How to Make Your Own Yahoo Emoticons

Written by john gugie
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How to Make Your Own Yahoo Emoticons
Yahoo! emoticon smiley (happy smiley image by Perth from

Emoticons are graphical expressions used in instant messengers, such as Yahoo! Messenger, which allows chat users to add graphical representations of their current feelings on their messages to other users. Yahoo! Messenger offers dozens of emoticons, but sometimes users want to add their own custom emoticons. It only takes a few simple steps to create your own emoticons for Yahoo! Messenger.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Yahoo! account
  • Yahoo! Messenger (version 10 or higher)
  • Graphics editing software

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  1. 1

    Locate the folder containing the Yahoo! Messenger emoticons (smileys). On the Windows operating system, the default location of the emoticons is "c:\program files\yahoo!\messenger\media\smileys\".

  2. 2

    Choose a new smiley from the folder. Take note of the image name, which is most likely a number. Yahoo! Messenger lists 60 emoticons on the menu, so the emoticons are numbered 1 through 60. There are more emoticons in the folder, but these are hidden and you need to know the special key combination of symbols to use them.

  3. 3

    Create an 18-by-18-pixel image using your graphics editing software. The image can be a new image made from scratch or an image that you been resize. It may also be animated using three sequential images merged into one animated file with a graphics animation program.

  4. 4

    Save the image files into the folder you found earlier. Save the files in the BMP image format and also the GIF image format. The BMP image will appear on the smiley menu on Yahoo! Messenger and the GIF image is the smiley that will appear in the actual chat window. Give both images the same name you found in the Step 2. Replace these files with the originals when asked to do so. This will overwrite the original emoticons with your version.

  5. 5

    Open Yahoo! Messenger or restart it if it is already open. This will add the smiley to the emoticons menu and allow it to be selected to use in the chat window. Test it out by double-clicking on one of your Yahoo! friends to open up a window, click the emoticon icon on the bottom left of the window above your text input box and choose the new emoticon from the emoticon menu that pops up.

Tips and warnings

  • In order for your friends to see the emoticons as you do, you will need to send them the same emoticons files to add to their smiley folder as you did.

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