On Linux I can use gnome-do to quickly initiate a chat in Pidgin with my friends by just typing their IM's usernames in gnome-do's search box then press Enter.

Can Spotlight do the same ? I'm open to alternative desktop search/launcher programs as well

2 Answers 2


Here's an article from the Adium folks about Address Book/Adium integration, although I'm pretty sure I didn't take the time to fill out all the IM information in Address Book. You might be able to right-click Adium contact-list entries and Add to Address Book, and then merge cards. I don't remember how that IM information showed up in my Address Book long ago.

Once Adium and Address Book are somehow connected and there's data in Address Books instant messaging fields:

Use LaunchBar. This is what I use and know to have this feature. It might work with others, although Alfred without addon pack doesn't seem to be capable.

Open the LaunchBar prompt. Type a contact's name. Press Right-Arrow. Select your desired contact information type, e.g. MSN. Press Return. Adium will launch if necessary, and a new chat window will appear.

  • Thanks, though i'm not ready to pay for this.
    – Lamnk
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 16:02

Adium contacts aren't really valid Spotlight results, nor is Spotlight really intended to be a flexible launcher ala gnome-do, Alfred, Quicksilver, Launchbar, etc.

i'm not aware of any launchers with this capability at the moment. Alfred, Quicksilver, and QSB are the only ones i'm intimately familiar with though. The Alfred developer is adding features fairly quickly, you could ping him with the query and see what he says. I usually just use Alfred to bring Adium to the front then use cmd-n to bring up the "new chat" dialog and start typing the name until autocomplete finishes it for me.

Update: From the Alfred Developer:

@peelman this is definitely on the list, will link into the new contacts integration too :)

  • I've just discovered that in Adium's settings you can assign a hotkey to bring it to the front as you described.
    – Lamnk
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 16:04
  • That works too. I try to avoid setting too many global hotkeys, as they often conflict with keyboard shortcuts in various apps. but to each their own!
    – peelman
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 19:03

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