Spruce up your Facebook chats with fancy emoticons

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A couple years back I showed you how to add symbols to your Facebook status updates.

Today let's get really fancy. If you frequently use Facebook to chat with friends, you can impress (or at least amuse) them by adding ultra-fancy emoticons to your messages.

This is done by way of "chat codes"—snippets of program language you copy and paste into your chat window. And one really good source for them is Symbols & Emoticons.

That's the link to their home page; here's one to a new batch of codes for images like bullet holes, the Grim Reaper, and even Gangnam Style's Psy. Take a look:

To use any of these in your chats, simply click inside the field below the image, the one with all the incomprehensible numbers and brackets. That click should highlight the entire field, so all that's left is to copy it (by pressing Ctrl-C).

Now switch over to Facebook, start a chat with someone, then paste the code (Ctrl-V) into to where you'd normally type a message. Hit Enter and presto: There's your fancy image!

The site also offers vast collections of smiley faces, love quotes, and just miscellaneous stuff (some of which is mildly NSFW).

If you're bored with boring old text, this is a fun way to liven up your Facebook chats.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PCWorld ForumsSign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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