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Hack 19 Highlight Lines in mIRC

figs/beginner.gif figs/hack19.gif

Some channels are just too busy for you to keep track of everything that's happening. Highlight lines that contain certain keywords to easily see what's relevant to you.

IRC can be a fun way to kill some time, although it's all too easy to get carried away and find it taking up more time than you'd like. After using IRC for a while, you tend to join more channels that interest you and get to know more people you never knew before. Following the conversation in several active channels is difficult, if not impossible.

4.4.1 Highlight Your Own Messages

The first useful feature you can add to a client is to make your own messages stand out. This may sound trivial, but it's actually quite useful to be able to scroll back and see when you spoke, as most replies to your messages are likely to be close beneath. This way, you can use your own messages as visual markers to show when you were active in a channel.

To change the color of your own text, open up the mIRC Colors dialog by selecting View Colors... from the menu bar. In the Appearance field, click on the Own Text label, as shown in Figure 4-8, and select what color you would like your messages to be.

Figure 4-8. Changing the color of your own text in mIRC

Click on OK, and all of your messages will now be a different color so you can find them more easily.

4.4.2 Highlight Messages from Other People

Highlighting messages from your friends or bots is also straightforward. If you choose a different color for each user, IRC will become much more intuitive to use. To enable highlighting, open up the mIRC Options dialog by selecting Tools Options..., and select the IRCHighlight category, as shown in Figure 4-9. Check the Enable Highlighting box, and you will now be able to add some entries to the Highlight List.

Figure 4-9. Enabling highlighting in mIRC

To add a new entry to the highlight list, click the Add button. Figure 4-10 shows how to highlight a line that has been sent by a bot called Monty. Monty's nickname is entered in the first text box, and a color is chosen from the Color drop-down list (in this case, the chosen color is orange). Select Nickname Only from the Match On drop-down list. All messages sent by Monty will now be colored orange.

Figure 4-10. Highlighting messages sent from Monty

4.4.3 Highlight Messages Containing Keywords

The most useful reason for highlighting a line is so you can tell if people are talking about you or trying to attract your attention. Add a list of your nicknames or aliases, separated by commas, as shown in Figure 4-11. Pick a color and select the highlight rule to match on the message only.

Whenever someone sends a message that contains "jibbler" or "paul," the line will be highlighted in the color you chose. To make it even harder to miss this, you can click on the button underneath Play Sound so it reads Beep. As well as highlighting the line, mIRC will now also beep at you so you can even leave mIRC minimized without worrying about missing anything important.

Figure 4-11. Highlighting messages that contain your name or nickname

Now you can concentrate on your work and leave your IRC client to do the arduous task of working out when you need to look at it.

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