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mIRC Colors

The color codes in mIRC are inserted by using the Control+K key combination. The actual control character inserted in the text is ascii character 3, seen as ^C or inverse C on most UNIX clients.

The syntax of the color attribute in text has the format ^CN[,M]

N and M can be any number out of a range 0 to 15 thus allowing a range of sixteen colors.

N will be the text (foreground) color, M a background color. A background color is not always included. If no background color is set the recieving client uses a default background color (white). Additionally you can use color 99 to indicate a transparent color.

A plain ^C can be used to turn off all previous color attributes.

The Control+O key combination in mIRC inserts ascii character 15, which turns off all previous attributes, including color, bold, underline, and italics.

Technically mIRC accepts the full number range 0 to 99. Thus N and M can maximally be two digits long. The way these colors are interpreted varies from client to client. Some map the numbers back to 0 to 15, others interpret numbers larger than 15 as the default text color.

You can expect to see combinations like:

^C5,12colored text and background^C
^C5colored text^C
^C3colored text ^C5,2more colored text and background^C
^C3,5colored text and background ^C8other colored text but same background^C
^C3,5colored text and background ^C8,7other colored text and different background^C

As you see the background color remains valid until it is changed or until the entire color is switched off with a ^C. Of course lines can start with colored text from the beginning and a closing ^C is not always given. To specify a background color, a foreground color has to be given. So a ^C,8 attribute is not valid and thus ignored.

Note: if you want to color text that begins with numbers, this syntax requires that you specify the color value as two digits.

The color indexes 0 to 15 represent the following colors:

0 white
1 black
2 blue (navy)
3 green
4 red
5 brown (maroon)
6 purple
7 orange (olive)
8 yellow
9 light green (lime)
10 teal (a green/blue cyan)
11 light cyan (cyan) (aqua)
12 light blue (royal)
13 pink (light purple) (fuchsia)
14 grey
15 light grey (silver)

Note: the above list is an approximation since some clients might interpret these indexes with some variation.