Text Messaging With Your Contacts

What Is... Signing In to Chat Sending a Text Message Switching Between Texting, Chat, and Email

Sending a Text Message

You can text message with any contact who has an SMS-enabled cellular device. Your text conversation appears in a message tab in the att.net Mail window.

Tip: You can text message with several contacts at the same time, each conversation in its own tab.


Here’s How

  1. Make sure that you’re signed in to att.net Mail chat feature. (Remind me how.)

    Tip: If you start composing a text message without signing in first, it’s not a problem. att.net Mail just prompts you to sign in.

  2. Select Text Message (SMS) from the New menu (or type t).

    Select New > Text Message (SMS).

    A conversation tab opens where you can address and compose your text message.

    Tips: The first time you send a text message, att.net Mail prompts you to specify your home country so it can automatically supply the correct dialing information for your calls.

    Select your home country before you send your first text message.

    If you later need to change your home country for some reason, you can do that on the Options page.

  3. Start typing in the name or mobile phone number for the contact you want to text message.

    Enter your contact’s name or mobile phone number.

    If what your enter matches contact information already in your address book, att.net Mail shows you the matching contact or contacts on a menu—just select the one you want.

    Note: Be sure to include the area code for the phone number you’re calling or you’ll see an error message.

    Example of an invalid phone number message

  4. Type your text message in the box at the bottom of the New Text Message tab, then press the Enter key or click the Send button.

    Type your message, then click Send.

    Tip: The maximum length for a text message is 158 characters (including spaces). You can see a count of the characters remaining for the current message above the text box. If you want to say more, you need to send multiple messages—or maybe send an email message instead.

    When your contact replies using his mobile device, your messages and the replies appear in the conversation area.

    Your messages and your contact’s replies appear in the conversation area.


What’s Next

You can also start a chat in either of the following ways:

  • Click the phone icon (Phone icon) next to a mobile phone number on a contact’s details page.

    Click the phone icon on your contact’s details page.

  • While composing an email or chat message, convert your message to a text message. Take a look at Switching Between Texting, Chat, and Email to learn more.

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Words to Know

  • Contact: a person with whom you interact; someone to whom you might want to send an email, instant message, or text message.
  • SMS: abbreviation for "short message service", which is another name for text messaging.