Adium is a fantastic multi client IM program that is built from the libpurble core, which is the same core that Pidgin is built off of. As with most things Mac, Adium is pretty then most IM clients.

Note: This article assumes that you’re a recent switcher from Windows to OS X and aren’t quite familiar with the territory yet.

Getting Started

After downloading Adium and mounting the .dmg you install by dragging the icon to you applications folder.

Open Adium for the first time you will be presented with the introduction and information about importing from other chat programs. For now lets start from scratch. Click Continue.

Now you will be asked to choose your protocol that you want to use. For this example we will use AOL Instant Messenger.

protocol list

Enter you witty and/or creative Screen Name and you password, at this point you can click on Add Another to add another chat protocol and user name, or even more AIM names.

account info

This page give you a little run down of options you have as well as telling you about the Xtras that are available.

setup complete

If you’ve just created a new account, you will be presented with a blank buddy list, however if you are using a preexisting username you will see you buddies here.

blank buddylist

Adding a buddy or contact is simple, just click on the Contact menu and then click Add Contact. Alterenitivly you can use the key command of command + D to bring up the Add Contact window.

add contact

In the Add Contact window you can choose the protocol you are using though Contact type as well as add an alias for them incase their user name is too witty for you to remember its your mother, or something like that. You can also sort them though the groups you would like to keep them in as well as choosing which account to add them too.

add contact info

As you would think, double click on you contacts name to start a chat with them. The basic lay out is nice, simple and clean.

Digging Deeper

One of the wonderful features that Adium has over iChat and even Pidgin which it shares the same code core with, is the customization of just about everything. The Buddy list has several built in style which can be edited.

prefs pane

This look can be done by changing the Color Theme and List Layout to Decay 2.0, in the Customize… settings of List Layout showing the idle and status besides the name and then under the spacing tab, turning everything to 0px. Then we go back in the Appearance pane turning the Opacity down to 0%. You can change the fonts to be read on what ever background you are currently using and pretty much have your buddy list blend into you background.

The message window can be similarly customized by selecting the Gone Dark Message Style, the variant of you choice and making the custom background opaque to you liking.

message upload

One of the cool features of the Adium Xtras website is that if you find something you like you can install it straight from the webpage.

app install

The Douglas Adams Quotes script is pretty cool, If you type /adams into a chat and press enter…

transparent chat

You get a quote from one of the greatest Science Fiction / Humor authors.

The community for Adium is well established and knows what they are doing with the application, they also have fun with what they do. There are so many options with this client from Twitter to Facebook chat. The most popular chat protocols all here in one nicely built package.


Download Adium