Installing and Using Skype - Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Installing and Using Skype - Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Installing and Using

Step 1.

Setting up your equipment (2)

Step 2.

Install Skype at


Step 3.

Create a Skype account (4-6)



Creating a Skype name

Privacy – name recognition on Facebook/other online directories

Step 4.

Check your equipment (7-8)



Test speakers, microphone and webcam

Make a test call

Step 5.

Menus/Settings (9-13)




Open Skype

/Skype icon

Features on the Skype menu bar

Settings –



Step 6.

Contacts (14-22)





Find and add contacts

Accepting a new contact

Creating a group of contacts to call several people at once

Categorizing contacts

Step 7.

Making and receiving calls (23-31)









Place a call to an individual

Receiving/ending a call or IM

Troubleshooting during a call

Conferencing in another person to a call in progress

Calling a group of people

Video conferencing

Calling a landline or cell phone (

toll call


Missed calls/Leaving messages

Step 8.

Troubleshooting (32-38)




What to do if sound/video doesn’t work – Skype set up

What to do if sound/video doesn’t work – computer set up

Blocking Skype on your Facebook account


Step 1. Set up your equipment


– instructions come with the package. Plug the jacks into the appropriate outlet on your computer or laptop. If you have a desktop computer with a tower, the jacks will need to be plugged into the back of the tower. Match the symbols on the jack (a headset or microphone) to the appropriate plug. The jacks are usually color coded.


– If you’re using a USB Skype phone, download the software and follow the instructions on setting up a Skype account that come with the phone

Webcams/USB Speaker

– Each regional office and headquarters has a webcam and speaker for meetings. Insert the CD-Rom to install the software and speaker and/or webcam on the computer you’ll use most often.

Step 2. Install Skype

Start at

and click the button.

You may get a message that a pop up has been blocked. If so, click on the yellow bar to temporarily allow pop ups. Next, you may get a security warning before the software is installed. Click “Run” to start the Skype setup wizard:

Now you’re ready to start – click “I agree – install” to start downloading Skype software:


**During the installation process, you’ll be asked if you want it install a Google toolbar.

Bob Williams says these toolbars just cause problems, so uncheck the box before clicking


Once the wizard is finished – click on the button.


Step 3. Create a Skype account

After you hit the button, you’ll be prompted to create a Skype account.

Enter your name

(see the next section for controlling Skype’s Name Recognition


, and create a Skype name and password. A Skype name is analogous to an email address – you can create any name you like, as long as no one else using Skype has claimed it. If you are too creative though, it may be difficult for people who would like to add you to their contact lists to find you. Keep it simple, for example: jeanne.mahoney or jeanne.mahoney.ATC:

After creating a Skype name and password, click “Next” and enter your work email, the city you’re based in, and then the “Sign in” button:


Once you’ve created a Skype name – add it to your email signature:


Skype now has name recognition, which means the name you entered when you created your Skype account. . .

. . .will show up online in webmail, social networking sites like Facebook and some online directories


the name you entered when you created your Skype account exactly matches the name on Facebook or other website. For example, Facebook will display a

Skype icon on your page:


Once you have created a Skype account, the name recognition feature could add a Skype icon all sorts of places where your name shows up in internet directories. Links show up in the A.T. database:

Blocking the name recognition feature is easy

. If you don’t want your Skype account to be displayed on your Facebook page, or any other website, change the name you entered on your Skype account. Click on the “Skype” dropdown menu, and choose “Profile” and then “Edit Your Profile.”

In the “Full name” field, add your middle initial, middle name, just your first initial, etc.

You can enter any name you’d like here.


Step 4. Check your equipment


When you’ve finished setting up your account, you’ll see a screen that will give you a

Skype overview, help you find people using Skype, and

test your equipment

. Click the

“Check your sound” button:

You’ll be walked through the process of testing your speakers, microphone and (if you have one) webcam. Once you click on the white button that says “Test speakers” follow the instructions on your screen:


If you want more information about speakers, microphones or webcams – click on the appropriate hyperlink:


After you’ve completed the set up, first click on the

“Echo / Sound Test Service” button and finally the green “Call” button:

button, then the

Listen to the announcement, and when prompted, start speaking. Skype will record and play back your comments.

***If you don’t hear your own voice, see the troubleshooting guide at the end of this document.***

After the call ends, you’ll be prompted to find contacts if everything went well, or troubleshoot if you still need assistance. This is the screen you’ll see during the call:


Step 5. Open Skype - Menus/Settings


Now that you’ve created a Skype account you can always get back to it by right clicking the Skype icon in the lower right hand corner and choosing “Open Skype.”

If you received a call, IM, or video call while you were away from your desk, the Skype icon in the lower right hand corner of your screen, which is usually green with a check mark:

. . .will be replaced with an orange exclamation point. Click on the icon to see the call you missed:



From the Skype menu bar you’ll be able to access most of the functions you need. Some of the menu items (privacy settings, for instance) show up in more than one menu.

Common functions you’ll need to use are listed below.

Skype Dropdown Menu

Change your online status




Edit the profile you made when you created the account (email, location, etc.)

Change your password

Buy Skype Credit (for calling cell phones/land lines)

Contacts Dropdown Menu

Search for and add contacts (you can only call people on your contact list)



Create groups of contacts for conference calls on Skype

Manage and categorize contact information

Conversation Dropdown Menu

View past conversations and messages

Call Dropdown Menu

Make a call

Change audio settings during a call

View Dropdown Menu

Choose the screen you’d like to see – Contacts, Conversations, History

Call a land line or cell phone

Tools Dropdown Menu

Change/Edit settings – sound, video, privacy, etc.

Share Skype

Help Dropdown Menu

Troubleshoot problems – Online Skype support

Sound/Video quality guide – if you have trouble seeing/hearing each other.



Skype gives you a lot of options, but some settings are more important and useful than others. You can adjust your settings – privacy, audio, etc. – by clicking on Tools >>

Options on the Skype menu.

Privacy settings

– Millions of people use Skype, and unless you restrict access, some of them will want to call you and , for instance, show you their videos. To ensure that you only receive messages from people on your contact list, on the Skype menu bar, go to

Tools>>Options>>Privacy Settings and choose to receive calls, videos and IM from people on your contact list:

You may still occasionally receive requests to be added as a contact from people you don’t know who want to be on your contact list. If you get a message from someone you don’t know, and don’t want to know, right click on their name in your contact list, and choose “Block this person” on the dropdown menu:


General Settings

– Here you can adjust basic Skype settings – make sure the box next to

“Start Skype when I start Windows” is checked:


Audio Settings

– You can test your audio equipment here, make a test call or learn more about setting up your equipment:

Video Settings

– If you have a webcam, you can check or change your settings, or take a snapshot using your webcam here:


Step 6. Adding Contacts


Before you can call someone, you need to add them to your contact list, and they need to accept you as a contact. The first time you log in to Skype, you’ll be automatically prompted to find contacts. Any


time you need to find a contact, you can start at the

Contact dropdown menu on the Skype menu bar, and click on “Search for Skype Users.”

Anyone with a Skype account (millions of people) can be accessed here:

For the person you are searching for, enter a Skype name (i.e. jeanne.mahoney), full name or an email address in the “Find” box.

If you’re adding ATC staff to your contact list, you can use the work email to get the correct person



If you don’t know the email or Skype name, you can enter additional information – city, state, gender – to narrow down the search. Unless the name you’re searching for is unusual, you’ll probably see multiple contacts. For instance, 38 people named Susan

Daniels use Skype, but there is only one in Harpers Ferry:

When you find the correct person, click the “Add contact” button, and then type a brief message and click the “Send” button:


Once you send the message, the person has been added to your contact list, but you need to wait until they approve you:


When someone wants to add you as a contact, you’ll get a message – the Skype icon in the lower right hand corner will change from green to orange


When you log in to check your messages you’ll see who has contacted you.


You can decide whether you want to add the person as a contact:

Once you click “Add to contacts” you can call or be called by your new contact:


If you regularly speak to a group of staff (or, eventually, other partners who use Skype), you can create a group of contact, and call every member of the group simultaneously.

Click “Contacts>>Create New Group” in the Skype menu bar:

Drag the contacts from your contact list to the empty group:


Once you’ve added all contacts to the group, save the group:

You can call the contacts in the group immediately, or save the group in your contact list:



As your list of contacts grow, you may want to categorize them to make it easier to find the right person or group to call. To create a category, on the “Contact” dropdown menu, select “Contact Categories” and then “Create New Category”

At the top of your contact list, a “New Category” field will appear

Type the name of your new category, in this case “Club Contacts”


Once you’ve created the category name, click on the contact and drag it to the appropriate category. Here, Ned Kuhns’ contact information is being added to the Club category:


If you’d like to move several contacts at once, hold down the “ctrl” key and choose the contacts you’d like to include in your category and then drag them to the appropriate category.

Once you’ve created categories you can view contacts in a selected category by clicking on the arrow next to the contact tab and choosing the category from the drop down menu.

. .


And you’ll see only the contacts in the chosen category:

You can always display all contacts, regardless of the category you’ve put them in, by choosing “All Contacts” from the dropdown menu:


Step 7. Making and Receiving Calls


To place a call, start at your contact list. The picture below is the default view (Click

“View” on the Skype menu, and then “Default”), if you don’t see the Contact list, click on “View” in the Skype menu and then “Contacts”

If you want to call someone immediately, you can double click on their name – the call will start immediately after the second click. (You can change this feature in

Tools>>Options>>General Settings.) Or, right click on the name of the person you would like to call, and decide how you’d like to contact them Call (voice only), Video

Call or Send IM (instant message/chat):



When someone is calling you, a message will flash on your computer screen:

When you choose “Answer” you’ll be connected on a voice call only (even if you have a webcam). Use the “Answer with video” button only if you have a webcam set up.

To end the call, click on the red phone icon:

If you

receive an IM

while you are using your computer, you’ll hear an alert sound, and the message will automatically pop up in the lower right corner of your screen.



This icon links to the Skype’s call quality page

You can also use the IM function to chat with the person during the call:


During the call, click on the “+ Add people” button:

Highlight the person you’d like to include from your contact list, and click select:


Then click “Ok”



In your contact list, click on the group you have set up in advance.

All contacts will be called simultaneously. If one person is not available, you will still get through to other contacts in the group:



With a webcam, you can choose whether you’d like to make an audio call or a

. During the video call, your own image will be displayed at the bottom of your page:

And the person you are talking to will see a larger image of you:



You can use Skype to call a cell phone or a landline – this is NOT FREE, however. You need to buy minutes in advance. When you click View >> Call, a keypad will be displayed on the screen. You’ll need to buy credits at before you can make a call.

Existing credits will be displayed on your main Skype page. You can buy more credits by clicking on the “View account” button on your main Skype page:


Once you’ve purchased Skype Credit, your available credit and a list of rates will also be displayed. Enter the number in the search bar, or in the key pad (you don’t need to include 1), and click “Call”:

If, while calling a landline, you need to dial an extension, click on the dial pad icon, and enter the appropriate numbers/letters. This works just like a traditional phone.


If you received a call, IM, or video call while you were away from your desk, the Skype icon in the lower right hand corner of your screen, which is usually green with a check mark:


. . .will be replaced with an orange exclamation point. Click on the icon to see the call you missed:

You can use the IM function to leave a message for someone you can’t reach, or you can send an IM instead of calling. Type a message, and hit either the blue message icon or

Enter key:


Step 8. Help - Troubleshooting

If you have problems hearing or seeing the other person:

-- Check that your headset and webcam have been set up correctly – make sure the jacks are plugged into the correct outlets – match the icons and/or color coding.

-- Check the controls on your headset – make sure the volume is turned up, and that your microphone is not muted.

-- Make sure that your webcam is not in use by another program.

-- If you have a webcam, but do not see the button next to your contact, first go to the Skype menu and click Help >> Welcome Screen and go through the set up test to make sure Skype recognizes your webcam. If it does, try Help >> Check for

Updates; if there is a more recent version of Skype available, download it.

-- If you have problems during a call, you can do some troubleshooting while on the line:


-- Access Skype’s troubleshooting page from the Skype menu by clicking Help >> Call

Quality Guide on the Skype menu. This screen lists some common audio and video problems, links to the sound check wizard and Skype online help:

-- Make sure that you are not asking too much of your computer. If you have too many programs open – for instance - 15 emails, 8 Word documents, 3 Excel files. . .

. . . 6 websites, etc. . . you can slow your computer down, and that may impact your call quality. Also, check that you have Symantec Endpoint Protection installed.


-- Make sure that the volume on your computer is turned up. Click Start >> Control

Panel. . .

And then “Sounds and Audio ”


Adjust the volume, and make sure that you check the box that will place the volume control in your task bar.

-- If you’ve tried all troubleshooting suggestions – Skype and computer troubleshooting, try shutting your computer off and turning it back on again and test one final time, before trying more radical approaches.



If you have a Facebook account, a link to your Skype account may show up next to your name. People can click on the Skype icon (even if it is grayed out/inactive) and call you on Skype:

You may not want your Skype account to display on your Facebook page.

In order to remove the Skype icon/Skype access, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on help in the lower right hand corner of the page, then enter Skype in the “Search” box:

Facebook help will present you with several options, choose “Skype Online Status”


It appears that Facebook will automatically link your Skype account to your Facebook page – you have to opt out. You might think that choosing the “cancel” link would block this feature, but no. . .

What you actually have to do is click on the Skype Online Status link and. . .


Click on “Block Application” once. . .

And then again. . .

Once you’ve done this – your Skype account will not be linked on your Facebook page.


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