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MSNHeaven.com > Messenger Plus Information

MSN MESSENGER PLUS! 3 ENHANCEMENT

The Messenger Plus! extension by Patchou was not only one of the first add-ons for MSN Messenger - it's also one of the most professional and let's not forget: USEFUL extensions out there.


MESSENGER PLUS! 3 PREVIEW

We Messenger Plus! 3 on March 2nd with authentic Plus!3 screenies showing just a few of the new features you can expect:

- The completely restyled preferences panel is now officially more exciting than Red Shoe Diaries!

- Microsoft got rid of word censorship in MSN Messenger by disabling the nickname filter, Patchou is the man who brings it back! Word filtering works in both ways: sending & receiving.

- The Enhanced Plus! menu catches your attention immediately with a cool fading-in icon appearing next to a contact's name when you hover over it in the contact list. Another Enhanced Plus! menu is available in the conversation window.

- No offense, Patchou, but the Quick Icons panel only just got useful. Forget the hassle with the one available in your current Plus! version. This one displays all your custom emoticons automatically upon pressing "(". - Forget Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud and Socrates! Quote your famous ego (that's you!) from now on with the Quote Sender. It remembers all your oneliners when Alzheimer kicks in again.

- Start defragging your brain because you can forget all Plus! shortcuts. Typing "/" in the conversation window brings up a complete command list along with tooltips and additional help when selected. No need for guesses anymore.

- POP3 integration got better thanks to the added port option and up to five configurable e-mail accounts. You'll never live a quiet 5 minutes without receiving an e-mail again!

- Not everybody on your contact list should be aware of the fact that you're "Busy" bird-watching, so you'll be glad to hear you can now decided who receives your Personalised Status message and who doesn't. You can bet your life more screenshots of the upcoming Messenger Plus! 3 -without a doubt THE BEST MSN Messenger addon in this solar system- will be added soon! IMPORTANT NOTE: Webmasters and news posters, please upload these images to your own webspace! Thank you.

mess with msn messenger MESSENGER PLUS! 3 FEATURES

So far for the preview + screenshots. But here's a more extensive list of new features and changes in the third version of this popular MSN Messenger addon:

  • Most of the windows in Messenger Plus! have been redesigned and their look has been improved.

  • The most important part of the software, the preferences panel, has been entirely recreated.

    • The new preferences panel is way more attractive visually, and its graphics are using alpha-bending effects so that the graphics look good in any Windows theme.

    • Only main sections are now displayed in the list on the left, sub-sections are available using a new menu at the top of each section. Every section has been reworked, options have been removed, options have been added, options have been moved from one section to another, etc... it's just way better that way, clearer, more professional.

    • All the preferences of Messenger Plus! can now be locked with an administrator password (Privacy Protection section). You can use this feature to do some parental control.

    • A link has been added in the Miscellaneous section to go on the Registry Setting page of msgplus.net.

    • A whole page could be written about the new preferences alone. For some more details, see below, and more importantly, explore by yourself!

  • Come-back Messages now have an expire option. You can set the date and time you want the message to expire. If your contact signs-in after the specified date, the message is not sent and silently deleted. In addition, a new /backmsg command can be used in a chat after a contact signed out.

  • New feature added: word filtering.

    • This feature can be used two ways. You can filter text you send, and you can filter text you receive.

    • Filtering text you send can be used for creating all sorts of aliases and replace abbreviations by their full meaning.

    • Filtering text you receive can be used to filter swearing or other kind of words you don't like to see.

    • You can add a star at the beginning or at the end of a filter. For example, "uni*" will filter "uni", "university", ...

    • Word filters can be created in the Instant Message section of the preferences panel.

    • A separate option has been added in the Import/Export wizard for word filters. This allows you to share your filters with other people.

    • An option is available if you desire to apply the filters in the names of your contacts (will not filter the names in the contact list, only in chats. Also, filters are not applied to custom names).

    • You can use the new "WordFilterCaseSensitive" registry setting if you want your filters to be case sensitive.

  • The Quick Icons panel has been improved a lot.

    • If you keep the Ctrl key pressed when you select an emoticon, the panel stays opened and the border is displayed with dots. This allows you to quickly select several emoticons at the same time.

    • Messenger Plus! now automatically finds the correct tag associated for each custom emoticon. You can still specify several tags to display more than one icon at the same time.

    • Up to 5 panels can now be displayed. Each panel is configured separately with its own options and custom emoticons.

    • The second panel is configured by default to automatically display all your custom emoticons without you having to enter them manually in the config panel.

    • If more than one panel is configured, numbered buttons are displayed in the lower left corner of the Quick Icons panel. Click on each button to go from one panel to the other.

    • F1 to F5 keys can be used to quickly switch panels.

    • Fixed bug where the "Customized" link would be displayed on top of some emoticons.

    • The emoticon panel now only works with MSN Messenger 6 and above.

  • The Custom Emoticons configuration window had been done too hastily in the previous version. It has been redesigned.

    • The interface has been recreated to be more visually appealing.

    • More emoticons are displayed at the same time in the selection screen to make things easier when you are searching for an emoticon.

    • A new control has been added to allow the configuration of each of the 5 panels. All the other options of the configuration window are linked to the panel number currently selected (this includes the option to display the original emoticons of Messenger in each panel).

  • The personalised status window has been completely redesigned to offer clearer options. The window is now also displayed even when the auto-message edit box cannot be created.

  • Once again, you've been requesting this feature for years (literally), it was time for me to add it: you can now select what contacts will receive your Personalised Status message.

    • In the Personalised Status window, a new line has been added under the time box. It specifies if the message will be seen by all your contacts or only a few of them.

    • Clicking on the Change button in the Personalised Status window brings a new configuration panel allowing you to easily specify what contacts you want on your "allow list".

    • The "allowed list" is cleared every time you go out of Personalised Status mode. The reason is quite simple: this feature is designed to help you target specific contacts, for specific reasons, at a given moment. If you want some people to never receive any of your messages, you probably should block them or remove them from your list :).

  • Auto-messages (example: the answering machine of Personalised Statuses) now accept commands.

  • If you experience regular problems with your internet connection, you will certainly like this new improvement: if Messenger signs-out by itself and signs back in within a minute, your Personalised Status is entirely restored and your status tag is not removed from your name.

  • New user interface feature: enhanced Plus! menus (MSN Messenger 6 and above only).

    • Two of these menus are available. One in the contact list, one in chat windows. Both of them can be disabled in the preferences.

    • In the contact list, the menu icon is displayed when the mouse cursor is left over a contact name.

    • In chat windows, the menu icon is displayed in the toolbar, when no other icon are present at its location.

    • These menus are designed to bring some of the Plus! features, nicely, to any user. Text in those menu is very descriptive, many of you will probably notice older features they never saw (or use) before :).

    • You can change the show delay of the icon in the contact list with the "IconShowDelay" registry setting (note: there will always be a bigger delay for the first time the icon is displayed).

  • The Contact Manager has been renamed Contact List Clean-up and its design has been improved.

    • Times are way more accurate, no more "unknown" time for half of your list :).

    • Double-clicking on a contact displays the contact information window.

  • New feature: Quote Sender

    • The Quote Sender is available in instant message windows. It allows you to quote something one of your contacts said in the past 6 hours.

    • The Quote sender lets you find a quote quickly by selecting the contact name and a time filter. A search function is also available.

    • Pressing "Send Quote" automatically sends the message in your current chat, with default formatting including color and timestamp.

    • This feature can be customized with the "QuoteFormat" registry value.

    • The /quote command can be used to display the Quote Sender window.

  • A new feature has been added to help people use commands during a chat: Command Helper windows:

    • When you start a message with "/", a small panel appears allowing you to select almost any command available in Messenger Plus!. This works in chat windows as well as in other Messenger Plus! windows requiring text to be entered (like the Quick Text preferences panel).

    • The command list includes Messenger Plus! native commands, quick text aliases and even commands supported by installed plugins. Each of the three groups is identified by a special icon.

    • When browsing the command list, a tooltip is automatically displayed giving more information about the command.

    • Pressing Ctrl+X, where X is any letter, allows quick search of the desired command.

    • After a command has been entered (from the command list or manually using the keyboard), additional help is provided, if the command requires a parameter, when the space key is pressed. If the parameter is a contact email, a list of your contacts is displayed in a new window to let you chose one of your contacts easily. If the parameter is anything else, a tooltip is displayed giving information about the expected parameter.

    • As for the Quick Icon panel, this new feature is designed to be non-intrusive. If you don't care about it, you can continue to type and it will disappear automatically. If you find it annoying, it can be disabled in the Commands preferences panel.

  • The uninstaller has been redesigned.

    • The interface looks better and is more user friendly.

    • There is now an option to uninstall every installed plugin. This is to help people fix problems related to defective plugins. VB plugins are not deleted but the entries in the registry are removed, which produces the same result.

  • Added an improvement to help Messenger Plus! do its job when other applications which are using similar hooking techniques are installed on the computer.

  • Quick Texts have been improved.

    • The Quick Icons preferences panel has been redesigned to be more clear and gives more information.

    • Creating an alias for a Quick Text automatically creates a special tag to use in a chat or any other area of Messenger Plus! (like personalised status messages). Quick Text tags replace native Messenger Plus! tags if the same name is used.

    • New global option to disable Alt+X shortcuts. People who use ASCII character codes will appreciate :).

    • Fixed the crash that could occur when very long quick texts were used.

    • Due to the increasing use of the Quick Text feature, the maximum has been increased to 50, that's 20 more than in the previous version.

    • Quick Icon panel works correctly in the Quick Icon preferences panel in Windows 95/98/Me (this fix also applies for other preferences window using edit boxes).

  • Small improvements in the Messenger Plus! notification windows.

    • The toast looks better when displayed in Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

    • Added "PlusToastFlash" registry setting. It allows you to deactivate the systray icon flashing.

    • Added "PlusToastAnimate" registry setting. Use it to disable the animation when the toast is displayed or hidden.

    • A text is displayed in grey at the bottom of schedule notifications to notify the user that he has to click if he doesn't want to be notified again.

  • Added an "auto-fix" watch dog in Messenger Plus!. In some rare occasions, the chat can get messed-up. Many improvements have been done to avoid this problem as much as possible and the current version is almost perfect in that matter, however, some specific things can still trigger the bug and Messenger Plus! can't do anything about it (like using multi-format color tags and using numeric codes for custom emoticons at the same time, next to the Ctrl+K control character). When this problem occurs, it messes-up the whole chat and the only way to get rid was to close the window and reopen it, well, that was until now. Messenger Plus! now analyzes what's going on and, if it detects that the chat is being messed-up, it attempts to fix it. The fix is generally efficient after 2 new messages have been exchanged between you and your contact. Those of you who already experienced this kind of problems in the past will surely appreciate this "feature" :).

  • New sound commands have been added!

    • The /snoexcuse sound has been replaced by something more known

    • The new sound commands are /sapplause, /swoow and /syawn (the last one is from my favourite anime character)

  • The POP3 e-mail feature has been improved

    • The count of emails displayed when using POP3 mail accounts includes the count of Hotmail emails (can be disabled with the "POPAddHotmail" registry setting).

    • The POP3 Mail section of the preferences now offers a "port" option and a fifth e-mail account to configure.

    • If you're using Windows XP or above, Messenger Plus! updates the welcome screen of Windows with the count of unread emails in your accounts. For this feature to work, you have to specify the email address associated with the account in the preferences. The "UpdateWindowsEmailCount" registry setting can be used to disable that feature.

    • Added "AlwaysNotifyPopEmail" registry value. If you set it to 1, notifications for POP3 email will always be displayed, even if the count of unread emails didn't change since last notification. If you use this setting, it is suggested that you increase the checking delay to at least 10 minutes to avoid being flooded with notifications.

  • You can now quickly format your messages by selecting some text and pressing one of the multi-format shortcuts (like Ctrl+B). Doing so will enclose the text between two tags.

  • The "change security warning" feature is totally obsolete and has been removed from the preferences. The feature is now off by default but you can still enable it in the registry (can be useful if you're still using an older version of Messenger).

  • The Boss Protect feature has been improved

    • The default icon has been changed. It is now a network icon from Shell32. Thanks to this change, the icon is assured to completely blend in your Windows.

    • DLL resource files are now accepted in the preferences. This mean that you can quickly change the icon used in Boss Protect just be randomly changing the number that you'll see next to "Shell32.dll". Of course, you can select any other DLL to get your resource from.

    • The First Time window has been redesigned.

    • If Messenger has not been signed-in at least once, instead of doing nothing, pressing the shortcut combination minimizes all the Messenger windows (that way, no bad surprise).

  • Messenger Plus! now requires Windows 98 or higher (it won't work on Windows 95 or Windows NT 4).

  • The Color panel (the window that is displayed when you press Ctrl+K) has been improved

    • The panel has been redesigned (not by GFD but by Fraisie herself :). It replaces the ugly panel from the old version and tooltips are used to display color numbers.

    • The original 16 colors came from mIRC. 52 new colors have been added to the panel to make a total of 68 pre-defined color. This is very useful to quickly pick a nice color during a chat. Of course, the custom color picker is still available (your contacts need Messenger Plus! 3 to see the new colors).

  • Added "DockingKeepsWidth" registry setting. You can use it if you won't want the width of the contact list window to be modified when you dock it.

  • A special sound can now be associated per contact in the Notification Configuration panel.

  • A multi-format helper panel has been added

    • The panel can be displayed from the Plus! toolbar menu in instant message windows and by pressing Ctrl+R.

    • The panel lets you choose between bold, italic, underlined and struck-out format. The corresponding control character is automatically added in your message.

    • The panel informs you of the current formatting of the text based on every other control codes placed in your message. This is very useful when you use formatting characters a lot and want to be sure of the final result.

  • An option has been added to automatically accept any kind of requests asking your authorisation.

    • This feature will accept for you file transfers, webcam chats, games, and any other requests asking to click on "Accept".

    • The preferences panel allows you to select specific contacts by default, for security reasons.

    • The option can be individually turned on/off in each chat.

  • A Find Text feature has been added to the chat windows (only in MSN Messenger 6 and above). It's not a big feature but it's useful and it will stay there as long as Microsoft doesn't include one in Messenger :).

    • The search window can be displayed from the Plus! menu or by pressing Ctrl+F.

    • You can restrict the search to match the case and to search for whole word only. By default, the search is down from bottom to top, of course, an option is there to search from top to bottom if you want.

    • If the text found is displayed behind the search window, the window is moved a little :).

  • New (!PVER) special tag. Use it to display the list of plugins that are installed and enabled.

  • Custom names and other Plus! text-formatting features now work better when your contacts send you files or hand written messages.

  • The Event Log window has been improved.

    • Right click on a contact event allows you to start a chat with the contact.

    • You wanted it, you have it: you can now sort events by clicking on the column headers. Clicking several times on the Name column even allows you to sort by contact email.

    • Different small visual improvements.

  • Brand new setup!

    • The interface has been redesigned to be more informative (still as simple as before though). As the Automatic/Custom installation modes confused some people, they have been removed.

    • When Messenger Plus! is installed for the first time, the installer detects the language currently in use by Windows and select the appropriate language for Messenger Plus!, if possible.

    • In Windows XP, the setup is now capable of shutting down Messengers that run in other user sessions. This helps solving file-lock problems.

    • The setup is now entirely multi-lingual and is capable of displaying languages such as Chinese or Hebrew.

    • A "Loading Setup" banner is displayed while the setup is extracting the languages. A progress bar is also displayed while Messenger Plus! is being installed.

    • The DbgHelp.dll library is not distributed with Messenger Plus! anymore. This change removed 325KB from the setup package.

    • The setup is more "polygamy-patch friendly". If you're using several Messenger clients at the same time and you're upgrading your version of Messenger Plus!, each Messenger client is closed properly before the setup proceeds with the installation of the files (this means that, for example, all your logs will be saved before the update begins).

    • Bug fixed: in some rare occasions, some complex languages (like Chinese) were not displayed in the language list under Windows 95/98/Me even though they were supported by the operating system.

    • When using the silent switches (/SilentInstall and /SilentInstallNoSponsor), the confirmation web page is not displayed anymore.

  • A new switch has been added to msgplus.exe. If you want to remove Messenger Plus! from your system startup and want to run Messenger Plus! automatically before you start Messenger, just launch "msgplus.exe /AutoStart". Important: this procedure is not supported and it brought to you only for your convenience.

  • New feature for people who use shared-computers (school or work primarily) and don't have administrator access on the computer. Messenger Plus! can now be installed in almost any Windows account!

    • The setup automatically detects if you have administrator privileges. If you don't, a warning message is displayed and parameters are automatically adjusted, you don't need to do anything but press Next :).

    • In non-admin mode, a Messenger Plus! shortcut is installed in your Start menu to let you launch Messenger with the Messenger Plus! features. Another icon is there to uninstall the program. Messenger Plus! won't start automatically when the computer starts.

    • You can force this installation mode with the /NotAdmin setup switch.

    • Non-admin mode is not guaranteed to work but will help most of you use your favourite Messenger add-on in most public/restricted computers you use :).

  • New /assist command to trigger Request Remote Assistance.

  • A bunch of default Quick Texts are now created (only when Messenger Plus! is installed for the first time). This gives examples to first-time users and nice default commands such as the famous IRC /slap :).

  • The plugins API has been improved.

    • A Configure function is now available. It is accessible from the Plugins menu and from the Preferences window.

    • The DisplayToast function now works well in Windows 98/Me with VB plugins.

    • The documentation of the plugins API has been completely rewritten.

    • Your plugin must define Initialize() to be accepted by Messenger Plus! now.

    • Several security protections have been added. You may need to update some of your old plugins for them to work properly in Messenger Plus! 3.

  • A new panel has been added in the preferences for plugins.

    • All your plugins are listed in this panel. Each one can be enabled/disabled individually and the settings can be different for each of your Messenger accounts.

    • Plugins installed but not enabled are identified differently.

    • Each plugin can display its own config panel with the new Configure button (not all plugins support this function).

    • If a plugin crashes at some point, Messenger Plus! automatically disables it.

  • Hand Writing mode is detected and Messenger Plus! reacts accordingly (by disabling some menus for example).

  • Some information has been added to the auto-update url for the current language, the version of Windows and the version of Messenger Plus!. This will allow smaller updates to be downloaded in the future. For those of you who monitor their network communications, if you wonder about the "ra=" parameter, it is simply a random number put there to force servers to go check on msgplus.net and not get the file from their cache.

  • The correct font is used for non-MBCS languages in MBCS versions of Windows 95/98/Me. This means that English will be displayed properly in a Chinese Windows 98 for example.

  • Minimum Compatibility mode has been enhanced. You will appreciate that next time MSN Messenger is upgraded to a new version.

  • No more problems when chatting with someone who has an empty name.

  • No more mess when using a Messenger version with a language like Polish where the name of users in a chat are displayed between two other words.

  • All issues regarding emoticons in MSN Messenger 6.2 used with Messenger Plus! features are solved.

  • Better support of RTL versions of Messenger. For example, every floating panel now display at the left side of the cursor while you chat.

  • Many many many other improvements and bug fixes are not listed in this document, I don't want to write a book. Beta tests have generated 5 more pages of updates but I won't include them here. Let's just say that Messenger Plus! 3 is way better and way cooler :).

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