geek so shoot me...

I like buttons © Mazeguy

Twiddly things always hold great appeal for me, either big or small... and buttons really do it for me, almost as much as Dashboard Widgets for my Mac or Yahoo! Widgets for my PC, but that's a story for another day... so back to buttons...

I needed some email buttons so I trotted off to the E-Mail Icon Generator to grab some for a couple of my Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail accounts... email buttons are a great way to get your email addresses out there and visible, without them subsequently being farmed by bots which then turn around and spew spam through to your inbox © Mazeguy The E-Mail Icon Generator is dead easy to use, super quick and they cater to GMail, Hotmail, MSN, Mac, Comcast, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, ATT and quite a few others as well... I was just after Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, so I threw in my details and out they popped...

   
 

and then I got to thinking... what about my Instant Messenger ID's... was there a similar service available © Mazeguy
It wasn't long before I stumbed across near perfection and with some minor plonking I was on my way to IM button heaven.....


Brillian Button Maker by Luca ZappaI landed... no idea how © Mazeguy... at the Brilliant Maker by Luca Zappa, it was very close to what I was looking for, mainly because it lets you upload icons so that you can make your own 80x15 buttons with graphics.

The first problem I encountered was the height (15px), most of my IM icons were 16px so I needed to edit them, no big deal, the next problem, and the one which resulted in my switching between Brilliant Maker and Corel (my image editing program) was the width (80px)... some of my IM ID's are longer than 80px wide, and when you take into account the MSN Messenger / Windows Live Messenger ID's which are your email address, it tends to blow the 80px restriction right out the window... this of course isn't a fault with the Brilliant Maker, it is afterall, there to create stock standard buttons not IM buttons © Mazeguy

I'm not easily deterred... some might call it stubborn © Mazeguy.... but in life there's almost aways a way around any stumbling block put before you... and with a little plonking the 80px width restriction was easily jumped over © Mazeguy after that there was no stopping me and I ended up with what I set our for... buttons for my Instant Messenger ID's...

   

and here's how....

Firstly using the Brilliant Maker is pretty straight forward, don't be overwhelmed by the choices, they are exactly what you need to personalise your button internals. If you already know your HTML Hex codes you're off to a great start (don't worry if you don't as there is a colour picker available), I wanted my buttons to have a single purple border with a white background which really doesn't take advantage of the wizzy features available but I wanted what I wanted and nothing more © Mazeguy

I created my button background, complete with purple border, and dragged the results to Corel, I then set about creating the text, Brilliant Maker offers 6 font faces to select from, I selected 3 to plonk with...

terminal 6pt proggy clean silkscreen

most of my ID's sat nicely in the 80px width but with some, because of their length (e.g wackybonline) and because I wanted icons to the left, I soon realised Proggy Clean wasn't always suitable as I tended to overrun the visible space, again, not a fault of Brilliant Maker © Mazeguy Neither Proggy Clean or Terminal let me use @ which was a shame, but not the end of the world. For my ID's that required an increased width I created the text in Brilliant Maker, sometimes in two parts, then dragged it across to Corel and added it to the wider background templates... it took a little fiddling but once I was into the routine of it all I was one happy camper and I got my Instant Messenger buttons exactly how I wanted them, now I can throw it where ever I want and my friends can instantly see what ID's I have for each messenger and what computer I'm on....

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