Help Guide

General Use

Welcome to the web's finest, hosted online chat service. This chat software includes features such as multiple subrooms, font/color/branding customization, audio, emoticons, private messaging, profanity filtering, and many more! As of this writing, SigmaChat is available in over 17 different languages. This page will provide a brief summary of many of the features that you presently have access to.

To log in, simply enter your username/handle in the text box located at the center of the applet and press Enter. Certain restrictions are imposed upon usernames, and they should be 64 letters or less in length. A sample login dialog is shown below:

To communicate in the chat room, you may simply type text into the multi-line text box towards the bottom of the applet, and press Enter to send your message. Your message will appear in the content (larger) box above it when it is received by our server. Others may then read what you have typed, and respond to you. If you wish to get another user's attention, simply type in (or click if available) their name somewhere within the message that you are sending them. Their message will appear in a different color, and a sound will be played. A sample text input box is shown below:

You will notice various buttons within the chat room. These allow you to logout, request help (as you have already figured out), float/dock the chat room, turn on/off audio, specify color settings, and more. Buttons are described in detail in the Button Toolbar section of this control panel. A sample selection of buttons is shown below:

Certain chat rooms may have different features, or different layouts, depending upon how they have been configured. With some chat rooms that do not show buttons and checkboxes, you may access the features described above by right clicking in the content area where messages appear.

If you wish to exit the chat room at any time, simply click the Logout button. On some systems after logging out you will automatically be taken to another website, on others, you will have the option of logging back in again.

Button Toolbar

The button toolbar provides access to various features of this chat software. Some systems may have the button toolbar disabled to conserve screen space, or may have opted to remove certain buttons from the toolbar. The button toolbar can be found after you have logged in. Below is a description of each button.

Color Button. This button allows you to change your current text color.
Emoticons Button. This button allows you to select an emoticon from the emoticon popup window.
Audio Emoticons Button. This button allows you to select an audio emoticon from the emoticon popup window.
Timestamp Button. This button allows you to enable or disable timestamps.
Audio Button. This button allows you to enable or disable audio within the chat room.
Copy Content Button. This button allows you to copy content from the chat room.
Font Zoom In Button. This button allows you to increase the current font size.
Font Zoom Out Button. This button allows you to decrease the current font size.
Clear Screen. This button allows you to clear the contents of the chat screen.
Float/Dock Button. This button allows you to float or dock the chat room.
Help Button. This button allows you access to the chat room help file.
Logout Button. This button will log you out of the chat room.

Image Emoticons

Emoticons are textual representations of emotions, for conveying feelings in an atmosphere where it would be difficult to express them otherwise. Certain text emoticons are recognized by SigmaChat and will automatically be translated into their image counterpart. To your right is a list of the default (stock) emoticons provided with SigmaChat. Simply type in text that you see in the second column, and the corresponding image (shown in the third column) will appear in the chat room. Your chat room operator may have added additional emoticons, or possibly removed some of the emoticons listed to the right.

Smile :)
Grin :D
Blink *)
Tongue :p
Sad :(
Angry :<
Unsure :?
Laugh lol
Smug :/
Surprised :o
Wink ;)

Audio Emoticons


Audio Emoticons, or Emotauds, work similar to image emoticons, except that instead of displaying an image, they play a sound for all to hear. To your left is a list of the default audio emoticons provided with SigmaChat. Your chat room operator may have added additional audio emoticons, or removed emoticons shown to the left. To find out which emoticons you have access to, right click in the area where you type your messages and select "Audio Emoticons", or click the Audio Emoticon button in the Button Toolbar.

Font Size

You may change the size of your font by accessing the right-click content menu. To do so, right click on the content area (the area where messages are displayed) and a small menu will appear. Select "Font Size" to show the font selections allowing you to change your font size. Click on the font size you'd like to use. You may also increase/decrease the size of the displayed text by using the Zoom-In and Zoom-Out buttons located in the Button Toolbar.

Text Color

Premium SigmaChat chat rooms may allow their users to change their own text color as it is displayed within the chat room. To change your text color, you may right click in the content area (where messages are displayed) and select "Colors". You may also access the color dialog by clicking the Color button within the Button Toolbar.

A sample color dialog is shown to the left. You may select a color directly from the web-safe palette, or you may manually adjust the red, green, and blue scrollbars to find the color that you wish to use. Click the Apply or OK button to apply your new color settings.


SigmaChat recognizes various text commands. A complete list of commands presently recognized by SigmaChat are shown below. You will notice that these commands are IRC-like in nature. Command Macros allow you to quickly perform some of these functions by reducing keystrokes.

Do not use brackets. Brackets are shown to differentiate commands from parameters.

Private messages displayed within the main content area may appear in a unique color to be easily differentiated from messages intended for the (public) chat room.
Command Macros Description
/a [verb/action] /me Perform an action
/beepall Beep on all messages, audio notification.
/clign Clear Ignore List
/cls Clear Screen
/create [subroom] [password] Create Subroom
/ignore /i Show Ignore List
/ignore [username] /i Ignore User
/info SigmaChat Product Information
/join [subroom] [password] Join Subroom
/leave Leave Subroom
/listen [username] Do not Ignore User
/msg [username] [message] /m, /p Send Private Message
/nick [alias] [password] /n Change Alias/Handle (Password Optional)
/visual Toggle Visual Notifications
/whereis [username] What Room is [username] in? [English]
/whoami Who Are You?

URL Addresses

URL's, such as or, as well as email addresses such as or may be entered into the chat at any time to share with. Some systems may show URL's in a different color (usually blue) and may allow you to click on them to launch either another web page, or your default mail application.

Note: Many modern systems are now equipped with popup-blockers. Web sites, and popups launched from SigmaChat may be prevented by your browser if this is the case. To override, simply hold down the "Ctrl" button while clicking on a popup link or button.

URL's should be fully qualified URL's. I.e., use as opposed to just


This chat application is capable of hosting multiple subrooms. Subrooms are shown in the pulldown menu on the lower right hand side of the applet, just below the user list. Depending upon how your chat room has been configured by it's owner; you may create, join, and leave subrooms. Subrooms may be password protected as well for privacy. There is no limit on the amount of subrooms that may be created, however; user created subrooms are automatically removed when they are empty.

Some systems may automatically place you in your own unique subroom. The subroom will have the same name as your username. Often times this is used for technical-support solutions.

To create a new subroom, type /create [subroom_name]. Subroom names are subject to the same limitations as usernames. They should be between 2 and 32 characters in length, and may not contain spaces. You will automatically be placed in a subroom that you create. If you wish to password protect the subroom you have created, type /create [subroom_name] [subroom_password]. All users wishing to join your subroom will be required to enter the password you have chosen. Passwords are subject to the same limitations as subroom names.

To leave a subroom, type /leave or select a different subroom from the subroom pulldown menu. You will then be brought back to the main chat room. If the subroom you leave is empty, it may be removed from the subroom list.

To join an existing subroom, type /join [subroom_name]. If the subroom is password protected, you will need to supply the password (not neccesary for system operators) by typing: /join [subroom_name] [subroom_password].

Some chat rooms indicate users that are in the current subroom by listing them first (below administrators) or by indicating users in another subroom by displaying their name with a different color in the user list. To determine where another user is (what subroom he/she is in) simply double click on that users name in the user list, or type /whereis [username].

Private Messages

To send private messages, use the /msg command. I.e., to send the private message Hello, there to the user Timmy, you would type:

/msg Timmy Hello, there

Private messages are shown in a seperate color within the display to be easily differentiated.

You may also initiate a private message session with another user by double clicking on his/her name, or by right clicking on a username and selecting "Send Message". Once doing so, a popup dialog will appear for you to communicate with the other user in privately. The recipient may receive all messages in the main content area until he/she also double clicks on your name. To close a private message session, simply click the X in the upper-right hand portion of the window. Audio emoticons are not available within private message sessions.

Profanity Filter

Your chat room may have filters in place to ensure that certain words (such as profanity) are not allowed. You may receive a warning message such as "Please rephrase your last message" if you use an illegal word in a chat room that censors profanity. If you receive this warning, you can easily go back and edit your message by using the Message Scrollback feature.


You may toggle the timestamp on/off by clicking the button shown above. The timestamp may also be accessed from the right-click menu in the main content area (where messages are displayed). When this feature is turned on, all incoming messages will be displayed with the time that they were received. This time is relative to your own computer, and the timezone in which it resides.

Float & Dock

Click the Float/Dock button to load the chat room into a separate window. This feature allows you to conserve screen space while you chat by minimizing the browser window that you floated the chat room from. When you wish to return the chatroom to it's browser, simply reclick the Float/Dock button.

Note: With most modern web browsers, you must keep the browser window that the chat room was floated from open. Closing this window, or changing the web address may cause the chat software to close.

Copy Content Dialog

When clicked, the Copy Content button will display a popup window allowing you to easily copy text entered within the chat room (both private and public messages may be copied) by right-clicked, or using either the Ctrl-C (PC) or Alt-C (Apple) keyboard commands to copy text to your system clipboard.

Message Scrollback

The Message Scrollback Feature allows you to scroll back through the previous messages you have entered into the chatroom. To use this feature, simply press the Up and Down arrow buttons in the blue box where you type messages. Often times, we make typos, or we are censored by SigmaChat's text filter. This feature makes it easy to simply go back and edit the message that you have just typed. Some operators may have disabled this feature to prevent flooding within their chat room.

Connection Difficulties

If you are running a version of a Microsoft Windows, or a BSD/*NIX variant ™ and see only a broken link icon, you will need to download a copy of the Java™ Virtual Machine in order to run our application. You may download Java™ Support for your browser from the link below:

We strongly recommend upgrading using the most modern version of your web browser available today. Certain browsers (esp. Netscape 5 and below) running on Macintosh platforms are not capable of running our software due to issues outside of our control. We recommend that Macintosh users use Netscape 7.0, or MSIE 5.x. As WebTV does not support Java™, WebTV users will not be able to access our chat rooms. We recommend that Apple Macintosh users upgrade to OS X 10.3 or later.

Users behind firewalls may need to inform their local IT/network administrator to allow TCP connections on the port in use by SigmaChat. Contact your chat room owner (webmaster) to determine which server and port number this chat room has been allocated. Your chat room owner can find this information in the Help section of their chat room's control panel. SigmaChat generally uses ports 8000-8009 at, where # may be any integer. Additional information can be found at or by contacting your chat room administrator.

AOL Members: Some users have reported that the built-in AOL browser has difficulty connecting to our service, or does not load colors/emoticons properly. To resolve this, minimize your AOL connection, and use the Internet Explorer browser that came with your operating system to access our chat rooms.

Additional information for resolving common problems may be found at

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