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How to use Bonus Smileys for AOL Instant Messenger

The SmileyCentral add-on for your AOL Instant Messenger has three main features:

  • It allows you to send one of over 10,000 custom emoticons in your conversation;
  • It lets you add a cool Webfetti graphic to your message; or
  • It gives you an option to select one of many electronic greeting cards to send to your friends.

How to send a custom emoticon:
Make sure that AOL Instant Messenger is closed. To enable Smiley Central in AOL Instant Messenger, click on the MyWebSearch button in your browser.
SmileyCentral icon in the browser.

To enable/disable Smiley Central within AOL Instant Messenger, go to Internet Explorer browser and:
1) Find the "My Web Search" button on your toolbar and click the down-arrow
2) Select "Enable/Disable Features"
3) Check the box next to "AOL Instant Messenger" to enable, uncheck the box to disable
4) Click "Save Changes"

Be sure to close your AOL Instant Messenger, then re-open for your changes to take effect.

Once restarted, open AOL Instant Messenger. Click on the contact you want to send an instant message to. This will open a conversation window. In the top right corner of the IM window you will see a SmileyCentral toolbar. To insert a smiley into a message, you need to open SmileyCentral Add-on by clicking the smiley face on the tool bar.
SmileyCentral window in your Messenger
After clicking on a smiley icon within your Smiley application, you will see something like this in your compose box: @[smiley: Hi Ya : [15/15_1_70]]

This is code that tells your IM client to display your smiley as an icon once you click Send. Go ahead and try it. Send your message and the code will convert to the smiley icon that you and your friend will be able to see.

How to send a Webfetti Graphic:
To insert a cool graphic into a message you need to open WebFetti Add-on by clicking on the WF icon on the SmileyCentral toolbar.
Webfetti window in your Messenger

How to send a greeting card:
You can also send an e-card via your IM conversation. To insert a card into a message you need to open MyFunCards Add-on by clicking the e icon on the toolbar. Then simply select the e-card you want, and send.
e-cards window in your Messenger

Bonus Smileys for AOL Instant Messenger Troubleshooting

My friend is seeing code (for example: @[smiley: Hi Ya : [15/15_1_70]]) when I try to send him/her a smiley in my AIM client. What can my friend do to see the icon, instead?

If your friend does not yet have Smiley Central, he/she will see smiley code rather than the icon. Your friend will need to download and install Smiley Central in order to see the icon. To facilitate this, we occasionally include a brief message and a link to the Smiley Central download page when your friend receives a message from you in which you have attempted to insert a smiley.


I am unable to send an image to my AIM buddy using the Direct  Connect feature.  How can I get it to work?
To receive an image using a Direct IM Connection, you must first click on the wrench button (to the right of your Smiley Central button) and select "Enable Direct Connect." This will, in effect, disable Smiley Central and allow you to receive images from your buddy. To enable Smiley Central again, click the wrench button again and select "Enable Smiley Central." (NOTE: Enabling Smiley Central will disable Direct Connect and you will lose any images previously displayed during that IM session. The images will not re-appear again if you enable Direct Connect later.)


 Is Smiley Central compatible with all versions of AIM?
Smiley Central is compatible with AIM for Windows. It is not compatible with AIM Express, AOL Communicator or AOL BuddyList (AIM launched within AOL's built-in browser). It also does not work with enhancement software like Dead AIM.

Can I play games with Smiley Central for AIM?
Yes - AIM users have the ability to challenge a friend to a game of checkers or chess. To play:

  1. Open a compose message screen within your instant messenger client.
  2. Enter the screen name of the friend you wish to play.
  3. Click on the game button (found next to your Smiley button).
  4. Select the game you would like to play - checkers or chess.

That's it - your friend will now be invited to play. You both will need to click the game "Start" button (left side of interface), and from there you and your friend take turns playing, like in a real game of checkers or chess. After your friend has made a move, you will be alerted that it's now your turn. Once you've made your move, your friend will be alerted. This continues until someone wins, or one of you chooses to end the game prematurely.

If I'm in the middle of a game and my friend closes his/her AIM window, can we continue the game?
No, if either player closes his/her AIM window while a game is in progress and the other player then tries to continue playing, the game will reset and both players will be asked if they would like to play a new game.


How can I close the game screen without closing my AIM window?
Right-click on your game screen and select "No Setting" from the menu that appears. This will return your IM window to its normal view.

Can I enable/disable Smiley Central within AIM?
Yes - simply open an Internet Explorer browser and:

1) Find the "My Web Search" button on your toolbar and click the down-arrow
2) Select "Enable/Disable Features"
3) Check the box next to "AIM" to enable, uncheck the box to disable
4) Click "Save Changes"

Be sure to close AIM, then re-open for your changes to take effect


Why does the font size change when I add a smiley to my AIM message?
You are likely using AIM's "text magnification" (zoom) feature. Smiley Central is not currently compatible with this feature. If your text is set at 75%, 133% or 200% when you add a smiley, that message will appear at 100%. Your preferred text setting will return when you send or receive an instant message that doesn't include a smiley


Can I do a search for a specific smiley within the Smiley Central application?
Yes! Just enter a keyword or phrase in the Search box found at the bottom of your Smiley Central application. Once you do, smiley search results will appear in the right-column window above the search box.

Tip: When looking for a match to a multiple-word search, be sure to put the words or phrase inside quotation marks. You'll get better smiley search results!

Can I type IM abbreviations into my messenger window and get smileys to appear?
Yes! This feature is called "IM Short Cuts" and it allows you to instantly add any of our Messenger Smileys found in the Smiley Central "Communicate" category without opening the Smiley Central window.

Just open a new IM window and in the text box type "//" (without the quotes) followed by the IM abbreviation.


Can I copy and paste a smiley into another document, like Word or PowerPoint?
Yes - you can paste a smiley into nearly any document that accepts images. To do so, right-click on the desired smiley and highlight the "Copy" option. Then use the Paste command (Ctrl-V) to place the smiley in your document.

Please note: The copy-and-paste feature is not compatible with Custom smileys, and smileys cannot be pasted into instant messages. Animated smileys will not animate in word processing documents, and will only animate when a PowerPoint document is being displayed as a slide show.

I don't see Smiley Central or the toolbar on my browser. What do I do?
If you have downloaded Smiley Central and are not seeing the Smiley Central button or the toolbar on your browser, you are likely experiencing one of three scenarios:

1)  You did not close all your open browsers once you downloaded Smiley Central. Please do this now and then reopen a new browser.

2) You may need to enable the toolbar through your browser's menu. To do this, click on the "View" menu option, then select "Toolbars".  You will see "My Web Search" listed in the dropdown - make sure that there is a check mark next to it.  If there is no check mark, click on it in order to enable your toolbar. 

If the toolbar does have a check mark but is not visible on your browser, clear the check mark by clicking on the name of the toolbar. Then repeat the steps above to re-enable it. The toolbar should now appear.

3) You are using a beta version of AIM not currently compatible with Smiley Central. We encourage you to use a non-beta version of your instant messenger until we resolve the issue.

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Already itching to install cool add-ons for your instant messengers? Learn about Mindspark's addon SmileyCentral, or the Iminent addon from Iminent SA.
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Smiley downloads are Free to use with download of toolbar. Actual Number of Smileys and product compatibility may vary depending on providers' updates. AOL Corp. and its service information and sample product images are provided for convenience and educational purpose only. is not directly sponsored or endorsed by AOL Corp. AIM and AOL are trademarks of AOL Corp. Downloading SmileyCentral toolbar does not include or bundle the installation of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). To download AOL Instant Messenger directly go to does not guarantee any product and service information presented on the web site. is paid as an affiliate for every download of the Smiley Toolbar.