To use Free Chat, all you need is any web browser. (No Java, or even graphical browser, is needed!)
Simply log in from the entry page. Enter your name or an alias and (optional) e-mail address, then click the "Enter Chat" button.
If you're using a browser capable of "frames" (like Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer), and you'd like to participate in chat through frames (which has the advantage of letting you watch the chat as it happens without requiring that you refresh the screen manually), be sure the "Use Frames" checkbox is clicked. (Note: you won't be missing anything if you don't use frames, and you can switch back and forth at any time during chat!)
Free Chat, as seen in Netscape 3.0:
Close-up of the chat control panel:
Once within chat, you can enter a message and "Send" it out. Anyone else within the chat room will be able to read your message.
How Do I Send A "Private" Message?To send a private message to another user, simply select their name from the pull-down menu next to your chat input field. Only that person will be able to see the message.
Private messages appear in italics...
How Do I Make Those Happy Faces?The faces that appear in people's messages (like ) are made by simply typing out a face.
If you're familiar with ASCII faces, you'll recognize some of these:
:) =^( >:-P. If you tilt your head to the left, you'll see the faces.
Free Chat understands these, and has a multitude of different faces that will appear in place of the ASCII faces!
How Do I Make Links to Other Pages?To place a link to another website inside your message, simply type the address (including "
http://") of the website. It will automatically appear as a hotlink to the address, so everyone else in chat can simply click what you typed to go there!
Note - If you want to write more message after the address, there must be a space (" ") after the address, otherwise some of your message or punctuation will be confused for part of the address... (ie, don't type: "
See http://company.com...it's cool", because the "
...it's" will be mistaken for part of the address!)
To find out who else is there, click "Who's Here." You'll see each user's name and e-mail address, what time they entered chat, and what time their last activity was (the last time they sent a message or refreshed their screen).
If you're using the Frames mode of Free Chat, the bottom part of the screen, where the messages appear, will automatically refresh a few times per minute.
If you're impatient, or you're not using Frames mode, and want to see what else people have said since you last sent a message, simply click "Refresh."
When you are done chatting, please be polite and remember to click the "Leave" button. Everyone else will be informed that you left, and you're name will be removed from the private message pull-down menu and the "Who's Here?" page. (If you don't do anything for over 3 minutes, you are automatically remove.)
If you're interested in setting up Free Chat on your own website, please visit the Free Chat Website!