View Full Version : How to Create an Avatar

Don McRitchie
07-30-2003, 09:03 AM
For those who don't know, avatars are small images that you can have associated with your name that will show up to the left of every post you make. You can upload a favorite image from your computer to be your custom avatar much like uploading an image to a post. However, you only have to do it once for it to show up on all current and subsequent posts.

Just like image posting, there are two restrictions to avatars that will likely require some prep work before you can successfully upload the image. First, the image cannot be larger than a square that is 150 pixels wide and 150 pixels high. Second, the total image size must be smaller than 20 kB. The following instructions will allow you to modify an image to meet these restrictions. Again, they are based on using the program Lviewpro that can be obtained here:


To start, find an image on your computer or on the web that you would like to use for your avatar. If it is on the web, you must first download it onto your computer. Remember, the image will be reduced to be no more than 150 X 150 pixels, which on most monitors, will appear to be the size of a large postage stamp. Therefore, you should avoid images consisting of small details since they will be lost in the reduction.

Now, open Lviewpro. On the menu bar, click “File”, “Open” and find the image file on your computer that you want to use. This picture can be in any of the standard image file formats. Once open, look at the colored bar at the very top of Lviewpro window. Here you will see the filename along with the image size in brackets. For example “avatar.bmp (800X600X16.7 million)”. The first number in brackets is the width of the image in pixels and the second is the height. If, like the example above, either or both are greater than 150, you will need to resize the image.

To do this, click “Edit” on the menu bar and then “Resize”. A new dialog box will open. At the very top of this box, there are two spaces to enter a new width and height. Enter 150 in the left box and enter 150 in the right box. Make sure that “Preserve Aspect Ratio” has a check mark beside it at the bottom of the dialog box. Click “OK” and you are done resizing. Now you just have to make sure that your file is in a jpg format.

As with image posts, your avatar must be in a jpg format or you will likely exceed the file size limitation (most animated gifs would likely still fit, but that is beyond the scope of this post). In the previous example, the file was in a “bmp” format and must be changed. Even if you started with a “jpg” file, you should execute the following steps to ensure that you save your resize changes in a new file. To do this, click “File”, “Save As” on the menu bar. A new dialog box will open. Make sure that the “Save as Type” line is set to “jpeg”. Enter a new file name. You need to do this if you don’t want to overwrite your original file. Click “Save” and you are done. Again, I can guarantee that if you follow these steps, your image file will not be rejected by our forum.

To upload the new avatar, click “User CP” that is the top left choice on the black menu bar at the top of every page of the forum. This allows you to edit your user profile. You must be logged in before you can access this. A new page will load and along the left will be a series of links. Click the link labeled “Edit Avatar. A new page will open that has a field labeled "Upload an Avatar From Your Computer" at a the bottom. Make sure that the "Use Custom Avatar" radio button is selected. Click the "Browse" button to open a file dialog box that you can use to navigate to the directory containing the image you just prepared. Click on the filename you want and then click “Open”. The path to your file should now be displayed immediately to the left of the “Browse” button. Click “Save Changes” and you are done. Your avatar should show up next to all of your posts currently on the forum in addition to any new posts you make.

You should note that you can change your avatar at any time following the same instructions. However, the new avatar will replace your old one even on previous posts.