They are known as emoticons, these symbols can be static or animated and they are frequently used in chat, forums, blogs or anywhere else. They are used to express some feeling; they usually have face shapes or full bodies, objects or animals in general.
The client of instant messaging, such as Messenger or Yahoo! counts with a determined number of these icons and, regretfully, they are not well elaborated, which is why these software offer the opportunity to add more icons, whether they are animated or static, opening an option for most people to look for better icons through the internet, then saving them and customize them so they can use it in Messenger.
These emoticons or icons came up from the idea of easily showing people’s mood, which were pretty messy to write down or through the aid of the all of the keyboard’s characters. Besides from the smiley emoticons or figures in general, there are also text icons with an animated or extravagant letter design where phrases such as “I Love You”, “I am angry” appear, or any other, so you can send them to more people, giving more emphasis to the message.
In order to be able to get more icons, you have to go to certain web sites that offer these sorts of products; one of them is known as Emotik, and it counts with a wide range of emoticons and several utilities for Messenger or Yahoo! Another option could be to visit Portalmochis which, besides from providing the user with these kinds of icons, offers many animations or backgrounds for the conversation pages.
It is very easy to use them; first you choose the emoticon that you have downloaded from certain web site and you save it in your hard drive, then, once you are inside the conversation window with a person, you need to try to put a Messenger predetermined emoticon, which can be found in the lower part of the conversation window, before choosing one of these faces, you have to go to the lower side and choose an option called “my customized emoticons”, as follows, you will see a little menu in which we will mark down the “Add” option. After doing this, we press the “Browse” button and proceed to search the emoticon that we had previously stored in our hard drive. Once we have found it, we press “Open” and done, you only have to name the icon and create a shortcut so you can use it in your conversation windows. To use it, you only have to type the shortcut y it will automatically appear, without having to enter into the emoticon window and manually pick it up.
These are very important elements when chatting, which is why Microsoft has put a lot of effort and has increased the number and the quality of its emoticons from version to version. Even though its production is scarce, it is strongly recommended to go to web sites and download all you want. But you should be very careful when downloading zipped packages of compressed emoticons in RAR or ZIP formats, because they could come with Trojan viruses inside.
To be able to know where the emoticons are been stored after Messenger has codified them in your system, or to recover the emoticons that people that we have talked to have sent us, we just have to go to the following route or, if you wish, you can copy it and pay it in the Execute gap of the Start Menu, but, before, you have to make sure that you have written down your user name with the corresponding managing rights: C:Documents and SettingsUsuarioConfiguración localTempMessengerCache.
After you have found the file, you will see that there are several files with weird extensions, because Messenger has codified them to be able to used them in the screen, to be able to see the images you will need an image edition program, such as “Paint Shop pro” (or Corel Paint Shop pro) or simply change the extension manually; to do that, you will only need to change the name of the file and in the end add an extension such as “.PNG” or “.GIF”, etc.
To edit the extensions more than once, you need to change the settings on that file. Once you are in there, you need to go to the “Tools” menu and then to “File Options”, then to the “See” gap; once you are in there, you need to locate where it says “Hide file extensions for known files” and remove the check.