Chat Assist - Getting Started

See the Chat Assistant links in the left hand column

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Getting Started

Before this point you have

  • Downloaded the latest version of ChatAssistant
  • Run the Install (or you ran the Install directly from the download)
  • Started BBO and logged in to BBO
  • Taken yourself to an empty bridge table (suggestion - create the table as invisible while you are trying out ChatAssistant)

If you have not done any of these things please go and do them now, the ChatAssistant links you will need are over in the left-hand column.

ChatAssistant is designed for both Windows XP and Vista, however the images here are mainly taken from XP as they can often be slightly easier to see when shown small..

Start ChatAssistant. For example Dlb Click the ChatAssistant program icon or Dbl Click its shortcut (if you have created one).

When ChatAssistant first starts and the BBO application is not running, then it will look like a normal application with a taskbar icon. However once the BBO application has started, ChatAssistant will change and now move and shrink, lose its taskbar icon and look something like this

If you click the minimal button ChatAssistant will shrink to its smallest possible size - its 'minimal' size - and look like this

Notice that ChatAssistant has no large title bar at the top of its window. This is to save space so you can see as much as possible of BBO Bridge playing area. When you click on ChatAssistant or type characters in the BBO program it will swap to its normal shape.

If ChatAssistant is at 'minimal' size, Click on on it so that it swaps to its normal long thin shape.

If you minimise BBO, ChatAssistant will minimise. When you restore BBO, ChatAssistant will restore. When you close BBO, ChatAssistant will close. And in future when you start ChatAssistant (and BBO is not already running) ChatAssistant will show you the BBO login window so you can login.

Using ChatAssistant to start BBO is a good habit to get into. This way the two will become one program in your mind and you will never need to remember that you also have to start ChatAssistant.

The make Minimal key

Now click the ` (grave) key or the Minimal button on the Assistant. The ` (grave) key is at the top left corner of your keyboard just below the ESC (Escape) key. This key will swap ChatAssistant in and of Minimal mode.

Have a practice. Whenever you want ChatAssistant out of the way just hit this key, the ` (grave) key. Don't close ChatAssistant, just hit this key. The ^ (circumflex) character , this is on the number 6 key shifted, will also do the same job but that is a shifted key and not so easy to use.

Start to think of the ` (grave) key as the ChatAssistant 'go away' key. One click and its gone. Alternatively for people who want to use the mouse, you can click on the Minimal button to shrink it and on the 'minimal' Chat Assistant window to restore it.

Slim Mode

There is also a 'Slim' mode method of working which you can get into and out of using the Ctrl-'minus' key or button marked 'Slim'. However newcomers to ChatAssistant are recommended to start by using the normal size ChatAssistant.

I have a second monitor for ChatAssistant

Click the 'Prefs/Msgs' button and look under the Prefs tab and scroll down to the special option for using CA (ChatAssistant) on a second monitor. This turns off the special resizing features that are needed for CA to work reasonably when sitting on top of the BBO Bridge playing area.

My Keyboard does not have the ' (grave) key in the Top Left Corner

Click the 'Prefs/Msgs' button and look under the Prefs tab and scroll down to the special option for assigning whatever key you do have in the top left corner. You do need to choose a real character key if you are using this option, keys like 'control' and 'shift' cannot do the job.

Hover over any button for info

Hover your mouse over any button or check box to get a line of information on that control.

We are done

ChatAssistant is now working and doing the same job that the BBO Chat box used to do. When you type the typing will appear in in the correct place. To send messages it's just like BBO - you can click the send button or press return. Of course there are lots of other options and additions and extra features. Hover with the mouse over any button or control and it will tell you what that button is for.

To find out about the extra features read see the Benefits page, for the link look in the column on the left.





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