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Remarkable features of Skype

URI scheme <skype:>

Thanks to the URI scheme skype: a free Skype program provides an easy way to initiate calls, chats and other actions directly from web pages or from desktop and mobile applications. As well as other schemes like http: (runs the browser) or mailto: (runs the mail client), the skype: scheme allows you to run Skype (of course, if the application is installed on your computer). Moreover, if you pass additional arguments to this scheme, Skype will also perform other, more complex actions.

This article will be useful to web developers and website owners who want to add a link to their site in order to allow visitors to contact them via Skype. For a more convenient and quick way to create links, I recommend using Skype buttons instead of usual links, since it combines all the possibilities of the URI skype: scheme in one simple button; in addition, it is easily customizable and unlike a usual link, you can notice it immediately and understand what it does.

For example, you can compare the link SkaipOrg with the button SkaipOrg (as you can see, the button lets know that it's Skype, and when you click on it, all possible actions are opened). Details on creating and obtaining a similar button can be found on the page skaip.org/skype-button-for-website. Skype

Now let's return to the URI skype: scheme and try to find out what kind of functions it can perform, but first I want to note that it does not matter what arguments will be passed to this scheme; in all cases, when clicking on the link, firstly, if Skype is closed, it will start automatically, and secondly, it will switch to the main window of the program. Also, depending on the user's browser and its settings, the browser can ask for the user’s confirmation to start Skype.

An example of a link and URI structure:
<a href="skype:[1]login?[2]action&[3]parameters">[4]text</a>
where,
  1. login – Skype login (in some cases, you can specify several ones by dividing them with ";")
  2. action – action to be performed when clicking on the link
  3. parameters – some actions take additional parameters
  4. text - the text of the link that will be displayed in the HTML document

Please note that all three arguments in the URI structure (login, action and parameters) are optional. However, you cannot pass the action if no login is specified, and you cannot pass the parameter if the action is not specified.

So, using the URI skype: scheme, we can “ask” Skype to do the following:

1) Open Skype

<a href="skype:">text</a> – this link will only open Skype and switch to the program

2) Audio call

<a href="skype:echo123">text</a> – if no arguments are passed, Skype will call the user echo123. This link is identical to the link <a href="skype:echo123?call">text</a>

3) Group audio call

<a href="skype:echo123;alice;bob">text</a> – if you specify more than one login (for example, skype:echo123;alice;bob), a group audio call will be made. It should be noted that Android and iOS do not support the function of initializing a group call.

4) Group audio call header

<a href="skype:echo123;alice;bob?call&topic=Hello">text</a> – you can automatically set the header of the group audio call, only spaces must be replaced with “%20” (for example, “Good%20day”).

5) Video call

<a href="skype:echo123?call&video=true">text</a> – contact echo123 using a video call.

6) Group video call

<a href="skype:echo123;alice;bob?call&video=true">text</a> – if you specify more than one login, a group call will be made (though, mobile devices will only support audio communication). The number of participants is limited to 10 people.

7) Group video call header

<a href="skype:echo123;alice;bob?call&video=true&topic=Hello">text</a> – as well as for a group audio call, you can automatically set/change the header of a group video call.

8) Chat

<a href="skype:echo123?chat">text</a> – contact echo123 via chat (iOS does not support this action).

9) Group Chat

<a href="skype:echo123;alice;bob?chat">text</a> – if you specify more than one login, a group chat will be created (Android will create a chat for the first participant only).

10) Group Chat Header

<a href="skype:echo123;alice;bob?chat&topic=Hello">text</a> – as well as for a group audio and video call, you can automatically set/change the group chat header (Mac OS X does not support this option).

11) User Information

<a href="skype:echo123?userinfo">text</a> – shows a window with the data of the user echo123.

12) Add contact

<a href="skype:echo123?add">text</a> – add echo123 to the contact list (if the contact exists, Skype will switch to this user).

13) Send a file

<a href="skype:echo123?sendfile">text</a> – when clicking on the link, a window is displayed for sending the file (if you specify more than one login, the file will be sent to everyone). Also, you can send multiple files if you hold down CTRL while selecting files.

14) Voice message

<a href="skype:echo123?voicemail">text</a> – send a voice message to the user echo123.

15) Send an SMS to the contact

<a href="skype:echo123?sms">text</a> – send SMS to the user echo123.

16) Send an SMS to a phone number

<a href="skype:+987654321?sms">text</a> – send SMS to the phone number +987654321.

17) Call to a phone number

<a href="skype:+987654321?call">text</a> – call to the phone number +987654321.

That's all the available actions which can be initiated with the help of Skype links. Just note that the last actions “Send SMS” and “Call to a phone number” require the availability of funds in your account.

As for the creation of Skype links for a website, I hope you have found the material interesting and useful. Also I hope you have learned something new about free Skype and its capabilities. And if you have any questions, write a comment, and I'll try to help.

4 comments

  1. 0 0 0
    Rein,
    Hi!

    Did I understand correctly?
    This:
    <a href="skype:+987654321?sms">text</a>
    does open Skype window that is ready to send SMS to +987654321, but I can't give the text I want to send?
    1. 0 0 0
      Administrator,
      Hi! Yes it's true. By the way, as far I know, the new Skype doesn't support the "sms" action.
      1. 0 0 0
        Rein,
        OK, thank You! We must find another solution to send SMS'is.
  2. 1 +1 0
    Bob,
    Hi!

    Just like the SMS in a previous comment...
    <a href="skype:+987654321?call">text</a>
    does open Skype window that is ready to call to +987654321, but doesn't call automatically the number specified? I would like to be able to place call instead of a prompt before the call, since the number is already provided.

    Thanks in advance,

    Bob

    [Updated ]
    Nevermind, I fixed this (a bit hacky) using a time.sleep and then a call to the enter button when the prompt for calling is ready.

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