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It's very simple, as it's only a font, you just tell the program to change font. Yahoo! Messenger and websites use HTML to format their text, so all you need do is use the <font> tags. Most PCs come with wingdings and webdings fonts. For example, the red heart above is formed like this:
First is the font tag, which tells the viewer we are now using the webdings font. Next comes the normal text, a red heart is formed by the capital Y. The </font> part tells the viewer to switch back to the default font (ie end the current font). If this wasn't done, all the text after the first < would be in webdings.
In Yahoo! Messenger, you can also use the font tag so people see your text as you wished it to be seen. You can also change colour by using a tag such as <red> or <green> . Remember to end the colour, by inserting </red> or </green> for example. You can post these types of text anytime, as normal text, or as an emotion, you can insert them into your emote.dat or emote_user.dat, you can also insert them into Emotion Creator.
How can I copy what I see?
If you see a small picture in chat, or on a webpage like the heart above, and you copy and paste, you will get a letter, like Y. Which isn't the heart. Copy that letter into the test box below, then you will see what picture it makes, you can then click get code to copy and paste the font tag!
Below is a simple way to see how characters appear. Type a character in the top box, and the other boxes will show you how it will appear. Click Get Code, and it will create the above font tag for you to copy and paste into your application!
For example, type a Y in the top box, then click the "Get Code" button near webdings.