Turning off smileys in iChat 4

Instant message has become a part of my daily life.  I use it pretty much non stop for work, and my work involves writing a lot of code.  It isn’t uncommon for me to send something like

if ($a=($b+$c)) 

I like iChat (Adium of course is the old favourite, but hasn’t been used much since I moved to Leopard and Apple improved iChat so much), but sometimes it’s too cute for its own good.  This is especially true of the “helpful” way it converts :) and ;) into :) and ;) respectively. Helpful in the same way that Clippy was helpful.

This behaviour gets very annoying when one is trying to look at code.  The above code example becomes if ($a=($b+$c)).  You can image how annoying this is when every third line of chat is code.  So I went hunting through the iChat preferences to find a little box I could uncheck and turn off smileys, only there was no box to be found.

A quick trip through google didn’t turn up too much either, but I was able to figure out where iChat kept its preferences for that.  A minute later, I had figured out a way to turn them off.  Here’s how:

Browse to /Applications/, and “Show Package Contents”.
Show Package Contents

Next up, browse into Contents/Resources/English.lproj and look for a file called SmileyTable.plist.  This is where all the smiley definitions are stored.  Without it, iChat can’t translate smiles, so rename it to “SmileyTable.plist.banished”.  If you ever want smileys back, just reverse the process!

code with no smiles in it

There, that feels better ;)

This entry was made on and filed into How-To, Mac.


Peter Snyder wrote on

Hey, a simpler answer is just to go view->Messages->Hide Smilies.

Hope that helps!

Derek wrote on

Oh man!  Peter, awesome.  You know what’s both funny and pathetic?  Myself, and 3 (count em 3) other iChat users who I asked didn’t know about that.  Worse?  We all looked for it.

Yikes!  Thanks sir.

Christian wrote on

Instant message has become a part of my daily life.

I think this goes for about half the population today :) At least.

Leslie wrote on

@Peter - Much easier but less geeky! :) I’m one of those “3” that couldn’t find a way to do what you just describe.

I feel old.