IRC Help Page
Thanks to Adrian Cable and the Help files from his Visual IRC '97 Chat Client. To often I had to look up
commands and then rummage around until I found the correct one which at times was
frustrating. This page is supplied to you for easy reference of IRC commands. Also if you
belong to the Mindspring ISP come join us in the Cooler. You will know how to get
there if you are and if not check out Anna's page for details. Check the News Groups for
details of how to find where to go.
The IRC Scrapyard
Check out the IRC Scrapyard for additional help!
Standard IRC Commands
This section details the standard set of IRC commands, which appear in virtually every
IRC client. More advanced commands (especially those pertaining only to ViRC '97) are
detailed in a further section.
Notes: parameters that are compulsory are given like this: parameter. Optional
parameters are given like this: [parameter]. Remember, don't type the [ ]'s! This is just
notation!! Also note that, with some commands, an optional [channel] parameter can be
supplied (see below). If channel is omitted, the command works on the channel window it's
typed in. Otherwise, it is forced to work on the channel you specify, regardless of the
window it's typed in.
- JOIN command
Usage: /join channel
Joins channel, creating a new channel window. If channel doesn't already exist, it will be
created for you, and you will be made operator. Examples:
- PART command
Usage: /part [channel]
Leaves channel, closing the channel window. You must be on channel before leaving it!!
- ME command
Usage: /me [channel] text
Produces an action. The following will appear in the channel window:
* YourNick text
If /me is used in a query window, a private action is sent to the person you are querying.
- DESC command Usage: /desc nick text
Produces an action privately to nick. Same as /me, only sends the action privately rather
than over a channel.
- QUIT command
Usage: /quit [reason]
Signs off IRC cleanly, giving reason as your signoff reason. If reason is not specified, a
default signoff reason (Leaving) will be used. Examples:
/quit Back in 1 hour after The X-Files!!
- TOPIC command
Usage: /topic channel text
Changes the topic on channel to text. The topic may be up to about 100 characters long. If
the channel's mode is +t, you need to be a channel operator to use this command.
- MSG command
Usage: /msg nick text
Sends text as a private message to nick. No-one else will be able to see the message
- NOTICE command
Usage: /notice nick|channel text
Sends a notice to nick or channel. Notices are identical to private messages, only they
may be handled differently by certain clients (e.g. displayed in a different manner). You
would not normally have to use this command.
- CTCP command
Usage: /ctcp nick text
Sends text to nick by CTCP. CTCP is used to query client-specific information. For
example, to find out what IRC client abc123 is using:
· /ctcp abc123 version
To query the current time where abc123 lives:
· /ctcp abc123 time
- QUERY command
Usage: /query nick
Starts a private message (query) session with nick. Any text you enter in the window is
automatically sent to nick in the form of /msg's, and any private messages received from
nick will be displayed in the window. This saves typing /msg nick every time you want to
send nick a private message during a conversation.
- AWAY command
Usage: /away [reason]
Sets you away/here. If reason is specified, you will be marked as away with reason, which
will be displayed to any users who attempt to contact you while you are away. If reason is
not given, you will be set as back.
- SERVER command
Usage: /server server[:port]
Changes your IRC server to server. You may specify port if you want to connect to a port
other than the default 6667. You may specify the port either in the standard way
(server:port) or in the mIRC-style way (server port).
- WHOIS command
Usage: /whois nick
Queries the server for user information on nick. nick's email address, channels, gecos
(real name/URL), away status, IRCop status, and possibly idle time information are
returned in a dedicated WHOIS window.
- WHOWAS command
Usage: /whowas nick
Queries user information for nick if they have just left IRC. Most IRC servers only keep
WHOWAS information for a few seconds after the user leaves.
- UMODE command
Usage: /umode [+|-][i][s][w]
Changes your usermode. IRC servers support 3 usermodes which you can toggle, i , s, and w.
The meanings of these usermodes are as follows:
· +i - you're invisible to WHO/WHOIS wildcard queries (use if you want privacy!!).
· +s - receive notifications of server-specific events, for example, when servers split
or rejoin. You'll probably want to leave this off or your screen will fill up with useless
· +w - receive messages directed at IRC operators.
- IGNORE command
Usage: /ignore nick|mask [[[+|-][all]]|[+|-]ctcp [+|-]public [+|-]msg]
This complex command allows you to selectively ignore different types of input from a
user. It is usually considered preferable to use the IGNORE command to deal with an
annoying user, rather than using channel operator commands or IRC operator commands to
dispose of them, unless they are posing a threat to the channel or to the server.
Basically, IGNORE takes either the nickname of the user or their mask (for example,
*!*megalith@*demon.co.uk) as the first parameter. Any addition parameters tell ViRC '97
what it should ignore or unignore. Examples:
· /ignore greygoon - ignores anything received from greygoon
· /ignore greygoon all - same as above
· /ignore greygoon +all - same as above
· /ignore RayGamma msg - ignores all private messages from RayGamma
· /ignore *!*good_old_bill@*microsoft.com -public - stops ignoring channel messages from
· /ignore *!*@* ctcp - ignores CTCPs from everybody!! Aaaiee!!
· /ignore MeGALiTH - - unignores everything from MeGALiTH
Channel Ops Commands
You may use these commands only if you are an op on the channel.
- MODE command
Usage: /mode [channel] [+|-]mode [[+|-]mode ...]
Changes the mode on channel to mode. The following modes are supported:
· +o nick - ops nick
· +v nick - gives nick voice (allow nick to speak on a moderated channel)
· +b mask - bans mask from joining the channel
· +s - makes channel secret (it will not show up in channel listings, nor will it show up
in people's WHOIS listings).
· +m - makes channel moderated (only ops and users with +v may speak)
· +n - disallow channel messages from people not in channel
· +i - invite-only - people may only join channel on invitation.
· +l number - channel limit - only a maximum of number people may be present in the
channel at any one time.
· +k password - sets the channel key to password. People can only join the channel if
they know password.
· +t - only ops may set the channel topic.
Replacing + with - unsets the respective mode.
Don't use this command unless you know what you're doing! Misuse of MODE man lead to
making the channel unjoinable.
- KICK command
Usage: /kick [channel] nick [reason]
Kicks (forcibly removes) nick from channel with reason. You may use the reason parameter
when kicking someone to give them an idea as to why they are being kicked.
- BAN command
Usage: /ban [channel] nick
Bans nick from joining channel. A ban mask is generated in the form *!*user@*host for nick
and is then set.
- BK command
Usage: /bk [channel] nick [reason]
Kickbans nick from channel with reason. Equivalent to a BAN followed by a KICK.
Usage: /fk [channel] mask [reason]
Filterkicks mask from channel with reason. Anyone on the channel whose mask matches mask
will be kicked. For example, to kick everyone off #quake who comes from the UK, you could
· /fk #quake *!*@*uk FBK command
Usage: /fbk [channel] mask [reason]
Filterbankicks mask from channel with reason. mask is banned, and every user whose mask
matches mask is then kicked. Equivalent to a BAN followed by an FK.
- WALL command
Usage: /wall [channel] text
Sends text to all channel operators on channel in the form of a NOTICE. Note that you do
not have to be a channel operator yourself to use this command (although walling from
non-ops is always frowned upon), although you do need to be an op to see other people's
The DCC (direct client connection) protocol allows you to initiate a private, lag-free
chat or file transfer with someone, without going through IRC (hence the word direct ).
Current supported DCC types are chat, send, and whiteboard. Current supported TDCC
types, specific to V97, are send, voice, and video.
- DCC CHAT command
Usage: /dcc chat nick
Initiates a direct, secure chat session with nick. 0.63 and above feature a lag-indication
feature in DCC Chats. Simply type . (a period) on a line of its own in the chat window,
and, as soon as the remote end receives it, PONG!! will be sent back. That way, you can
see whether your DCC Chat connections are lagged or not.
- DCC SEND command
Usage: /dcc send nick [file]
Sends file to nick. If file is omitted, you will be prompted to select one or more files
to send. If file already exists on the remote end's machine, you will be asked if you wish
to resume an interrupted transfer. This will only work if the remote end's IRC client
supports the resume protocol (currently, ViRC '96/'97, 16-bit ViRC, IaIRC, mIRC, and PIRCH
support the resume protocol, but not many versions of ircII for UNIX). The DCC transfer
window is now composed of a number of toolbars, which may be pulled out or rearranged to
change the format of the window to whatever you want. You can turn toolbars on and off,
and save the toolbar configuration, by clicking on the DCC transfer window's system menu
(that's the icon in the top-left hand corner of the window). In addition, you can turn on
and off the great DCC performance graph from here.
- DCC WHITEBOARD command
Usage: /dcc whiteboard nick
Initiates a DCC Chat with Whiteboard connection with nick. When connected, both you and
the other user can draw pictures and text on a single, shared drawing surface, and can
also converse in a regular DCC Chat window. The DCC Whiteboard looks and functions like
the Microsoft Paint application that's included with Windows 95 and NT, and you should be
immediately familiar with what you can do. Currently, only ViRC '97, 16-bit ViRC, and
IaIRC support whiteboard connections.
- TDCC SEND command
Usage: /tdcc send nick [file]
Sends file to nick, using the TDCC protocol. TDCC file transfers may be up to 3 times
faster than DCC, however, nick must be using either ViRC, IaIRC, or a new version of PIRCH
to receive files by TDCC. If file is omitted, you will be prompted to select one or more
files to send. If file already exists on the remote end's machine, you will be asked if
you wish to resume an interrupted transfer. This will only work if the remote end's IRC
client supports the TDCC resume protocol (currently, ViRC '97, 16-bit ViRC, and new
versions of PIRCH support the TDCC resume protocol, but no versions of ircII for UNIX
- TDCC VOICE command
Usage: /tdcc voice nick
Initiates a real-time voice conversation with nick using the TDCC protocol. Once the voice
window has opened and connected, you may hold down the Push to talk button to speak to the
other user. Release the button when you have finished talking. Alternatively, if you wish
to speak for an extended period of time, you may click the Lock button to start talking,
and you may click it again to finish talking. Currently, only ViRC '96/'97 support TDCC
If you have a half-duplex sound card and driver, you cannot speak and receive audio at the
same time - audio reception will cut out when you are speaking. If, however, you have a
full-duplex sound card and driver, both of you may speak and listen to the other user at
the same time.
- TDCC VIDEO command
Usage: /tdcc video nick
Initiates a video conferencing session with nick using the TDCC protocol. Once nick has
accepted the connection, you will be able to video conference in a window. If you do not
have a video capture card and camera, but nick does, your Local pane, and nick's Remote
pane, will remain blank, and vice versa. At the moment, video conferencing only works in
black-and-white. If you, or the other user, have a colour camera, their video will appear
in black-and-white only. This will be changed in a future release. Currently, only ViRC
'96/'97 support TDCC Video connections.
Listed here are some more advanced commands, many (but not all) of which are duplicates
of functions already available on the toolbars and menus. However, they may be useful if
you're writing a script that needs to make use of these functions.
- MCI command
Usage: /mci command
Executes the MCI command command. MCI commands are used for playing or recording audio.
For example, to play a sound file, you could use:
· /mci play \windows\tada.wav
To record a sound, you could use:
· /mci record test1.wav
And to stop recording (or playing) test1.wav:
· /mci stop test1.wav
In reality, you'll find that you only use /mci play to any great degree.
- DNS command
Usage: /dns hostname Performs a DNS lookup on hostname and displays the IP address it
resolves to in the server notices window.
- EXEC command
Usage: /exec command
Executes command. command can be a Windows or DOS program. You may also specify parameters
to pass to the program if you wish. After the program has been started, it will be given
the focus. V97 will not wait until program execution is complete before returning control
- control will be returned immediately after starting the application.
- USERADD command
Usage: /useradd mask userlevel banlevel protlevel
Adds mask to your userlist with the specified userlevel, banlevel and protlevel. ViRC
'97's default events library attaches the following meaning to the levels:
· A userlevel of 1 or higher auto-ops the user when he/she joins a channel.
· A banlevel of 1 or higher auto-bankicks the user when he/she joins a channel.
· A protlevel of 1 or higher protects the user from being banned by someone else.
Your scripts may attach their own meaning to any higher levels. Specifying a userlevel,
banlevel or protlevel of -1 will keep the level at its current value. For example, to give
everyone a protlevel of 1, but keeping the other levels the same, you could use the
following command line:
· /useradd *!*@* -1 -1 1
- CLEAR command
Clears the output buffer of the window it's entered in. You may find this useful if you
wish to remove all the text from a server or channel window.
- RLM, RLN and RLP commands
Redirects the last private message you have received to the channel.
Redirects the last notice you have received to the channel.
Redirects the last CTCP you have received to the channel.
- WLM, WLN and WLP commands
WALLs the last private message you have received to the channel.
WALLs the last notice you have received to the channel.
WALLs the last CTCP you have received to the channel.
- KLM, KLN and KLP commands
Kicks user with the last private message you have received as the kick reason.
Kicks user with the last notice you have received as the kick reason.
Kicks user with the last CTCP you have received as the kick reason.
- SOUND command
Usage: /sound nick|channel soundfile
This ridiculous command has been in mIRC for ages, and I've put a compatible version in
V97 due to demand ... but I have no idea what use it is anyway. =] Anyway, /sound sends
text along with soundfile's name to nick or channel. soundfile must exist on both the
local and the remote machines for this to work. If V97 receives a SOUND request, V97 will
look for soundfile in its own directory only.
- SPEAK command
Usage: /speak text
Speaks text through the Monologue speech synthesizer. Monologue is included with most
Soundblaster cards and many compatibles. Monologue must be loaded for this to work
(although this will change in a future version which will have built-in Monologue speech
synthesis - more on this soon).
- TITLE command
Usage: /title text
Adds text to the title bar. In fact, /title merely sets the value of the $customtext
variable and then reprocesses the title bar's format string, as defined in the Default tab
of Client Setup.
- BACKGROUND command
Usage: /background |filename
Changes the bitmap that's tiled over the main window's background to filename (which must
be a BMP file). If is specified as a parameter, the window's background image is removed
(replaced with the standard grey background).
- EXIT command
Immediately quits Visiual 97.
- NEWSERVERWINDOW command
Creates, and sets focus to, a new server window. Equivalent to pressing the server window
button on the main toolbar.
Electronic mail address
Web and HomePage address
Copyright © 1996-98 Richard Mask
This page was last updated on 11/26/00.