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You can use your own pictures to make a custom and/or animated emoticons. I used Photoshop CS3 but this should work with other Photoshop's, GIMP, and other graphics softwares. Please look at the images as they are sometimes clearer. (to make an image into an emoticon skip to step 7). Simple and easy

Step 1: The Base

First, you need to open the pictures to go in your animated emoticon

Step 2: Sizes

On the top toolbar, click the image dropdown menu and click on image size and write down/ memorize the measurements. Find the maximum width and height. Then minimize all the images.

Step 3: More Sizes

Create a new image.
You need to:
~name it
~make it the maximum size
~Colour mode - RBG
~background contents - transparent

Step 4: The Animating

Open the image you want first.
On the keyboard press: Ctrl+a, Ctrl+c
Then click on the transparent image
On the keyboard press: Ctrl+v
then close the original image

Do this with all others, you should get a new layer for each image. If not create a new layer per image as these will become the frames of the animation

Step 5: The Animating 2

On the top toolbar, click on the window dropdown image and then Animation.
At the end of the pop up window click on the arrow with the lines and click 'make frames from layers'
Set the timings. I found that 0.5 is the best.
Put the loop on forever.

Step 6: Saving

On the top toolbar click the File drop down menu and then save for web & devices. Make sure it is in the optimized tab and saved as a GIF. Then click save.

To check it works open the file in an internet explorer.

Step 7: The Emoticon

When in conversation with someone, click on the emoticon menu and then show all. Click create in the pop up menu and there will be another pop up. Click find image and select the image/animation you want to use.
Give it a keyboard shortcut. and (if you want) a name. Then click OK. It should then appear in custom emoticons. I made the first one and borrowed the next 2 from a friend.

Step 8: Finished - Ta-Dah!!

You have now got your own emoticon.
Feel free to use this instructables emoticon.
Can you add WHAT exactly the shortcuts do please?

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