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Forum Avatar Information

Avatars are designed to let you "give personality" to your forum posts. This means it should be an image of you (if you are over 18), of your beloved cat or dog, or of something related to you. It is not meant to be a promotion. As much as you might love CocaCola, if you have an avatar of a CocaCola bottle it would give the implication that you are part of the CocaCola organization and things you post should be associated with them. This is true for charity projects or other websites. For these reasons, please ensure your avatar is about you as a person, and not about any external organization or website.

Our online avatar rules state "Please keep any custom avatars at or below 100 x 100 pixels. Thanks! "

While we realize that many members with, for example, multiple pets, would need a slightly larger image size to be able to show all of their pets clearly, we have a hard upper limit of size at 320 wide by 240 high. This is HALF of the screen width and height on a standard browser window!! Any larger than that would be unfairly making those people have an impossible time reading the text they came to our forum to read.

Please note that this forum is used by people all over the world, of all ages. The image needs to be family friendly. For legal reasons the image cannot be an image that a third party holds a copyright to (no images of cartoon characters or celebrities). For health issues, the image cannot flash or rotate. These types of images can trigger epileptic seizures in some individuals.

Here is how you create your own forum avatar!

STEP 1 - GET PHOTO ONTO COMPUTER
If you have a digital camera, take a photo of yourself or the item you adore. Use a memory stick or cable to get the JPG file onto your computer hard drive. If you have an actual physical photo, scan it in with a scanner and save it to your hard drive.

STEP 2 - GET YOUR PHOTO THE RIGHT SIZE
The easy way to alter an image is to use Paint which comes with pretty much every PC.
Click on Start - Programs - Accessories - Paint
Click on File - Open and browse to find your image
Click on Image - Stretch. Set both the height and width to 50% (i.e. half). Voila! Your image is half as big! You can experiment with different percentages to see what numbers work best for you.
SAVE and you are all set!

PhotoShop is a GREAT program that I use and highly recommend. To resize in PhotoShop:
Open Photoshop from the icon
Click on File - Open and browse to find your image.
Click on Image - Image Size. Set the width to something appropriate (320 or smaller). The height will auto-adjust.
SAVE and you are all set!

STEP 3 - PUT YOUR PHOTO ON THE WEB
Your photo has to be on the web in order for web users to see it. Web users can't see your hard drive - thank goodness! Most ISPs provide you with free web storage space, or you can sign up for an account at PhotoBucket. If you're using PhotoBucket, log in and click on New Image. Browse to find this JPG you just made. It will copy your image from your hard drive to the PhotoBucket site. When you are looking at your image, click on the URL that ends in .JPG. You now know the URL that points to your image.

STEP 4 - TELL THE FORUMS TO USE THAT IMAGE
In the forums, click on MY PROFILE which is in the upper right. In your profile page, click on EDIT PROFILE which is in the upper left. About halfway down look for the Image Avatar: area and click on "Select a different Avatar Image". Where it says "Use Custom URL:", enter the URL you got in step 3, and save it.

You're all set!


Thanks to Pretty Bird for helping with this information!

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