Automatically set in-conference status in Leopard’s iChat

Rob Griffiths
9 March, 2009
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One of the nicer features in the OS X 10.5 version of iChat is its ability to run AppleScripts based on certain events occurring. If you’re an AppleScript wizard, you can use this feature to make iChat do all sorts of interesting things—I’ve previously covered using three Apple-bundled AppleScripts to automatically accept (or decline) chat requests and to control iTunes.

Today, I’ll show you how to use four additional AppleScripts that automatically set your iChat status message when you’re in an audio or video chat. These scripts are courtesy of reader Micahel Potvin; I’ve chosen to use them here because they’re fairly simple and yet demonstrate some of what you can do with iChat’s AppleScript support. They can also be easily customised to your liking by changing the provided status message lines.

The first thing you need to do is create the following four AppleScripts. Open Script Editor, in Applications -> Utilities, and copy and paste the following code snippets, saving each one to your user’s Library -> Scripts -> iChat folder. (Create this folder if necessary.) In Script Editor’s Save dialog, leave the File Format pop-up set to Script, and you can ignore the other options shown there. Name each file as you wish; I’ve suggested some file names in the first (commented) line of each piece of code.

-- filename: join_videochatusing terms from application "iChat"    on received video invitation theText from theBuddy for theChat        set status to away        set status message to "In conference"    end received video invitationend using terms from-- filename: join_audiochatusing terms from application "iChat"    on received audio invitation theText from theBuddy for theChat      set status to away      set status message to "In conference"    end received audio invitationend using terms from
-- filename: avchat_startedusing terms from application "iChat"    on av chat started      set status to away      set status message to "In Conference . . ."    end av chat startedend using terms from
-- filename: avchat_endedusing terms from application "iChat"    on av chat ended      set status to available      set status message to "Available . . ."    end av chat endedend using terms from

Once you’ve created all four scripts, switch to iChat, open its preferences, and click on the Alerts tab. You need to tell iChat to run your new scripts based on four unique events occurring. Set the Event pop-up as specified below, check the Run AppleScript box, and then click the pop-up menu next to the Run AppleScript box. In the pop-up menu, you’ll see the four scripts you just created, along with the three provided by Apple. Associate each script with an Event, like this:

  • Event: Audio Invitation | Run AppleScript join_audiochat.scpt
  • Event: Video Invitation | Run AppleScript join_videochat.scpt
  • Event: A/V Chat Started | Run AppleScript avchat_started.scpt
  • Event: A/V Chat Ended | Run AppleScript avchat_ended.scpt

From now on, whenever you join an audio or video chat, your status will be set to Away, and your status message will be changed to In conference, or whatever text you choose to use in the scripts. When you exit the chat, your status (and your status message) will revert to Available.

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