As you’ve seen already in this chapter, Messages lets you share your thoughts, your voice, and your image with the people on your buddy list. And now, for its next trick, it lets you share…your computer.
Messages’ screen-sharing feature is a close relative of the network screen-sharing feature described in Chapter 14. It lets you not only see what’s on a faraway buddy’s screen, but also control it, taking command of the distant mouse and keyboard. (You can share your screen with the other guy, too.)
You can open folders, create and edit documents, and copy files on the shared Mac screen. Sharing a screen makes collaborating as easy as working side by side around the same Mac, except now you can be sitting in San Francisco while your buddy is banging it out in Boston.
And if you’re the family tech-support specialist—but the family lives all over the country—screen sharing makes troubleshooting infinitely easier. You can now jump on your Mom’s shared Mac and figure out why the formatting went wacky in her Word document, without her having to attempt to explain it to you over the phone. (“And then the little thingy disappeared and the doohickey got scrambled…”)
Once you’re controlling someone else’s screen remotely, your keyboard shortcuts operate her Mac instead of yours. Press ⌘-Tab to bring up the application switcher, hit ⌘-Q to quit a program, use all the Mission Control and Spotlight shortcuts, and so on.
To make Messages’ screen sharing work, you and your buddy ...