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Creating Fonts/smilies

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Here's one for you gurus out there.

I eventually plan to set up a webpage with a forum, and I want to know how to create graphic symbols that can be inserted into posts (like smilies). But here's the catch: I also want to be able to use those same symbols as a font in Microsoft Word (thus killing two birds with one stone).

What software tools are out there that will let me create symbols that can be used both ways? The symbols won't have to be animated, but I'd prefer a tool that costs nothing.

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You will need two different tools.

Every forum program I've seen used standard GIF files for smilies. Most any paint program will work here. Use your favorite search engine to find "animated gif editor windows free" if you want animated smilies.

You should be able to import these picture files in any bitmap-based font editor, but note that fonts can not be animated. Search for "bitmap font editor windows free" for appropriate tools. Note that you want a bitmap font editor, not a vector font editor. Vector-based fonts are more difficult to work with, and it is unlikely that you will be able to import your pixel-based bitmap.

Were I putting smilies into MS Word, I would spend an evening looking at the macro features instead of creating a font. It should be simple to create a macro that inserts a given smily picture file, and then you can create a button bar with a button for each smily insertion macro.

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