How to see who is online in the Outlook toolbar     

One of the great side-benefits of Instant Messaging and VoIP applications like Skype is that they let you see which of your friends and associates are currently online.

The following steps show you how you can make this information more conveniently visible, by showing which of your Skype contacts is currently online, in the Outlook toolbar. (These steps assume you have Outlook and Skype installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

2. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

3. You will notice that Outlook contains an additional toolbar, which contains buttons similar to these:
Skype contacts in the Outlook toolbar

4. By default, the toolbar shows online contacts first, then contacts who are away, not available, then other contacts. (Offline contacts are not shown, unless their corresponding Outlook contact is selected in Outlook). If there are more than four contacts, the extras are shown in the “more” menu (shown as “5 more” above, meaning there are 5 more contacts).

5. To change the order in which contacts are shown, and to configure the toolbar to show more contacts, click the “Options” button in the Skylook toolbar:
Options

Then choose the “Toolbar” tab:
Online Skype contact options

Select your favourite contacts and add them to the “Show these contacts first” list. Alter the “Show X contact presence buttons in the toolbar” to the number of contacts you want to show. To make more room on the toolbar, you can check either or both of the “Hide Captions” checkboxes.

6. After you click OK, the Skylook toolbar will adjust itself so that the people you selected are shown first, if they are online.

7. The presence buttons in the toolbar have dropdown menu options attached to them that you can use to perform various tasks:
Presence menu options

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at skylook@skylook.biz for assistance.

How to keep your Outlook contacts synchronized with your Skype contacts     

The steps below show you how to link your Outlook contacts to Skype contacts, and how to keep their details (e.g. phone numbers) synchronized.  You are also shown how to import your Skype contacts into Outlook if you do not already have Outlook contacts set up for them. (These steps assume you have Outlook and Skype installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

2. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Step through the wizard until you see this page:
Synchnronize Outlook and Skype contacts

Click the “Next” button.

(NOTE: If you are not running Skylook for the first time, the welcome wizard will not be displayed. Instead, choose “Tools > SkySync” from the Skylook toolbar:
Menu option to synchronize Skype and Outlook contacts
).

3. Skylook will examine your Outlook and Skype contacts, then display this wizard page:
Synchronize Skype and Outlook Contact Wizard

The page shows you how many Outlook contacts you have, and how many have already been linked to Skype contacts (only relevant if you are not doing this for the first time). It also shows you how many of your Skype Contacts look as though they match one of your Outlook contacts (this match is done on the contact’s full name and phone numbers) – later in the wizard you will get a chance to see these matches and alter them if they are incorrect.

4. Click “Next” and Skylook will search the global Skype network to see which of your Outlook contacts use Skype. This is done because you may have Outlook contacts that you have not yet added to your Skype contact list. (Note: this uses the email addresses stored on your Outlook contacts, and so will only work for the contacts who have entered their email address(es) into their Skype profile). Once the search is complete, this page is displayed:
Matching Outlook Contacts to Skype Contacts in the global Skype network

Click the “Next” button to proceed.

5. This page is displayed:
Update Outlook contact details from Skype

Leave the default options in place and click the “Next” button.

6. A page is displayed that shows you the recommendations that Skylook has come up with. You can make changes to these by clicking the individual rows, and clicking the buttons at the bottom of the page (“Link/Unlink”, “Update/Don’t Update”). Unlike the other wizard pages, this one can be resized to give you more room to work if you have a lot of contacts.
Review Synchronization Recommendations

Once you are happy with the changes, click “Next”.

7. This page will be displayed:
Synchronization Summary

Click “Next” to proceed.

8. This page will be displayed:
Import Skype Contacts into Outlook

9. Click the “Next” button to have Skylook create an Outlook contact for each of your remaining unlinked Skype contacts. Once this is complete, you will see this page:
Synchronization of Outlook and Skype contacts complete

10. Click “Finish” and the wizard will close. Review your updated contacts in Outlook.

11. To manually link or unlink an Outlook contact to or from a Skype contact, first choose the contact within Outlook:
Select contact in Outlook

then click the contact’s menu button and choose either the “Link” or the “Unlink” menu item::
Link Skype contact to Outlook contact - manual

12. To keep your contacts synchronized, rerun the wizard periodically by selecting “Tools > SkySync” from the Skylook toolbar:
Menu option to synchronize Skype and Outlook contacts

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at skylook@skylook.biz for assistance.

How to receive SMS or phone alerts when important contacts come online     

Have you ever wanted to talk to someone urgently but been unable to contact them? If so, when that person finally “surfaced” again, you would probably have appreciated a way of knowing (rather than having to continually try to reach them, or rely on them hearing/reading a message from you and getting back to you).

The following steps give you a way of doing this: you tell your PC who you want to contact, and your PC alerts you via SMS or phone when they come online on Skype. For phone alerts you can press a button on your phone to immediately call the person back, via Skype. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

(You’ll also need some contacts in order to complete the steps below. Search for someone you know on Skype, or introduce a friend to Skype. Alternatively, Skylook will tell you which of your Outlook contacts uses Skype if you choose to run the “SkySync” option in the Welcome wizard).

2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

4. Click the “Alerts>Advanced Alerts…” button in the Skylook toolbar:
Advanced Alerts Menu

5. Choose “When a Contact comes on-line” from the list of options, then click “Next”:
Alert when Contact comes online

6. Select the contact or contacts you are interested in:
Online contacts to send alerts for

7. Fill out this wizard page as shown (using your phone number instead of the one shown):
On-line alert phone number

8. Fill out the next wizard page as shown:
On-line alert audio

9. Accept the default settings in the next page:
On-line alert timing

10. Enter a name for the alert, then click “Finish”:
On-line alert description

11. Note: Skype is free for PC to PC calls, but to call traditional phones there is a fee. It’s cheap, but not free! You will need to purchase some Skype Credit in order to receive alerts to your phone. You can buy Skype Credit here. If you’re doing this for the first time, just buy the minimum amount so you can give it a try without too much of an outlay. (Please note that there are exceptions – sometimes Skype runs promotional offers that allow you to call phones for free).

12. To test the alert, set your Skype status to “Away” by clicking the bottom left hand corner of the Skype application as shown below, so that Skylook thinks you are away from your PC:
Switch to Away Status

13. Soon after the contact you chose next comes online, the phone number you entered should ring. Answer the call – you will be told that the contact is now online. (NOTE: You will also have the option to call the Skype contact back, by pressing “1″ on your phone).

14. If you did not receive a phone call, check the Outlook inbox. If Skylook had problems calling your phone (e.g. if the number is invalid), the details of the problem are placed in a new inbox item for you to review.

15. Once you’ve finished trying this, don’t forget to set your Skype status back to “Online”. By default, Skype switches your status to “Away” automatically if your computer is left idle for more than five minutes. (Note: You may wonder what happens with contacts that come on-line during the five minute gap – don’t worry, Skylook alerts you of these also, as soon as Skype switches your status to “Away”).

If you have any problems getting this to work, contact us for assistance.