Chat With Pidgin, A Free Multifunctional Instant Messenger

PidginPidgin is a multifunctional instant messenger that makes it able to chat with people on MSN, ICQ, Google Talk, IRC or Yahoo. Pidgin is fast, with no advertising and works on multiple networks. You can log into multiple accounts with Pidgin, so you can use simultaneously different networks to chat with friends. When you login it is possible to set, like other messenger programs, if you want to appear offline or invisible to others.

With Pidgin you can transfer files, insert smileys, set images and absence message, see when the person you are chatting with is typing a message and much more. All basic functions of a full instant messaging are available. Some extra features such as video and voice chat are in Pidgin only for some protocols like XMPP and Gmail web client.

Pidgin chat window

Pidgin is an Open Source software which are developed by volunteers and is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Anyone can adjust and use the program for free. Pidgin works on Windows, Linux, BSD and Mac, it’s free and stable. It has a long list of chat protocols:
MSN
AIM
ICQ
Jabber
Google Talk
Gadu-Gadu
GroupWise
IRC
MySpaceIM
Yahoo!
Zephyr
Lotus Sametime
QQ
SIP
SILC
SIMPLE
Sametime
XMPP
Bonjour

In this program you can enter your username and password for each account, so you can chat simultaneously through several systems. You can also see on the screen if you are using Yahoo, MSN, IRC, ICQ or Google talk.

Interface Pidgin

Pidgins user interface consists two major parts:

  • Buddy list. This allows you to group friends, remove unwanted friends from chat without going offline, set your status, group the same buddy from different protocols like IRC, Yahoo and Gtalk.
  • Conversations. You can chat with friend in the same window using tabs or for every friend a separate window.

How to install plugins in pidgin

Pidgin has many plugins for other messengers such as Facebook IM, Skype IM and NetNexus. Also a nice plugins is Text Replacement which convert short codes. For example you type How r u and b4  will convert to How are you and before. This makes it possible to use short words but you friends will see the full words. Some of the plugins comes with Pidgin, so you don’t need to download or install anything. Only you have to enable it, you can do that in Tools –> Plugins. Other plugins you have to install, some of them are ZIP files with inside a DLL file. This file you can copy to the plugin folder of Pidgin. Standard it is located in C:\Program Files\Pidgin\plugins. Some other files need to insert in C:\Program Files\Pidgin. There are also plugins which comes with a Windows installer, each plugin has documentation with installation instructions.
Pidgin plugin
Nowadays is the use of microphones, headphones and webcams very popular. Unfortunately Pidgin supports no audio and video conferences and that’s a big disadvantage.  But this is for the real chatters no problem. Moreover, the development of these opportunities are already planned. Pidgin is a free to use Open Source software which is useful for many different instant messengers at the same time, it works on different platforms; Windows, Mac and Linux and is available in multiple languages.

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