Trillian (instant messenger)

Template:Infobox Software

Trillian is a multiprotocol instant messaging application for Windows created by Cerulean Studios that can connect to multiple IM programs from one client, such as AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Bonjour, and Jabber and Skype networks (the latter four with Trillian Pro which allows for additonal plug-ins).

Initially released July 1 2000 as a freeware IRC client, the first commercial version (Trillian Pro 1.0) was published on September 10, 2002. Trillian's creators have promised to continue to support and maintain a free version of Trillian, and it will remain a closed source application.

The program was named after Trillian, a fictional character in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

From version 3.0 on, Trillian uses Wikipedia to reference terms typed by the user, using its "Instant Lookup" feature.



Both Trillian Basic and Pro support advanced XML-based skinning using Cerulean Studios' own SkinXML. Various interface, emoticon, and sound packs can be loaded as well. Skins and the previously mentioned packs are available for free at the main Trillian website. More skins can be found at deviantART (, but some can be downloaded from the Trillian website skin section.

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Trillian Basic and Pro logos


Trillian is a closed source application, but the Pro version can be extended by plug-ins. Plug-ins by Cerulean Studios itself include spell-check, weather updater, e-mail checker, Winamp song title scroller, stock exchange monitor, and RSS feedreader, as well as a plug-in for the Jabber and Bonjour networks. Others have developed various plug-ins, such as a games plug-in which can be used to play chess and checkers, a protocol plug-in to send NetBIOS messages through Trillian, a plugin to interact with Lotus Sametime clients, a plugin to interact with Microsoft Exchange, a POP3 and IMAP email checker, or an automatic translator for many European languages to and from English. There is a Skype plug-in, but it needs Skype to be installed in order to be used.

Plug-ins are available for free and are hosted at the main Trillian website and on the Trillian members plug-in forum, but will only work with the Pro version of Trillian.

Other features


Trillian represents each client with a different-coloured sphere.

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Image:Icon icq trillian.png

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Activity History in action

Activity history

Trillian Basic and Pro both come with Activity History ( Basic only offers this feature as plain text files. The Pro version has a History Manager with presents a user his conversation history with graphical markup, which is saved in XML-files in addition to text files. This extended logging function makes one's conversation history easily manipulable, searchable and extendable for future functions, for example through the use of bookmarks.

Time travel

Trillian Pro also has the so-called Time Travel ( feature, allowing the user to record, and subsequently review, pause, rewind and fast forward live video and audio sessions.

Instant lookup

Starting with version 3.0 in both the Basic and Pro suites, Trillian has made use of the English version of the Wikipedia free online encyclopedia for real-time referencing using its vast database of free knowledge. (as of May 7th, 2005), over 55200 articles. The feature is employed directly within a conversation window of a user. When one or more words are entered (by either user), Trillian checks all words against a database file and if a match is found, the word appears with a dotted green underline. When the user points his mouse over the word, the corresponding article is downloaded from Wikipedia and displayed on screen. When the user clicks on the underlined word, he is given the choice to visit the article online.

Version history

July 1, 2000
Initial Release, 0.50 of Trillian as an IRC client.

August 11, 2000
Version 0.52 released with more IRC-specific features.

November 29, 2000
Version 0.60 released with AIM, ICQ and MSN support. Many other features were also added.

December 23, 2000
Version 0.61 released. Includes Yahoo! Messenger support.

January 28, 2001
Version 0.62 released.

March 23, 2001
Version 0.63 released.

June 04, 2001
Version 0.635 released.

June 20, 2001
Version 0.6351 released.

December 05, 2001
Version 0.70 released. Initial support for file transfers.

December 18, 2001
Version 0.71 released. As first major IM client, Trillian included the ability to encrypt messages.

January 29-February 20, 2002
Versions 0.72x released. Fixed AIM connection problems.

June 7, 2002
Version 0.73 released.

September 10, 2002
Version 0.74 released.
Trillian Pro version 1.0 released.

September 9, 2003
Trillian Pro version 2.0 released.

December 17, 2004
Trillian Basic and Pro versions 3.0 released.

February 24, 2005
Trillian Basic and Pro versions 3.1 released.

See also

External links

de:Trillian_(Instant_Messenger) eo:Trillian fr:Trillian hu:Trillian


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