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The mIRC IRC options let you tell mIRC how you want it to treat the common events of IRC chat, and how you want things displayed too. MIRC gives a great deal of control over how and where to display events.
The mIRC IRC options are the ones you are likely to adjust several times until you find the settings that suit you best. This kind of customization is as easy as ticking a few check-boxes. Aside from the main page of IRC options, mirc provides seven other sub-sections, (Perform, Highlight, Messages, Control, Catcher, Logging and Flood).
IRC Options - main
The main page of mIRC's IRC options is about how and where to display things such as private messages, your own text, and various IRC notices. It is all check-boxes, and thus easy to change.
The 'Prefix Own Messages' box tells mIRC whether to display your nickname at the start of your text as it does with the text of others. I keep this box checked so that I am reminded of the Nickname in use. Handy if others may share your mIRC program or if you sometimes use other nicks.
the 'Iconify Query Window' means that minimized private chat windows change colour when new text is entered in them. It also lets you see the progress of minimized file transfers at a glance. I keep this checked too.
The 'Dedicated Query Window' creates a special window just for private message chats. The 'Whois on Query' causes mIRC to quickly look up information on anyone who opens a query (private chat) to you. By default I have both these functions disabled.
The 'Auto-join Channel on Invite' check-box should be left unchecked, unless you want anyone at all to be able to summon you to their room at will. The 'Rejoin Channel when Kicked' will cause mIRC to attempt to rejoin the channel immediately in the event you are kicked. Check it or not as you like.
the 'Rejoin Channels on Connect' option causes you to rejoin the channel upon reconnection in the event of a disconnection. The 'Time-stamp Events' box will enable or disable the addition of a time prefixing each event that displays. It is great if you like to log everything, and a waste of line-space otherwise.
The 'Cancel Away on Keypress' ends you being marked as 'away' when you press a key. I never found a need for this. 'Skip MOTD on connect' stops mIRC from displaying the server's Message of the day in the status window when you connect. Some server's display additional information in the MOTD so I would suggest you leave this box checked if in doubt.
The 'Short Join/Part Messages' reduces the length of text displayed whenever a person joins or leaves a channel you are in. Unless you are insatiably curious you may as well keep it brief. The 'Show User Addresses' adds the address of the user to some displays. It can be usefull sometimes.
The group of check-boxes titled 'Show in Channel' lets you choose which information to display in the channel window rather than the status window. I tend to check all of these but many prefer not to have join, part and quit messages interfere with the flow of chat.
The final group of boxes on the main page deal with displaying information in your currently active window, rather than the normal location for them. I display invites in my active window so that I don't miss any, but they are not common on many servers.
Placing Queries in your active window makes sure you keep up with private chats, but can get very confusing at times. With iconified Query windows it is not necessary. I do place Whois displays in my active window however. Only put CTCPs in active window if sounds are rarely played in the channel.
IRC Options - Perform
The mIRC Perform options allows you to input command lines that will be automatically executed when mIRC connection is complete. This really requires a little scripting knowledge however so I suggest you come back to this after reading my mIRC commands tutorials and some script lessons.
A note for users of older versions of mIRC however is that since mIRC no longer provides check-boxes for selecting to view server messages and whallops, you may wish to add /mode $me +s and /mode $me +w to the perform section.
IRC Options - Highlight
The Highlight options are where you can set words that mIRC will highlight for you. Including your Nickname and variants of it are the obvious use, but it can be used to highlight any words you choose.
The check-box enables and disables highlighting in mIRC. The buttons allow you to Add, Edit and Delete Highlighting options. To set a word to highlight, click the Add button. A new window will appear.
Enter the word or words you wish to highlight in this way into the text box of the Highlight editing window. Select the colour that will be used for lines that contain the words you set. You can also add a wave file to be sounded.
Check the Flash Message check-box if you wish to have a message appear in the titlebar of mIRC if it is not the active program when the highlight word is used. If you take advantage of the ability to set different words to highlight in different ways, you may want the title bar to say which setting it is reacting to.
Checking the 'Include Nicks in Match' means that mIRC will also look for your highlight words within Nicknames. Highlighting text that includes certain words has many uses, and helps you to keep up in a fast moving channel.
IRC Options - Messages
MIRC's Messages Options can be used to filter the colours, etc. from messages making the text plainer should you wish. Checking the boxes will cause mIRC to remove the selected formatting controls from messages. I leave these boxes unchecked.
The 'Ctcp finger reply' text-box is where you can enter any reply you wish to give to 'Finger' requests (see mIRC's help for details of fingering). The 'Quit Message' text-box is where you may enter a default message to be added to your quit notice when you disconnect from the server.
IRC Options - Control
The Control Options enable mIRC to set specific modes on other users by their address (hostmask). The most widely used of these mIRC Control options is ignore. Any hostmask set in the ignores section will be ignored. Messages from that user will not be seen or reacted to by mIRC and thus will be likewise invisible to you.
Auto-op and Protect controls apply only to IRC operators - those shown in the Nicklist of your channels with a @ before their nick. The Auto-op will automatically bestow operator status on the user with the specified hostmask provided you have operator status to bestow.
IRC Options - Catcher
MIRC's catcher is a great feature. What it does is look for text that appears to be a URL address (website address) or e-mail address. Should anyone mention any URL or e-mail address, mIRC will copy the address to the catcher if it is enabled. The Catcher therefore works like a bookmark index.
You can elect to have the catcher 'catch' URL addresses, e-mail addresses or both. I generally set it to catch both. The 'on view' group lets you choose to view URL's you double click in either the active browser window, or to open a new browser window for each URL you choose to view.
The 'On send' check-boxes are best set to send address without sending the description, unless you will be organized enough to add descriptions to all URL's you catch. Adding descriptions to the URL's you have caught does help you to remember which is which however.
Placing ? marked Items at the top puts the addresses you haven't edited at the top of the list. Delete ? marked items on exit keeps the list smaller and tidier, but means you need to go through the catcher list before you close mIRC each time to edit the marking of URL's you wish to keep.
Setting the double click to edit the URL listing helps you keep things organized but I think most people elect for a double click to simply open the site for viewing in the browser window. The Browser you wish to use must be selected on the last option button on the Catcher page of the Options window.
IRC Options - Logging
MIRC's logging options allow you to set mIRC to log, or not log chats of various kinds. You can elect to log Channel window text or Chat window text individually or together.
You can always choose to log a window at the time, so I tend to disable logging by default. Very few people choose to log Channel windows, since the files can rapidly become huge. Quite a few mIRC users choose to log private Chat windows however since this means they will rarely forget addresses or information that is given them in private chat. Little need for pen and paper that way.
Logging anyone who abuses IRC by hassling, threatening or insulting you can be a deterent to the less savoury elements of any community. To be effective however, a log should include date and time stamping, and you should perform a /whois command upon them in the logged window, to have thier address (hostmask) included in the log.
IRC Options - Flood
The Flood options are to do with floods of data - too much data arriving at once. This basic protection is quite effective but can block large popups (see Popups Scripting tutorial) if set too tightly. For more advanced protection of all kinds go to the Master-At-Arms' tutorials.
Many scripts and add-ons for mIRC provide more advanced and effective protection against floods of all kinds. For That reason many people leave the default settings alone, and add a protection script for better control.
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