With more than 140 million users, Skype is perhaps the most active Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, calling service on the Web. In addition to providing free and low-cost Internet calls to users, Skype allows users to utilise text and video chat messaging similar to services offered by G-Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. Like many instant messenger applications, Skype supports the use of animations and emoticons while chatting. Animated symbols, smileys and other emoticons can make your chat sessions more interest and lively.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Direct your Web browser to the Skype website and download the latest version of the Skype software. Save the set-up file to your computer.
Click "Start" and then "Computer." Browse to the folder where you saved the Skype set-up file and double-click the file to launch the set-up wizard. Accept the license agreement and follow the prompts to begin the install. When prompted with set-up options, make sure you click and enable "Extras Manager." Follow the remaining prompts to finish the installation. Reboot your PC if you are prompted to do so.
Launch Skype on your computer. Click the "Tools" link on the menu bar, then click "Extras." A small pop-up browser appears and directs you to the Skype Extras website. Type "Animations" in the "Search Extras" box, then click "Find Now."
Browse through the list of available Skype plug-ins that permit you to use animated characters, smileys and emoticons in your chat messages. Skype plug-ins that you can use for this purpose include Rich Chat for Skype, Magic Camera and CaraQ Desktop Toy, to name a few.
Select the animation plug-in you want to add to Skype and then click the download link. On the download page, click the "Get it now" button. Skype will download and install the animation plug-in. Close and restart Skype when prompted to do so.
Click the "Contacts" tab in Skype. Click the name of an online friend with whom you'd like to chat. Enter your chat text in the message box as you normally would. When you get to the point in the message text where you want to insert an animation or emoticon, click the drop-down list in the "Send Message" box and select the character you want to include in the message. Alternatively, click the "Add animation" or "Add Emoticon" button that some plug-ins will display at the bottom of the chat window. Click the picture of the animation you want to send.
Enter additional message text as desired. Click the "Send Message" button or press the "Enter" key to send your message with the embedded animation or emoticon.
Tips and warnings
- Skype supports the use of many animations or emoticons. However, for your friend to be able to see some full-screen animations included with certain plug-ins, he must also install that plug-in on his computer.
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