macOS Tips & Tricks

Improve iChat with Chax

Improve iChat by using the add-on Chax. Chax features include growl alerts for chat messages, conversation logging, auto-accept file transfers/AV chats/ screen sharing, and more!

iChat is a great program to begin with, over here at Tech Heavy we use it for Facebook Chat, Google Talk, AIM, and Bonjour. Be sure to check out our post on how to set up iChat with Facebook, Google, and AIM. While Apple has done a great job with iChat they did leave out a few handy features but with the addition of Chax you can have it all!

Chax is available for Mac OS X 10.6, 10.5 and 10.4 and is free but of course we highly encourage you to donate a few bucks to the developers!

Features within Chax 3.0 for Snow Leopard

  • Unified contact list shows all contacts from all accounts in one window
  • Growl notifications for new messages and users changing status
  • Automatically resize the contact list to fit the number of visible users
  • Powerful, searchable log viewer that can also browse images and URLs from past conversations
  • Activity log that displays your contacts’ status changes
  • Auto-accept file transfers, AV chats, and screen sharing requests
  • Always on top option for contact list, message windows and AV chats
  • Set font of names, status messages, and group separators
  • Option to immediately display new messages, skipping the notification window
  • Show status changes directly in the message window
  • Additional unread message notifications in the Dock
  • Automatically hide chat windows and contact lists when iChat is inactive
  • Toggle text status visibility of users
  • Properly use ICQ accounts without sending text formatting in messages

Chax installs itself within iChat and gives you an additional preference panel in the iChat preferences where you can control all of the features of Chax. An option we love in Chax is the ability to auto-accept video chat’s, which is great if you wish to use your Mac as a security camera when your not at home. Of course be aware that anyone that sends you a request to video chat would instantly be granted access as well. The best way to do the security camera method would be to create an AIM account that no one else knows about but you and enable it when you are going to be away from your computer.

Download from: Chax by ksuther

About the author


Kevin is the Founder and Senior Editor of Tech Heavy. When he isn't writing about the latest tech tools he spends his days working in an IT department in Dubuque, IA. @kevincray

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