed in the help file]
Extended Talk is another addon worth trying. It offers a wide gamut of features as compared to Mytheme. Worth a specific mention is the (independent) control of chat and main window transparency(of course, at the cost of higher CPU usage) which dilly dalliers in office will find really handy.

Winamp 5.5 'Now Playing' hack:
In case you do use Winamp 5.5x and find that Google Talk hangs every time you set your status to 'Show current music track', then there is an easy fix. It has been reported as a bug and an easy fix has also been suggested. Just go to your winamp installation folder (C:\Program Files\Winamp\ by default) and create a file named "winamp.m3u" (For nubes: Create a new text document and rename it). Restart Gtalk and lo and behold.. You're ready to sport your current track!

If there is more you want to know from me, just drop me a comment. And in case you are hungry for more, I suggest you look up the Google Talk Fan Site.

8 comments:

evilsense said...

Ok, I will take this as an opportunity to flame GTalk which makes it *dumb* _useless_ to me :

1. I need a client which can log me into yahoo, google, and IRC channels(ok, forget this if you dont use it). It is ridiculous to assume that all your present and future friends use Google service only.
It cant log you into multiple accounts. That is so insane!!! Ok, atleast I know that many people use yahoo messenger, and I hate to have multiple messengers... Lucky for you if you don't have buddies who use different services...

- In short : Not a good chat program if it serves only your *elite* google users ...

2. Shortcuts don't make any sense if you cant modify them. Hope you can, I have not really checked it.

3. Glad to see _underlineme_ getting italicised... oh yea, it is Google Talk specific, huh

4. Has no linux client... oh yea, may be the developers assumed that linux is good only for them to run their services and not their chat programs... forget it, we don't need it anyway...

Well, seems they are good themes, afaik better integrated to google services...

Anyway, Gtalk is not for me...

vk said...

@evilsense:
1) I dont have any friend who uses yahoo msngr(AND NOT gtalk)... Yahoo as I've see is for only oldies and I really mean it. For that matter, with how many of your friends do you really chat using their yahoo account? So google talk does not support any protocol matter other than jabber, but then WHERE IS THE NEED!!?

[In short a * A Great chat program* to cater to *my needs*] :-P

(And in case you wanted to log into multiple google accounts, well.. you can by using "googletalk /nomutex" )

2) Changing shortcuts doesnt make sense if the assigned shortcuts are convenient

3) Duh!

4) Yeah true.. Google talk does not support Linux, but are you not forgetting something here? I didn't claim that Gtalk was the best IM client out there.. I just suggested ways to spruce it up a bit. So incase you're more than happy using pidgin or whatsoever, pl continue doing so... I have no problems :-P

evilsense said...

@vk:
1. All my school friends use yahoo messenger regularly and have discussions there. [ I dont think yahoo messenger is great, it misses the same point like Gtalk... but as a fact note that messenger takes less bw while chatting and has better smileys]

It is ridiculous for me to convert them all, my purpose of a chat program is to communicate with them and not lure them to help Google make profit.

I will wait till you make more friends who use other non-Google services.

lolz@ multiple google

2. You didnt get the point.

ANY shortcut is convenient after you get used to it. So, those shortcuts are not a problem to me, if I use shortcuts only in Gtalk / started with Gtalk.

I use shortcuts for everything, moving windows, maximising, in my editor(vim), the whole computing is fast because of shortcuts. So there are reasons why certain key-strokes are good to me( coz I am used to it)

This does not apply to just me, but many people who are used to some style using certain key strokes ( like photoshop etc)

As a matter of fact, I would like to launch Gtalk with win + G, and I hate to use Fs ( thats because I am used to certain bindings I set in wmii)

If above doesnot satisfy you, then wait for some application ( need not be chat) which uses:
win + Esc to close the program.

I pointed out a general statement which people do normally [ You can change every possible action in your konqueror, that made you tweak it like Windows Explorer ]

@I have no problems...

Obviously dude... It works great for you, I get that when I read your post... I made above points for why *I* hate programs like Gtalk, they simply doesn't fit my needs... and for that matter, many others...

Gtalk is just their product to promote their services, their clients interests(you)... not a good generic chat program I am after ...

VK said...

The debate could go on and on.. But since you are happy and so am I, I'd better leave this here...

Logik said...

Yeah. that winamp bug was one of the best.. I was so impressed with that soln.. Especially since Winamp 5.5 is the best music player out there. [ waiting for sagar to jump on amarok, or some xine thingy, or mplayer blah blah]...

I wouldn't use any of those shortcuts.. but in case I wanted to, now i know a place where i can find them in one place..
cheers.

vk said...

@Logik
Winamp fix? I did'nt know it was a Gtalk bug unitl I googled for it and found this neat piece of hack on one of thier discussion threads..

More than any other shortcut, you'll definitely find the Win+Esc handy to launch Gtalk from the system tray..

Nithin "Kitta" Shenoy said...

The 'now playing' tweak really helped. And the 'Win + Esc' thing.

P.S: Evil Sense simply hates Gtalk. Doesnt he? :) His comments have actually far surpassed the size of the actual post.

Nitesh said...

Hey Thanks vinayak...that gtalk status msg thing really hepld.
have a nice time...