Instant messaging with Windows Live Messenger

To send an instant message to an available contact with Windows Live Messenger, position the mouse pointer over his or her name in the program window (displayed under the appropriate category). Then click the Send an Instant Message option on the menu that pops up to the side of the contact's display name.

Windows Live Messenger then opens a separate message window (similar to the one shown in Figure 8-3) containing the contact's name in the title bar and with the contact's display image shown at the top. At the bottom of this window, you find your display image next to a text box where you type the lines of message text you want to send to your contact. To send a line of text you've type to that person, simply press the Enter key. The moment you do, Windows Live Messenger displays your new line of text both in your message window as well as in the contact's message window.

If you want to save the conversation for future reference, click the Show Menu button to the right of the message window's toolbar and then choose Save from the drop-down menu. Windows then displays an alert dialog box letting you know that the conversation will be saved in Microsoft's Rich Text format (.rtf). After you click OK, the program displays a Save As dialog box, where you select the filename and folder in which to save the file.

When you finish conversing with your contact, you can end the instant message session by clicking the Close button in the upper-right of the message window.

Movie Maker

You can use the Windows Live Movie Maker program to capture video and audio clips, which you can then edit and arrange into your very own movies. You can play these movie files on your computer or distribute them to family, friends, and colleagues by e-mail so that they can play them on their computers.

Launch Movie Maker by choosing StartOAll ProgramsOWindows LiveOWindows Live Movie Maker. Windows opens the Movie Maker window, similar to the one shown in Figure 8-4 (except that yours doesn't have any content in it).

Play button

Preview area

Collection area

Play button

Preview area

Collection area

The Windows Live Movie Maker window is divided into two sections:

✓ Collections area on the right side which shows thumbnails of the various still graphic images, video clips, and audio clips you add in the order in which they play in the final movie.

✓ Preview area, which displays whatever video image or clip is selected in the Collections area. You can also use this area to preview the movie that you're putting together by clicking the first thumbnail in the Collections area and then clicking the Play button located to the left of the slider under the Preview window.

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