Help me! I'm new to Miranda! Well, good. You have come to the right place. This little tutorial is intended for new users who have used an instant messaging client before. If you have never used an IM client before or if you want a detailed explanation on different parts of Miranda, you might want to check out the Comprehensive guide. Otherwise, this short tutorial will get you chatting with your friends in no time!
If you haven't already, Download Miranda before you continue this tutorial. If you choose the installer, you will be asked which protocols you wish to install. Select those that are desired. If you choose the zip, just extract Miranda to the directory you wish to use it from. If you are wondering what versions you should download, check out the Comprehensive Guide's installation section for a detailed explanation.
This part should be a piece of cake. If you did not autorun Miranda after the install, you can do so by: double-clicking the icon on the Desktop, using the Start menu, or by clicking on the executable. Miranda should load up pretty quickly.
On your first run, Miranda will ask you to fill in a profile. Just add your name or a description such as Workplace and click Create. Miranda will then ask you for details of your instant messaging accounts. If you haven't already registered an account for a network, you can follow the link to register after creating an account for that network in Miranda. If you do not want to use a protocol, it is best if you remove the .dll associated with it. To remove dll's, see removing plugins. If you need to change protocol details later, use Main Menu->Options->Network and click the Protocol you want to change details for.
Click the status menu at the top of the contact list and select Online. All installed protocols will begin connecting. If you get errors when trying to connect, check your login details are correct (see previous section). You can also right click on the status bar at the bottom of the client to bring up the status menu.
The first thing you will see after connecting is the Miranda contact list. You can add contacts by clicking Main Menu->Find/Add Contacts...
Changing your status
You can change your status by clicking on their icons at the bottom of your contact list. Alternatively you can set them all at once by using the status menu. Each time you change status, you will be asked for a status message. This is a message your friends will see when you are in that status. If you leave the dialog alone it will close automatically in few seconds. To turn this dialog off, see the Status Message Dialog.
Reading a contact's status message
Right-click on a contact, and choose Read 'status' Message where 'status' is the contact's current status (Online, Away, NA, etc.). This may vary by protocols.
Hiding the contact list
Click on the 'X' in the top-right corner. This will hide Miranda, but keep it running. To get the window back, double-click the icon in the system tray, next to your clock on the taskbar (the bottom right of your screen).
Sending a message
Double-click on a contact's name or right click on their name and choose Message to open a chat window. To send a message, type in your message in the text box at the bottom and press enter.
Reading a message
Messages should appear in the message window when you receive them. You may see a Typing Notification when a buddy is typing a message to you. If you do not have a current chat session open when you receive a message, the system tray icons will blink, and you may hear a sound. Double-click the flashing icon to read the message and open a chat window to reply.
I don't like it!
If there is something you don't like about Miranda, or the way it works, it can be changed. There are plugins for new contact lists, new messaging windows, and you can find many more on the file listing. If you need help, check out the different ways you can get support.