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How To Make An Avatar

Updated on November 25, 2012

What Is An Avatar?

If you look up avatar on the Internet, you may come up with one of several definitions. The first is the incarnation of a god in Hinduism. The second is a Nickelodeon animated television series called Avatar; The Last Airbender. But the avatar this lens is about is defined as a picture representing a person on the internet. For example, the picture to the left is my avatar in the Squidu Forum.

Avatar Problems

Frustrated with loading your avatar image? Don't worry, I'll show you how.

The problem most people have when trying to upload an image from their computer as an avatar on a forum or another Web bases medium is with image sizing.

In general, avatars come in 4 sizes, but can be anywhere from 50 x 50 to 96 x 96 pixels.

The first, and most common in forums and chatrooms is the avatar at 80 x 80 pixels. Many forums (like Squidu) also choose to use 60 x 60 pixel images for avatars.

Buddy Icons are another name for avatars and they are usually 50 x 50 pixels.

Desktop Icons are usually 32 x 32 pixels.

Emoticon's are usually 15 x 15 pixels.

If you try to add an image that is too large for the predetermined pixel parameters, your avatar simply will not load.

If you are looking for how to make a 250 x 250 image for your intro module, try this tool,

How To Add An Avatar Option One

  1. Find a cool or eyecatching picture that you want to be your avatar. It can be a digital photo that you took, or a digital JPG or GIF image that is on your computer.
  2. You can use whatever photo editing software you have, like photoshop for example, and then crop the pic to make a square. After you crop it, then you can re-size it to 60 x 60 pixels, or whatever size you need your avatar to be. Then, save the image with a different name than the original image so you do not accidentally load the wrong avatar.
  3. Go to the image loading section of your forum and select the new avatar image from your computer to load to the website and click the upload, then save button and you should have your avatar saved and ready to be viewed.

How To Add An Avatar Option Two

Using Free Software

This is my preferred method for creating avatar sized images. I use the free software, Avatar Sizer. It is quick and easy to use, and is the easiest way to resize an image for an avatar. Making your new avatar is as simple as the following four steps:

  1. Select the image
  2. Set the maximum width and height
  3. Press the Next>> button and your avatar is created
  4. Last step is to save your avatar and you are ready to go

PicMonkey Is Great For Photo Editing

For a free web based tool that lets you cut and resize images, along with changing the back ground and insert text overlays, check out

Again, PicMonkey is free to use and no registration is required. It is the perfect photo editing tool for the newbie. I have no idea how to use tools like Photoshop or Gimp, but PicMonkey is incredibly easy to figure out.

Free Avatars - List of sites with free avatars

Don't have any good images of your own, or don't want to bother with resizing? Then these sites are for you. Below you will find anime, action, cartoon, and avatars from all genres. Even animated avatars!

Software To Help You With Your Photos

Was this lens helpful? Anything I missed or that you would like to see added?

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    • profile image

      itarticle 5 years ago

      Thanks for the post

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      @raswook: Thanks for the suggestion but i tried it and when i enter either height or width it then changes the other to it's fixed number. I came across one the other day that would change it to 250x250 but when i clicked finish, it wouldn't respond with the finished product, i'm trying to find the link in my bookmarks right now to try it again with different sized pictures to see if it will finally work....if you have anymore ideas please reply, Thank You

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      @MarcStorm LM: Yes, try this,

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      I have a really good question What program can i use, to make a 250x250 image. I need exact height and width but i can't find one that will do it. That avatar one you gave only goes to 160, man i wish it would go more. If anyone could help, i would greatly appreciate it! oh and btw that avatar program you linked and this lens is great!

    • vkumar05 profile image

      vkumar05 6 years ago

      Nice work. A lot of useful info. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      mylinkcenter 6 years ago

      Thank you for this lens. :)

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 6 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Thanks for the tips. Maybe you can add few words about Gravatars?

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I had been trying to change my avatar in the forum and reduced the size to recommended pixels but still not able to upload. The old one gets resized and kept appearing even though I have uploaded the new one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for all the great info on how to make an avatar, very helpful and interesting!

    • profile image

      seobounty 6 years ago

      Great and useful info! I wasn't sure how to do this, so thank you very much!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks, exactly the information I searched for ;-)

    • profile image

      Spikey64 6 years ago

      Avatars have always been too hard for me to make until I found this lens.

    • LigaSuper profile image

      S Kurniawan 6 years ago from Bandung, Indonesia

      Great tips. Thanks!

    • bames24 lm profile image

      bames24 lm 7 years ago

      thanks for the tip... appreciated :)

    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 7 years ago

      This was great help and seems quite easy. I would like to have a couple others for my other niches but have never really taken the time to learn. I hear a new hobby: a collection of avatars. (smile)

    • profile image

      tatrasim 7 years ago

      I'd also add to the list, one of the easiest and straight to the point. Also, for downloading avatars, has a decent collection.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thanks for the lesson on how to make an avatar, I think I might try to make a new one.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 7 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Thanks Jeff. I need a new avatar for the lounge :)

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 7 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I've steered clear of this as I don't feel very competant, so just use a photo that already fits, but I think you've made it so clear I might try. Thanks!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Love to learn about this stuff, just don't know if I could do it

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I'm glad to know the origin of avatars. My avatar is Hanuman from the Hindu mythology. Thanks for all the resources

    • profile image

      tatrasim 8 years ago is pretty cool too. Has many options to download existing or resize/crop your own picture...

    • Surreymagic profile image

      Surreymagic 8 years ago

      Great tips- i didn't know there was so much free avatar stuff available- cool!

    • Ecolicious LM profile image

      Penny Pincher G 8 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks for the great information! :)

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      You know, avatars are and can be fun -- but you know what? I love seeing the REAL person!

    • profile image

      poutine 8 years ago

      Very helpful lens.

      Thanks for all the hard work that you put in.

    • BusyQueen profile image

      BusyQueen 9 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your Avatar knowledge. It's well done. 5 *****'s

    • profile image

      chloecavanaugh 9 years ago

      Angel Blessings from Squid Little, aka Chloe Cavanaugh!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great idea for a lens Jeff! :) Thanks for the information!!!

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 9 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      Great Lens. 5* Fav I will enjoy those list of free avatars, too. Lensrolling:

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 9 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      [in reply to rayrapeepat] Glad it helped you out =)

    • profile image

      rayrapeepat 9 years ago

      Hi Jeff: Thank you for this lens of yours. I feel like you've just save my life. I tried for several days to upload my photo to my profile page. Now, I'm so happy. Ray Rapeepat

    • sittonbull profile image

      sittonbull 9 years ago

      Amazingly helpful lens! The topic for my first and only lens this far called Learning-to-Squidoo was chosen due to the frustration encountered trying to upload my avatar to my profile. It has done well and helped a few people, but I adding this lens as a featured lens, will make it complete! Thanks for such a well articulated guide. This lens and promoting outside of Squidoo both showcase your skills as a professional in what you do. I'm gonna make it a point to try to learn from the rest of your lensography also. 6***** favored and featured

    • profile image

      contestboy 9 years ago

      Don't forget, lets you record an avatar with your webcam!

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 9 years ago

      I like your list of free avatars. Good to have a back-up plan if one can't be created. ;)

      Thanks, Carmen

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 9 years ago


    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Hello jeffwend

      Cool stuff, good to have and know where they are.

      They could definitely help a lot in the process of lenses creation.

      Thanks for sharing with you, good job.

      Wish you have a great time

    • Squidaddle profile image

      Squidaddle 9 years ago

      Oh thank God! That first picture under "Avatar Problems" was me 10 minutes ago.

      Tried Avatar Sizer. It did the trick in 30 seconds, resizing something that I couldn't get down below 10.3 kb. It took me longer to go back and give them a donation!

      What a relief, thanks!

    • A RovingReporter profile image

      A RovingReporter 9 years ago

      This is a great lens. I hope to be able to find a great avatar. 5*

    • Sukeydoo profile image

      Sukeydoo 9 years ago

      Hi Jeff, Great lens, I have just spent ages logging in and out of squidoo wondering why my avatar wouldn't save - finally i found your lens - just what I needed. Fantastic - I have favoured you but haven't figured out how to rate a lens yet. Thanks again

    • Music-Resource profile image

      Music-Resource 9 years ago

      Hi Jeff: Nice How To Make An Avatar lens :) Handy resource for all. ~Music Resource~

    • profile image

      MayLyne 9 years ago

      Great lens. A very helpful lens for beginners. I favorite it and rated it 5 stars.

    • icjackson profile image

      icjackson 9 years ago

      Great lens :-)

      Thanks for joining the Learn How To Do ANYTHING - How To Lens Gallery!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 9 years ago from Vermont

      Just added this to my lensroll for web publishing goodies. *****

    • profile image

      Spasibo4ki 9 years ago

      here is what might be useful: you can make avatar from any picture you upload, share it with other users.

      Also find avatar you like.

    • Friamin LM profile image

      Friamin LM 9 years ago

      that's a lot of info on avatars...I like it...

    • profile image

      picanom 9 years ago

      how about creating an avatar in few seconds with a webcam?

      i came across this site:

      its letting you take pictures and save 'em and its free with no registration required.

      i just took a pic of my dog and will plant it across my forum profiles by the end of the day :)

    • profile image

      jasonbrand 9 years ago

      Nice. When I want to Make A Cartoon I do it at works pretty well for me.

    • triathlontraini1 profile image

      triathlontraini1 9 years ago

      Very nicely done! :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      A lot of useful advice for the beginners out there, of which there are many. Nice job. 5*****

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      I guess great minds think alike... I was planning to write a lens about avatars, but you've covered it. Oh well, that leaves more time for the other 999,999 lenses on my to-do list!