Importing IM Messages into askSam
Internet chat programs like, AOL, MSN, Yahoo, Trillian are a simple and efficient way to pass important information between you and friends, co-workers, clients and others. The problem is - once we close our chat window all that important information is gone forever.
In this tip we will look at how to save and import Internet chat sessions into askSam making them searchable using askSam's powerful search features. As you know there are many Internet chat programs in the market. We will not address each chat program specifically but we hope to give you an overview of how to save your chat info into askSam.
Saving your Internet chat session
Some Internet chat programs allow you to save your chat session manually while others automatically store a chat log on your computer.
Manually Saving a Chat Session
Most programs provide this option under the file menu under an item called SAVE or EXPORT. You can save your sessions in a Text, HTML, or RTF format depending on the chat program you may have. Once they are in this format you can import them into askSam. For example, in AOL, you can...
1. Start a chat session
2. Choose FILE -> SAVE
3. Find a location and give this chat session a name
NOTE: You can also choose your file type - TXT or HTML. Since formatting is usually not an issue with chat sessions I usually choose TXT.
I recommend creating a separate folder for your IM chat sessions. This will allow you to import an entire day or week's worth of sessions in one batch process with askSam.
Automatic Chat Logs
Some chat software will automatically save your chat session to a designated location on your hard drive. To import these sessions into askSam...
For example, Trillian stores its chat logs automatically in the folder:
Each individual chat program has its own folder in this folder. For example if you are using MSN you will find the log files stored in \program files\trillian\users\default\logs\MSN. Trillian creats a log file in this folder for each user that you chat with online.
Importing Chat Sessions Into askSam
Once you have saved your chat sessions you can import them into askSam as a group. This will allow you to include additional fields for each chat session so you can organize them more accurately.
NOTE: We have included a small template for you to download with some fields already created. Click here to download.
To import a group of chat sessions into askSam...
1. Open askSam
2. Choose FILE -> NEW
3. Choose the CHAT ARCHIVE template
NOTE: This step is optional. You can create a blank file to import into or create your own form.
4. Choose FILE -> IMPORT
5. Select the "TEXT" option from the FILES OF TYPE pull-down box
6. Browse to the folder where your chat sessions are saved
7. Select the chat sessions you wish to import
8. Choose the CHAT FORM from the IMPORT INTO ENTRY FORM pull-down
9. Click IMPORT
NOTE: Trillian stores its chat logs in .LOG format. To import these files, you will need to type *.log in the File Name textbox and hit enter. It will display a list of log files which you can select to import. Trillian usually names these files like screename.log.
You can also copy and paste an Internet chat session or part of an Internet chat session into askSam. Instead of importing the information choose the ADD option on the Chat Archive file menu and past the information into the CHAT field.
Searching Your Chat Messages
Once you have saved your chat sessions and imported them into askSam you can search your chat sessions using all the standard features of askSam.
I hope you enjoy chatting and saving your instant messages into askSam. Better be nice now that you know your friends, family, and co-workers may be saving them <g>.
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