ERC has some features that distinguish it from some IRC clients.
Every channel is put in a separate buffer. Several IRC servers may be connected to at the same time.
Private conversations are treated as channels, and are put into separate buffers in Emacs. We call these “query buffers”.
Some occurrences of words can be highlighted, which makes it easier to track different kinds of conversations.
ERC can notify you that certain users are online.
Channels can be hidden and conversation continue in the background. You are notified when something is said in such a channel that is not currently visible. This makes it easy to get Real Work done while still maintaining an IRC presence.
ERC can complete words upon hitting TAB, which eases the writing of nicknames in messages.
Past actions are kept in history rings for future use. To navigate a history ring, hit M-p to go backwards and M-n to go forwards.
Different channels and servers may have different language encodings.
In addition, it is possible to translate the messages that ERC uses into multiple languages. Please contact the developers of ERC at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in helping with the translation effort.
Users can load scripts (e.g., auto greeting scripts) when ERC starts up.
It is also possible to make custom IRC commands, if you know a little
Emacs Lisp. Just make an Emacs Lisp function and call it
NEWCOMMAND is the name of the
new command in capital letters.
If the connection goes away at some point, ERC will try to reconnect
automatically. If it fails to reconnect, and you want to try to
manually reestablish the connection at some later point, switch to an
ERC buffer and run the