Colorize User NickNames in the middle of IRC messages ( XChat Plugin)

technology.pngI’ve been using XChat2 for IRC for a while now (it’s free, it’s for Windows and *nix), and while looking for a solution to a different problem, I ran across the colorize perl script.  It colorizes a user’s nickname even if it’s in the middle of a message.

Unfortunately, the original webpage (which the link collections pointed toward) was offline.  I managed to dig up a copy from The Wayback Machine, and have it now as a gist on GitHub for anyone who might need it.

I did not author this script, nor I have I altered the script, I’m just keeping the useful script available to the public under the GPL license;  the documentation is below.

NAME – Colorize messages and/or embedded nicks with corresponding colors.


This documentation refers to version 0.0.3.


Short answer:

Put this file in your Xchat data directory (e.g. ~/.xchat2 on linux). Make sure you’ve turned on colored nick names in your preferences.

Long answer:

The following is from

18. How do I auto-load scripts at startup?

You just have to place the scripts into XChat’s data directory. XChat will auto-load scripts if they have the right extension .e.g If a filename ends in .pl, it will be loaded as a Perl script. This data directory is different on each platform:


It depends on your version of Windows and where it stores the Application Data folder. On Windows XP it is usually:

C:Documents and SettingsusernameApplication DataX-Chat 2


~/.xchat2/ Where “~” represents your home directory i.e.: $HOME/.xchat2/


/colorize [OPTION]

If no option is given, the default action is to show the current settings.

  ?, help – Display this help message

Enable/Disabling Colorization

  enable – Enable colorizing
  disable – Disable colorizing

Colorizing Schemes

  all – Colorize message and embedded nicks in message
  message – Colorize message only
  nicks – Colorize embedded nicks only

Example. To set colorization scheme to only colorize embedded nicks:

/colorize nicks

Note that you only need to type the first letter of the option. So the following command will also set the scheme to colorize just nicks:

/colorize n


You can customize the type and color of the brackets that surround the nick names. The default is to not have any surrounding brackets.

To change the bracket type and color, go to the section labeled “BRACKET SETTINGS” towards the top of the script and edit the three variables:

 my $BRACKET_COLOR       = “”;

You can use the %color hash defined at the top of the script for defining  $BRACKET_COLOR. For example, to set the bracket color to green, set the following:

 my $BRACKET_COLOR = $color{green};

The brackets can be any characters you want, you are not limited to  the usual ‘<‘ and ‘>’. For example, to set the bracket type to use parentheses, set the following:



Xchat 2.0.8 or above is required to load this plugin.


Please report any bugs you find to the author.  [EDIT: NOT STEVEN SAUS]

This version only colorizes messages sent by other users. It does not colorize messages sent by you or for you.

Patches welcome. 🙂

SEE ALSO is where this plugin is hosted.
[EDIT:  Now at] has good documentation on writing perl plugins.


jf3 at


This plugin is made available under the same license as XChat, which is the GPL. You can read it at

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