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More Fun with Gaim - Part 1 (Smileys)

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 17 Nov 2004

When you install Gaim, it defaults to be a very nice chat client allowing you to connect to multiple servers on multiple protocols - but it can be quite a bit more than that if you dig into the preferences a bit.

Gaim has controls for smiley themes, auto-text replacement, message notification, a system-tray icon, history logs, auto-reconnection, away message configuration, sounds, and quite a bit more.

I'm going to go through a nifty tool Gaim has which will turn up the volume a bit on your Gaim experience.

Turning on / modifying your smiley themes

If you click on your the tools -> preferences button on your buddy list, you should see a nice window with a bunch of options in it. Choose the smiley theme, and it should show you something similar to the image below:

If you see that your smileys are turned off (as is shown above), you're definitely missing out on one of the finer aspects of Gaim. Also, if you only see three themes available (as shown above again), you're missing out.

There are *loads* of smiley themes available for Gaim. Let's get some more installed and turn em' on.

First, you've got to go to get some additional smiley themes and install them. Although this requires us to go out to the net, don't fret - it's not hard.

  1. The website we're going to can be found by clicking here (

    You should see a page full of links and text representing a smiley repository. Be careful when selecting your theme - these aren't all of them. At the bottom of the page, you'll see there are pages of them - so make sure you look at all the pages before you select your theme. You can download and install as many themes as you like. If you're feeling energetic, you can even download and install all of them.

    My personal favorite is the "trillypro" theme. At the time of this writing, it was on page two.

  2. Choose a theme and click on the corresponding link.

    After you click on the theme of your choice, you should see a window similar to this one pop up:

  3. Click the "download" link and download the file. When it asks you if you want to save it, or open it - choose to save it. It should default to save it to your Desktop.

  4. Install what you downloaded. To do this, look for the new icon on your desktop (the icon may vary depending on what theme you chose to download) and double click it.

    Here's a section of my desktop

  5. After you've double clicked it, a window should pop up that has a folder in it.

    The folder appears...

  6. Now with that window open, if you're using Gnome, click on your "home" icon on your desktop. (mine is "jason's home"), if you're using KDE, click on your start button (the big "N"), go up to "Home" and click it.

    the home icon in Gnome.

  7. After you click on the home icon, you should see a window appear with a folder containing a few icons. Now, in the address bar of the window, type in "/.gaim" (like the part circled in red in the graphic below) and press return.

    type in \

  8. Now double-click on the "smileys" icon in the same folder. You should be presented with an empty window.

  9. Now click and drag the "Trilly Pro" folder (if you didn't choose the trillypro smiley theme, then you'll have to drag the appropriate folder) into the empty window.

    You should see a new folder appear in the empty window.

    the new folder should appear in the empty window.

You're done with the installation! It wasn't too hard, was it? To install more themes, simply follow the exact same steps, and you'll have more options.

Now, let's turn the theme on and use it!

Using Your New Theme

In order to use it, if you have gaim running, you'll have to exit out of it, and start it back up. After you've done that, click on the tools -> preferences options in your buddy list.

Then go to the smileys portion of the preferences window. You should see a new theme there!

Your new theme should appear.

Simply click on the new theme,and you should be good to go.

Happy Smiley'ing!

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