Adium is our favourite instant messaging application for Mac OS X, not only for all its great built-in features, but for all the features you can add with Xtras. There are heaps of options that let you customise Adium’s look and functionality. Here are our favourites.
Title image remixed from an original by Qsec.
Adium has a range of neat plugins that enhance its features and solve annoying problems. Here are a few that we find particularly useful.
OMG, u have 2 try this plugin! If those messages drive you nuts and you can’t convince the person sending them to just stop it already you should download the DeAbbrevIfier plug-in. It’ll let you specify abbreviations you don’t enjoy and how you’d like them replaced. It’s a very simple way to avoid annoying pseudo-words. I’ll be using it to change Whitson’s LOLs to LOL (I’m not actually laughing out loud, by the way.)
You know who you are.
Themes (and Interface Elements)
Adium is a pretty nice-looking application by default, but you may prefer a different look or care to create your own style. Adium makes it easy to do this, and there are a few themes that are especially nice. Here are some of our favourites.
Renkoo is a very simple, flat coloured chat bubble style. If you want simplicity but seek to add a little colour to your messages, it’s a good theme to try. You get a white background by default, so it’s best to have one ready to add yourself if that sounds a little dull.
The ArsTechnica theme is a message style that keeps your chat windows small and simple. There’s not much to it, but it looks pretty nice nonetheless. If you want to keep things small, this is a good choice.
A Few Great Dock Icons
There’s really no sense in describing every dock icon in great detail, so here’s a list of a few great options to try out:
- Flurry Adium – iPhone style.
- FatBird.green – The name is self-explanatory.
- AdiumTwit – Twitter style.
- AdiumIcon – A cross between a speech bubble and a lightbulb.
- Marten-nu – A cool grab speech bubble.
- iBubble 3 – iChat style.
- Adium CS4 – Adobe CS style.
- 4 8 15 16 23 42 – Lost is dead to me, but this icon is great.
- xi4dox – A glossy bubble.
- Gamma Stickers – A sticker-like chat bubble with a hypnotic connecting animation.
- SnoopyDock – Because Snoopy is old school awesome.
The default IM sounds aren’t always ideal. You may prefer something more soothing, or at least different from the norm. Here are some great alternatives to Adium’s standard sounds:
- Tokyo Train Station – This is the sound set of choice for several Lifehacker writers. It’s simple and soothing.
- Wii Sounds – If you like the sounds of the Nintendo Wii, make them the sounds of your instant messages.
- Elysium – If most IM sound sets are too intense or loud for you, you want Elysium. It uses the soothing sounds of a harp to inform you of various events.
- Marimba – Another pleasant sound set, just a little more direct than a harp.
Got any other great Adium plugins, themes, or sound sets you love? Share ’em in the comments!