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Video:How to Use Skype

with Ron Lipsky

Skype is a powerful online communication tool. Find out how to use Skype in just a few easy steps.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Use Skype

Hi. My name is Ron Lipsky for About.com. Today we're going to talk about Skype. Skype is one of the most powerful communication tools on the Internet today. It's a great way for people to communicate for free over the Internet using video or audio.

Download Skype and Create Account

The first you're going to need to do is go to Skype.com and download their software. Once you install it on your computer, a dialog box is going to pop up giving you the option of logging in or signing in as a new user. Since this is your first time, that's what you're going to do. Create a login name; create a password (remember to write it down), login to Skype.

And now I'm in. As soon as Skype opens up, it's going to give you a little getting started guide that you can follow through and learn a lot of different things about Skype and what you can do with it.

Using a Headset with Skype

The important thing with Skype is to have the right accessory tools. In our case today, A headset allows you to have great sound, hear everything that's being said to you and the microphone picks up everything you say. This is a great way to have a good Skype conversation even if you're in your office cubicle.

Take the USB cable at the end of your headset, plug it into your computer and follow the manufacturer's instructions in order to install the appropriate software and this is what's going to let you talk on Skype.

Skype Test Call

The first time you log on to Skype, the only person you're going to see on your menu is something called Skype Test Call. This is a way for you to adjust the levels on your headset and microphone so it's going to work with other users. So the first thing I would do is click on Test Call and go through the steps they advise to adjust your volume levels.

How to Install a Web Cam

Installing your web cam is like installing your headset. You put it on top of your computer, you take the USB cord, you plug it in, follow the manufacturer's instructions and you're going to have a web cam up and running. The web cam appears on the lower bottom of your Skype box and you'll be able to decide whether you want that image to be broadcast or not.

Customize Skype Settings

What you want to do is start tweaking your settings a bit. You can do that by using some of the menus on your Skype box. Go to tools, scroll down to options, click on options and now you're going to see a dialog box that lets you fix all the little things with your Skype, general settings, audio settings, sounds and video settings. If you go into the sound path, you're going to get a chance to define the sounds that work with your program and also to define how your phone rings. It's nice to set up a little feature like that. If you go into the audio settings, you can adjust the levels of your speakers, headphones or your microphone. This is important because on the other end sometimes, people can hear you louder than you want to be heard

As you work with Skype, you're going to learn just how many possibilities this program has. I think we pretty much covered the basics. You downloaded Skype, you've learned how to install it on your computer, you created a login, you've installed your audio and video tools and you've made a call. You are now a Skype user.
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