In this section of the tutorial, I will explain all the settings available from your Chat window and how each work. The illustrated diagram above can be used to help put each description in the proper context.
Google+ Chat Settings, Functions
- Availability: As discussed previously, users can set their Chat to reflect their availability to send and receive messages. The icon in the top, left corner is your contact's availability.
- Collapse: By clicking this icon, the window will shrink along the bottom of the page. To expand the window, re-click the icon.
- Pop-Out: The pop-out feature is especially helpful for users who want to continue chatting, but need to collapse the Google+ window or the browser completely. This setting can also be of use to people with vision problems who desire larger text.
- Close: Clicking the X will close the window to your chat entirely. If you accidentally click this while in conversation, you can re-click the contact's name from the buddy list to re-open the window.
- Actions Panel: In this drop-down menu, a number of important features are housed, including:
- On the Record/Off the Record: With this feature, users can choose whether to have chat records/logs saved within their Gmail account. By clicking "Off the Record," you disable chat logging. Clicking "On the Record" again enables IMs records to be logged.
- Block a User: Need to block someone on Google Plus? By clicking this feature, you will disable any incoming IMs from that user.
- Send a File: File sharing is also included with Google+ Chat. Simply click this option, choose your file and send. Simple and an easier way to share photos, documents and more.
- Emoticons: The fun, animated emoticons of Gmail and Google Talk fame are also included for use in your G+ IMs. Click the emoticon face, select the smiley you desire with your cursor and send the message.
- Text Field: In this field, you will enter your messages. Once complete, hit "Enter" on your keyboard to send the IM.
- Message Window: Once sent, your IMs (and messages received from your contact) will appear in this window.
- Chat Invite: Similar to the Huddle feature on Google Plus for Android, users can add additional contacts to an ongoing conversation by clicking this icon. Enter the name of the user you wish to invite to chat into the field provided and send.
- Audio Chat: In addition to text-based chat, G+ users also have a number of multimedia chat options, including audio chat. Requires the Google Video/Audio Chat plugin and a microphone. Headphones are highly recommended to reduce echo.
- Video Chat: Users with a webcam connected to their computer can also enjoy video chat with Google Plus friends in Hangouts, with up to ten different people. Plugin required.