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Buddy Icons are the small graphics some people have in the lower
left-hand corner of their Instant Message window.
In this example, the buddy icon is a small AIM Dude
waving an American flag, with the words "American Pride"
beneath him. A lot of these customized buddy icons, such as this one, are made
to look like another one of the buttons along the bottom of the IM window.
Some of the icons are animated, while others are static, or stationary. Buddy
icons have a wide range of topics, including music, sports, television, humor,
are two very simple ways to set your buddy icon....
One method is to access your preferences
and click "Buddy Icons" This will
open a screen in which you can select icons from your computer, or from the
collection AOL has set up. Make sure "*My Buddy Icon*" is selected
from the list where it says "Images to use for buddies."
To select an icon from your computer, click
the "Browse PC" button. From the
next screen, you can browse the contents of your PC for any ICO, GIF, JPG, BMP,
or XBM files. You can select any of these available images, but it must be under
7168 bytes. It will tell you if the image you select is too large.
To select an icon from AOL's collection,
browse through the menu at the right of your preferences window. To select a
new icon, simply click on it. When you are done selecting an icon, click "OK"
on your preferences window. That's all there is to it!
The other way to get a buddy icon is to visit one of the many buddy icon sites
on the web. When you visit these sites, you can browse several categories of
icons, and click on whichever icon you would like to make your own. You will
be asked to confirm whether or not you want to make it your buddy icon. Once
confirmed, the selected image will instantly become your new buddy icon.
To the left is an example of this feature. Click the "Bee Wacky" icon
to make it your new buddy icon. You can always change it later.
Your Buddy's Icon...
If one of your buddies has their own buddy icon set, you will receive a dialog
box asking if you want to accept it. At first, the image will be blurred, in
case it is obscene and you don't want to see it. Click "Sharpen" several
times until the image becomes completely clear, then click "Accept."
Changing/Setting Your Buddy's Icon...
If you don't like your buddy's icon, or they don't have one and you wish to
set one yourself, go to your preferences and click "Buddy Icons."
Rather than selecting "My Buddy Icon" this time, choose your buddy's
name from the list and follow the same steps you did to set your own icon. Note
that you can only use icons from your computer or AOL's collection to do this.
You can't click a buddy icon on a web site to set it as your friend's buddy
icon. Also, you can click your buddy's existing icon, and your buddy icon preferences
will pop up and you can set a new one that way. You buddy won't see the buddy
icon you have selected for them, and all of their buddies will still see the
icon they selected. Only you will be able to see the buddy icon that you set
for them. Also note that you will be unable to reset your buddy's icon to the
original one unless they reset their own icon or select a new one, and a new
accept dialog pops up for you.