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Skype for Business instant messaging (IM) is an efficient way to connect with your contacts in real time and on a moment’s notice. Less formal than email, faster than a phone call—IM is tough to beat for speed and ease of use. You can send an instant message from anywhere in Skype for Business where you see a contact. Just check that the person's presence indicator is green first. This indicates that they are available.

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Start an IM conversation

  1. To find the person you want to send an instant message to, do one of the following:

    • Hover over their picture in the Contacts list, and click the IM button.

      Quick IM button

    • Double-click anywhere on their contact listing.

    • Right-click their listing, and select Send an IM.

    Note:  If a Skype user is not in your Contacts list, you will need to add them as a contact. The Skype user will then have to accept your request before you can send them an IM. For more information, see Add a contact in Skype for Business.

  2. Type your message at bottom of the conversation window.

  3. (Optional) To send a file or an image, do one of the following:

    • Drag and drop a saved file into the text input area.

    • Copy and paste a saved file or any image from an Office program into the text input area.

    • Press PrtScn on your keyboard to capture an image directly from your screen, and then paste it into the text input area.

  4. (Optional) To add an emoticon, change the font, or mark the message as Important, do any of the following:

    • Add an emoticon by clicking the Emoticon icon and then clicking the emoticon you want to add.

    • Change the font or font size by clicking the More options (ellipsis) button.

    • Mark your message as high-priority by clicking the Importance icon.

    • Send a file by clicking the paperclip and browsing to the file you want to send.

  5. Press Enter on your keyboard to send the message.

  6. (Optional) Add other people to the conversation by dragging their contact listing from your Contacts list into the conversation window.

Send an instant message to several people at once

To start an IM conversation with more than one of your contacts, do the following:

Note:  To send to an entire contact group, see the next section.

  • Press and hold the Shift key for multiple adjacent contacts or the Ctrl key for multiple nonadjacent contacts while you click the listing for each person. Then, right-click and select Send an IM, type your message at the bottom of the conversation window, and press Enter. Your message will go to all the people you’ve selected.

Send an instant message to a group

  • Right-click the group name in your Contacts list, click Send an IM, type your message, and then press Enter. Your message will go to all group members.

Respond to an incoming message alert

When someone starts a new IM conversation with you, an alert pops up on your screen. Do one of the following:

  • To see the message, click anywhere on the toast notification.

  • To write back, type in the text input area, and then press Enter on your keyboard.

  • To reject the message, click Ignore. The message goes to your Outlook inbox, if you use Outlook.

Add a contact in Skype for Business

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