Be a Messages App Keyboard Wizard – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 9Be a Messages App Keyboard Wizard

Because the Messages app is all about typing and because reaching for the mouse or trackpad can be a distraction, keyboard shortcuts are essential. Here are some of the more useful:




Set your status as available (A), invisible (I), away (W), or offline (O).


Show buddies list.


Move between conversations listed on the left of the Messages window (if two or more conversations are listed).


Cycle through things you’ve already typed and sent—useful if you need to repeat something said earlier in the conversation. Hit Return to resend the message.


Show the entry within Contacts of the person you’re chatting to; if they have no entry within your address book, you’ll instantly create a new one.


Show profile details of the person you’re chatting to, and set audio alerts/bounce the Messages icon in the Dock/run an AppleScript when they perform various actions, such as come online or send you a message.


Compose a new email to the individual in Mail, provided an email address is associated with the individual’s IM chat account.


Show a list of recent and ongoing file transfers (to transfer a file, drag and drop it onto the conversation within the Messages window, or hit Option+Command+F to open a dialog box where you can select a file).


Add a timestamp to the conversation, similar to that which appears when you initially go online and start chatting with somebody—useful if you want to record when something was said.


Permanently delete conversation—cannot be undone.


Open video effects window so you can apply special effects to any video conversation (click the camera icon at the top right of the chat window to start video conversation; note that Messages doesn’t support video calls on all chat protocols).