Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Scroll to the last highlight in irssi

Perhaps you know this situation: You have irssi running in screen and have been away for a few days. You come back and see that you have been highlighted a few hours or maybe even days before. Irssi usually shows you the highlighted line in the server window and it may be something like "daniel: What? Nooo!". Now you're wondering "What the heck was he refering to?", since you don't remember the conversation at that time. Now you would start scrolling back, probably hundreds of lines. When you are connected to your irssi via ssh over a slow line, this may take a second or more per page. It often happens to me that it takes 3 minutes or more to scroll back, just to find out that he mistyped another nick.

I now finally learned about a way to scroll to the highlighted position directly. With the command

/scrollback goto [dd-mm] HH:MM
you can scroll directly to a point in time. And since the timestamp is usually displayed next to the highlight in the server window, it's possible to jump straight to the highlighted position. You can then use
/scrollback end
to go back again to the most recent message in the window.

I was annoyed by that tedious scrolling task for years now, and asked in #irssi every now and then about it, but until today nobody could give me a solution.

Thanks to jink from #irssi on freenode for telling me about /scrollback goto!


  1. Thanks for pointing out scrollback - new irssi user here (:

    I now want to know how to get it so that "Irssi usually shows you the highlighted line in the server window". Or in a status bar, or something. All of my channels are in the same window and I like that. Knowing where to scroll back would be good though.