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How to Chat and Add Contacts with Jabber for Mac

Add contacts

Existing contact lists are not automatically imported into Jabber on your desktop or laptop.

  1. From the Jabber application menu, click Contacts > New Contact. The New Contact window opens.

    add new contact
  2. Type a name in the Enter an IM account field. Jabber searches for potential matches.

    Type a name
  3. Click the desired contact name from the search results.
  4. Enter a display name (optional), or add the contact name to a group (optional). Then click Add. The name displays on your contact list.

    Click Add

Start a chat

  • To start a chat, click Contacts in the hub window and then double-click a contact name. You can also search by name, click the contact name, and then click Start Chat.

    Start chat screen

Start a group chat

  1. To invite everyone in a Contacts list group to a chat, hover over the group name and then click the Group Chat icon.

    click group chat icon to invite everyone in the group to chat
  2. The Invite to Chat window opens. In the Topic field, enter the subject of the chat and then click Invite.

    invite the contact group to the chat
  3. To add participants individually, begin your chat with the first participant, then click the add participant button in the lower right-hand corner. In the Invite to Chat window, search for the next participant by name and click Invite. Add the remaining participants in the same way. The group chat ends when all participants leave.

    add individuals to the group chat

Chat with people outside of your Stanford affiliation or outside of Stanford

Did you know that you can use Jabber to talk to people outside of your organization? This means that Stanford University employees can communicate with employees from Stanford Health Care and vice versa, and that anyone at Stanford can also communicate with people who chat with an XMPP service. 


  • You cannot use Jabber to chat with people who use Google, Yahoo, or AIM chat services. These services are not XMPP.
  • Do not attempt to search for someone from another affiliation by using the Search feature within Jabber. The Search feature only works for searches within an affiliation at Stanford, i.e., Stanford University employees searching for other Stanford University employees, or Stanford Health Care employees searching for other SHC employees.
  • If you are chatting with someone who has a different affiliation at Stanford or who is outside of Stanford, you are not able to see that person's availability status until you add them as a contact and they accept your authorization request.
  • If you are an employee from Stanford University and you receive a contact request from someone at SHC, you will only see their SID number instead of their full name. To see their name in future chats, you must add them as a contact and change their display name. 

Begin the chat

  1. Open Jabber. From the Jabber menu bar, click Contacts > New Contact

    Mac new contact menu
  2. Enter the following in the box Enter an IM account or type to search for people:
    • If you are a University employee adding a contact from Stanford Health Care, enter their
    • If you are an SHC employee adding a contact from the University, enter their SUNet
    • If you are adding a contact outside of Stanford and you are sure they use an XMPP service, enter their email address, e.g.,
  3. Add a display name, add the person to a group, and then click Add

    Create contact on Mac
Last modified June 15, 2017